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.

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

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Support and Development Engineer

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Designer

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Gazetteer Consultant

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Support Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'