Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time: 10 worst gadgets of recent times

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Hard to believe now, but today's ugly gizmos were once the next big thing. Here are the 10 worst, according to a poll ahead of next month's Gadget Show Live

1. Sinclair C5

The electric tricycle had the speed of a milk float and all the style of the Robin Reliant car, yet it retains a cult following

2. Rabbit mobile

The words 'cordless telephone' on the box spelled the end for the phone that failed to deliver – scrapped a year after its launch

3. Betamax video

Superior to VHS in both sound and picture quality, it lost the marketing battle. Another failed format

4. MiniDisc

Was to be the next big thing after cassette tapes, but technological advances saw it swiftly replaced by recordable CDs

5. Laserdisc

Another defunct home video format – replaced by smaller and cheaper DVDs, despite the higher-quality video and audio

6. Sega Game Gear

Poor battery life and lack of great games, aside from Sonic the Hedgehog, meant that it lost out to the Nintendo's Game Boy

7. The Squarial

Smaller and less noticeable than the Sky dish, BSB's square receiver was a casualty of the merger between the two companies

8. E-mailer telephone

Lord Sugar's doomed attempt to go hi-tech – a 'superphone' monstrosity even by office phone standards

9. Pizza scissors

A nightmare to wash, the hybrid of spatula/scissor complicated the simple business of cutting a slice of pizza. Failed to catch on

10. DAT

Digital audio tape – the precursor to the doomed MiniDisc and another format that failed because it lost the marketing war

Top 10 gadgets of the future

In the hype that surrounds gadgets, with an endless procession of next big things, companies like nothing better than what they call 'early adopters' - shorthand for gadget-obsessed fools easily parted from their money. Next month, tens of thousands of people will flock to Birmingham's NEC for the Gadget Show Live, now in its fifth year. Here we look at 10 gadgets that will be showcased at a 'future tech' zone.

1. AlphaBlue: an app that allows parents to remotely control what their children are doing on their mobile phones, such as limiting texts and calls.

2. The NAO Robot: humanoid robot, able to recognise faces and objects, and speak in seven languages.

3. The latest solar-powered car created by Cambridge University Eco Racing. Taking part in this year's World Solar Challenge in Australia.

4. The Sphericam: a cluster of four synchronised video cameras that enable you to photograph 360-degree images.

5. The Tinké: a sensor that checks fitness levels, measuring heart rate, respiration and blood/oxygen levels.

6. The Good Night Lamp: lamps that connect to each other remotely, so when the master lamp is switched on, the others come on too.

7. The Jetovator: uses pumps that shoot water downward with enough force to create a flying water bike.

8. The Subwing: "reinvents" experiencing the ocean underwater, but in reality is a board that pulls you along under the sea.

9. GT86 Conversion Car: zero emissions, with an ammonia fuel system.

10. Holoxica: an interactive 3D holograph, with images floating in mid-air that can change in real time.

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