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

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

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.

ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'