Companies have a habit of producing products that no-one needs or wants. We round up the best examples of pointless tech kit.
4. Duracell MyGrid
In theory, being able to charge your phone and iPod without wires is an attractive proposition. Unfortunately the reality – thus far – has been woefully underwhelming. The MyGrid is one of several wireless chargers available, but all require your devices to wear a special jacket to allow them to work with the charging pad.
As these ‘sleeves’ are specific fit, they’re only available for popular devices. They’ve come down in price from around £35 to roughly £10, but you need one for each device you want to charge and they’re not exactly attractive. If you have three devices, the kit will cost you around £60-70.
Is it really worth this much not to have to plug your charger’s cable into your device? We don’t think so. Until devices start shipping with wireless power charging capabilities built in, products such as the MyGrid will remain on the shelves.
Too lazy to plug in your phone charger? Duracell has a solution that’s just as much hassle
3. Apple FaceTime
Nokia tried it several years ago with a huge TV advertising campaign, and with the launch of FaceTime on the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch, Apple’s also trying to persuade people that they really should be video calling.
The trouble is, most people don’t see the ‘audio-only’ telephone as a hindrance to communication. In fact, it’s generally regarded as a benefit since the other party can’t see what you’re up to, or that you look terrible having just crawled out of bed after a heavy night and are still in your underwear (probably not iPod pants).
It’s hard to make a case that video calling isn’t popular because of technical limitations or cost: Skype has offered a free service for years and it’s possible to call your friend in Australia and have a normal conversation. Perhaps we’re simply not ready to give up the traditional telephone when offered the choice of an audio or video call, so until video becomes the only option, features such as FaceTime will gather dust.
We’ve yet to find anyone that’s used FaceTime more than once – just for the novelty factor
2. Sony MousePhone
Sony isn’t the only company to have launched a mouse that’s also a phone, but as one of the world’s best-known technology brands, it ought to know better. Whoever came up with the idea clearly didn’t think it through: unlike the Internet Fridge (or Breville’s Radio Toaster for that matter), you can’t use both of the MousePhone’s functions at once.
If you’re on a call, you can’t use the mouse and if you’re using your computer with the mouse, you can’t make a call. Since the two activities aren’t mutually exclusive, the MousePhone is deeply flawed.
Mice and phones should never be combined – and this product shows why