Useless Inventions Made When Inventors Get Bored
Let's take a look at some of the most pointless inventions ever manufactured!Technology
The technology-focused world we live in has been driven by some truly amazing inventions. But for every incredible idea, there’s four more disastrous ones. From a motorized chair to something completely nonsense, let's check out some of the most useless inventions ever made.
The Speech Stopper
We all know at least someone that talks far too much for their own good but it might be rude to tell them to shut up. Well, with the Speech Jammer gun, you don’t have to! This handheld device, invented by Japanese student Kazutaka Kurihara, is designed to stop that annoying friend in their tracks.
How does it work? Using an inbuilt laser pointer, you aim the speech jammer at whoever you want to silence and pull the trigger. This activates a microphone-speaker system inside it, which records everything they’re saying and throws it back at them a fraction of a second later.
The resulting effect is called “Delayed Auditory Feedback”. It disrupts the way the person processes their own speech, so much so that it literally renders them speechless! They’ll stutter, become confused, and eventually stop talking.
Crazy Cat Ears
Wouldn’t life be so much better with a big pair of animatronic cat ears strapped to your head? We all ask ourselves the same question every day.
Luckily then, Japanese gadget company Neurowear has us covered! The company designed furry headpieces with a special sensor device inside called an Electroencephalogram, or EEG for short.
EEGs can detect brain activity, and those attached to this headband supposedly allow the ears to react depending on what mood you’re in. “Supposedly”, however, is the key word here. In practice, EEG’s can only really measure general brain activity, rather than detect emotion.
This means, rather than moving based off whether you’re feeling happy or sad, the ears just react to your brain detecting light and sound, which is significantly less impressive. What’s more, users have complained that they’re heavy and make an annoying buzzing sound.
Bicycles have remained largely unchanged since Englishman John Kemp Starley invented the Rover safety bicycle in the late 1800s. And for good reason; the design works. And if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
But budding inventors Tom Hambrock and Juri Spetter thought they could do one better when they came up with the “FLIZ bike”, a bike without pedals or a seat.
How does it work? Well, you strap yourself into a harness on the bicycle’s frame, and then you run until you’ve gathered enough momentum to bring your legs up off the ground.
This is all well and good when you’re on level ground, or going downhill but trying to go uphill? It’d be impossible, surely? or, at the very least, utterly exhausting.
Tom and Juri claim that their aim was to make an environmentally friendly mode of transport, but did they forget actual bikes already exist? I can’t see any advantage to using this over a normal bicycle aside from maybe avoiding an achy butt.
You’ve heard of RoboCop, now get ready for Robo-Tail! Scientists over in Japan have invented a robotic tail that you can strap on like you’re some kind of second-rate Spider-Man villain. So far, so weird.
Why exactly would you want to strap a giant robot tail to yourself though? Sadly, the device doesn’t turn you into an unstoppable techno-lizard. It’s actually designed to improve peoples’ balance, and acts like a counterweight, so if you stumble forward, you won’t fall over so easily.
However, humans don’t need tails to balance, we've literally evolved to lose them. However, the scientists say the robot tails aren’t made for just anybody, they’re specifically for the elderly, who are more likely to fall over. Which, sure, is true.
But we already invented something to help with that thousands of years ago: walking sticks! Furthermore, a walking stick is a lot cheaper than a mechanical tail without the strain of having a huge lump of metal attached to your back! Can you imagine seeing your grandpa wandering around with one of these on?
Every kid wants to be an adult until they actually become one, and then they just want to be a kid again. Unfortunately, you can’t literally get younger, but people will try pretty much anything to look it. Including wearing a creepy electrified mask that’s bound to terrify anyone unfortunate enough to walk into the living room.
This monstrosity is the “Rejuvenique Face Mask”, released back in 1999. It claimed to work by electrocuting your face, causing your muscles to tense and tighten the skin around them, thus reducing wrinkles. Apparently, by donning the mask for just 15 minutes three to four times a week it would work wonders.
However, there was never actually any evidence to support this claim. The product wasn’t even approved by the FDA and, insanely, never underwent any clinical trials either! What’s more, some of the people that bought the morbid mask complained of painful red marks appearing on their faces after using it.
We’ve all suffered from smelly feet at some point or another. The solution? You wash them. However, Japanese company HydroTech have come up with a product they say avoids the issue altogether.
What is it exactly? Air-conditioned shoes, of course! This wacky footwear is designed with the vaguely named “new filter technology” installed in them to remove heat and humidity, keeping your tootsies fresh and clean.
