- Five tech products that seemed a good idea at the time, but really weren't
- Why home tech beats wearable tech
- The world's most annoying paperclip
We love home technology, but the jury’s still out when it comes to smart watches, 3D printing and the much-hyped Google Glass wearable technology. That’s the finding of a 2,000-person survey, commissioned by British Gas, which revealed that over half (56%) of Brits think that smart home technology will help their daily lives. Three quarters of those surveyed, though, can’t see wearable tech making their lives easier any time soon.
If you’re talking about what’s hot right now, look no further than smart homes, says Kassir Hussain, Director of British Gas Connected Homes.
“Five years ago, if British Gas had told its customers they would be controlling their heating and hot water using their phones I imagine they would have been sceptical to say the least. Today, we have more than 150,000 homes doing just that with our Hive Active Heating Product, saving up to £150 a year on their energy bills in the process.”
Yet while we’re eager to engage with the innovative tech of today, we’ve been more than happy to switch off some of yesteryear’s tech creations.Here are five famously terrible tech fails – look out for some of them at a car boot sale near you…
5. NOKIA N-GAGE
Is it a phone? Is it a game? Is it a hellish hybrid of the two?
Nowadays everyone’s fiddling with a phone that’s also a games console. But Nokia’s major mistake was to take a games console and try and make it a phone. Imagine making calls from a Wii and you’re in the right ballpark.
4. SMART WATCH
Samsung, Microsoft and LG have all had a stab at putting a communication computer on our wrists, and all have been universally panned. Apple is the latest to throw its strap into the ring, launching the Apple Watch in 2015. The battery life is questionable and you’re hardly likely to watch Game Of Thrones on there but there should be enough Apple acolytes to make this timepiece’s sales tick along nicely.
3. MINIDISC PLAYER
The unwanted offspring of discmans, Sony’s Minidisc players were used to transfer CDs and mp3s. When the iPod was released, though, it was game over for this hardware format.
“Hey, it looks like you’re writing a letter.” This opening line from Clippy, the hugely irritating paperclip ‘pal’ from Microsoft Office, was enough to make the most patient person want to set fire to their PC. Even staff at Microsoft hated Clippy. He was finally sent to the great stationery cupboard in the sky in 2007.
Pick of the flops: The Sony Betamax video cassette recorder. With tapes just 60 minutes long, a higher retail price than its rival VHS recorders (which offered a three hour recording time), and maker Sony refusing to licence its technology, Betamax was duly ejected from the sector. The irony is that it was a better format in many ways, being more durable and offering better resolution.
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