Sounds strange but potentially quite comfy, right? It turns out that “new filter technology” is just a jargonistic way of saying the shoes have holes in them.
Indeed, those spiderweb looking things on the soles are little more than fancy holes! Which renders these shoes utterly useless. Certainly, they’ll let a bit of air in on the rare occasion you don’t have your feet on the ground but on a rainy day.
These shoes will probably going to let a whole load of water in too. And we all know that water plus socks definitely doesn’t equal fresh, whiff-free feet, rendering these shoes a $78 waste of materials.
The idea of taking an ordinary object and making it see-through has been oddly alluring to us for a long time. So, it’s no surprise that many companies are working on transparent phones.
When Samsung announced the development of theirs back in 2020, some people got pretty excited at the idea of holding a glass phone in their hands. The reality however is it’ll probably look more like this.
This Samsung concept uses an OLED display on a transparent display panel, surrounded by a black border. It’s certainly cool in a really gimmicky way. But seriously, what’s the point?
If a phone’s in the way of something, it’s not exactly difficult to move it to see what’s behind it. And if you're bad with losing things and you had to try and find something literally designed not to be seen, you’d be hunting forever!
We live in an age where everything from lights to mirrors are getting so-called “smart” versions, with voice recognition and other technological wizardry built in. But did you think you’d ever hear of a smart cat litter tray? Well, you have now!
This outrageously overengineered puss potty was made by American company LuluPet and comes with kitty recognition, so if you have multiple cats, it knows which one is using it. A camera with an infrared sensor and onboard AI profiles each cat and adds it to a database.
Then, after your flatulent feline goes for a poop, the camera scans and analyzes the feces to check for signs of illness, before sending the results to your smartphone.
Even though this is a valiant cause, most pet-owners don’t need a hi-tech poop-scanner to tell when something’s wrong with their furry companion. Although the creators of the litter tray boast that it can keep up to fifteen cat profiles at once, would anyone really want fifteen cats all pooping in one tray?
Here’s a hint: they wouldn’t. Especially not when the litter tray sends a video to your phone every time it’s used! Can you think of a worse notification to open on your phone?
Some things have been around for thousands of years and have barely changed in design. The fork is one of them, and there’s good reason: it doesn’t need to. Ask researchers at Japan’s Ochanomizu University however, and they’ll disagree.
That’s because they’ve invented a battery powered fork that makes various noises depending on what food you’re eating.
It works by passing an electric current up the fork and through the food. When you touch your mouth on the food to eat it, the current passes to you and forms a closed circuit. This generates power which makes sounds emit from a speaker built into the device.
The noise differs depending on the food on the fork because all foods conduct electricity to different degrees. Foods with a high-water content and acidity level, like potatoes, tomatoes and onions, conduct electricity quite well. Whereas high fat and oily foods, like chocolate, aren’t as conductive.
This is very clever but why would you want a fork that makes weird noises? The good folk at Ochanomizu University say it encourages kids to try different things they wouldn’t have had before.
If you’ve ever wished you could get rock solid abs just by sitting in your chair all day, well, join the club. Don’t expect your wish to come true though, which is what the now-discontinued Hawaii Chair promised.
Essentially an office chair with a wiggling motorized seat, it was marketed as a game-changing hack in the world of fitness:
As well as looking absolutely ridiculous, there’s no evidence whatsoever to support the wild claim that it actually helped strengthen your core. And considering this was an office chair, do you think you’d get more or less work done while being jostled around like you’re on the worst theme park ride of all time?
It’s no surprise then that this travesty was only available between 2007 and 2010 before failing miserably. But even though its jingle is entirely untrue, there's no denying its catchiness.
When you’re taking your dog out for a walk, picking up its poop is undoubtedly the worst part of the experience. However, American pet company PooTrap came up with something that’s arguably far worse.
Despite referring to this grotesque contraption as a “magic poop collector”, there’s nothing magic about it. Simply put, it’s a harness you strap around your dog that has an attachment near the mutt’s butt where you fasten a poo bag. There’s also a separate version without the harness.
When it’s time to go poopy, your dog will deliver its brown load directly into the bag rather than on the floor. This theoretically means you’re spared the grim task of picking the ominous butt-truffle up off the ground. You still have to bend down and pluck the bag from your pooch’s posterior though, so there really isn’t much difference.
Aside from the fact, of course, that everyone’s going to be staring at you and wondering why the heck you’re walking a dog with a plastic bag attached to its butt like some sort of super strange doggy diaper.
Too Useless to Handle
You know when your phone starts ringing and you just think “Damn, not again! Now I’m gonna have to bring my hand all the way up to my head!” No, I don’t know the feeling either.
But Israeli entrepreneur Yonatan Assouline obviously thought this was a very real issue when he tried to crowdfund the “Fonhandle” back in 2014. The $13 device attached to your smartphone like a handle.
Essentially, it lets you hold your phone slightly differently, at the cost of carrying it around and becoming its own cumbersome chore. Yonatan disagrees of course, arguing that the carefully curated device went through over 32 prototypes and countless redesigns to become the perfect product.
If you’re still somehow unconvinced about the uselessness of this thing, one of the main selling points of the Fonhandle is that it lets you “discover the web without staring at your fingers”.
If you hadn’t guessed, the product failed its Kickstarter goal, so I’m afraid you can’t snag yourself one. Why don’t you go and spend the $13 on something more worthwhile instead like, literally anything else.
Back in 2019, people started spotting strange, googly-eyed robots roaming supermarkets across the USA. These mysterious robots were made even odder by the fact that they seem to do nothing. Which is unfortunate, because they cost the stores they’re in a whopping $35,000 each!
But why would anyone want to spend so much money on something that does so little? Well, they’re not supposed to be so useless. The robots, named Marty, are actually designed to patrol the aisles checking for spills and other hazards that might slip you up.
The issue is they don’t clean them. They just stand beside them making a lot of annoying noises, trying to signal someone who can. And by the time an assistant actually arrives, there’s a good chance someone would’ve found the spillage anyway!
What’s more, Marty doesn’t differentiate between so-called “hazards” and, hilariously, will treat everything he comes across as one, no matter how small.
Everybody loves freshly squeezed fruit juice. Doug Evans, the inventor of the Juicero home juicing machine, knew this all too well when he put his product on the market back in 2016. Apparently, he didn’t know how to make something useful though. With its huge $700 price tag, you’d expect this thing to be able to magic juice out of thin air or something.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. In fact, after first breaking the bank buying the machine, you then had to fork out on special Juicero brand fruit bags. And for all this money, the juicer wouldn’t even work unless it was connected to the Internet! But, ultimately, none of that is why Juicero failed.
It failed because you didn’t even need the machine to get the juice! After people found out you could just squeeze the bags by hand, the entire product became the laughingstock of the Internet.
Though, I wouldn’t be laughing if I’d bought this $700 brick. Unsurprisingly, the company went bust, and Juicero became nothing more than a bad memory. As for Doug Evans? His dreams were crushed harder than any fruit could ever be.
Pee ‘n’ Play
If you played gold you definitely wouldn’t buy the Uro Club. This golf club, invented in 2008 by urologist and avid golfer Floyd Seskin, seeks to remedy a common issue among golfers, needing to pee halfway through a game.
Generally, golf courses don’t have toilets at every hole, and relieving yourself in a bush is apparently out of the question. So, Seskin made his club with a very special alteration, it’s hollow, so you can, well, you’ve probably guessed:
It contains a special reservoir built into the grip to relieve yourself. The Uro Club also comes with a special towel to keep your privacy. The weirdly thick top section that literally no normal club has wouldn’t possibly give anything away!
This super-embarrassing piece of kit originally went on sale for a pricy $50, but unfortunately for no one, it’s since been taken off the market.
This wearable device resembles a woman’s chest and is made to strap onto the father of a baby. Milk sits in one bosom and passes through to a rubber nipple on the other. With fake booby equipped, ol’ daddio doesn’t have to feel left out about his lack of mammary glands and can feed the baby too!
If the "Father's Nursing Assistant" sounds ridiculous to you, it’s because it is. Breastfeeding openly is still, bizarrely, a taboo in many countries, although this gadget seems pretty counterintuitive in changing that opinion.
The idea that a man wearing this out in public is more acceptable than a woman using her breasts for their intended purpose is, in a word, insane.
Of course, some mothers can’t, or simply don’t want to, breastfeed. But I bet they’d rather bottle-feed their babies than have their husbands do an ugly set of fake boobs and walk around like the Terminator’s embarrassing mom.
To make the whole thing worse, the device syncs up to dad’s smartphone and sends data about feeding sessions to it! As well as being pointless, most parents wouldn't be happy about their new-born babies’ data being uploaded to the Internet.