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Fantastic Tech Fails Over the Years

Posted by cfeehan on September 22, 2016



As incredible advancements continue to be made in the field of technology, it’s easy to forget about some of the less successful or useful tech gadgets introduced over the years. Although they may not ever change the world or be labelled as “innovative”, they still serve a valuable purpose in society – they teach us to find humour in the trivial, admit when we have made a mistake, and teach us what not to do in the future. Prepare yourself for moments of shock, terror, and a whole lot of laughs.

Music Vest

“First, there was the transistor radio. Then, the headphones. Now, there’s Music Vest.”

Thank goodness that Music Vest has come to overhaul the world of trendy audio equipment, because “the headphones” were getting old, fast! This wearable sound system seems to combine beautiful metallic outerwear with built-in speakers, making it very easy for users to listen to their favourite music on the go (and share it with everyone around them)! As the infomercial from the 80s suggests, there are many appropriate times to wear the Music Vest, like when you’re “exercising, riding, golfing, fishing, or just hangin’ around”. It also suggests that acquiring the Music Vest will make you “the leader in your crowd”. After all of this, I’m only left with one question: “who wouldn’t want to invest in the technologically advanced and flawlessly fashionable Music Vest?”

Rejuvenique Electric Facial Mask

Happy Halloween, Execubloggers.

While this product may look like something out of a horror movie, it’s actually designed to rejuvenate the users’ skin by giving their face a bit of “exercise”. No, I don’t full understand how this works (and I’m not exactly convinced that it does), but the infomercial explains it like this:

“If you can get the idea of what 8 sit-ups a second would do for your stomach, you have an idea of what Rejuvinique would do for your face.”

So there you have it. Begin your facial exercise routine today, and your skin will thank you. But be forewarned: the other occupants of your house may not be as thankful. Eek.

The Hawaii Chair

Some products just work better as infomercial highlights, and The Hawaii Chair is one of those products. I can’t remember a time when this chair wasn’t being advertised on late-night television, promising to help users lose weight and tone up. The idea is that you sit on the chair, turn it on, and prepared to be rotated and shuffled around in a way that is supposed to simulate the movement of Hawaiian hula dancers. The infomercial suggests that it should be used in the workplace so that you can “exercise” at all times, but I’m skeptical about the user’s ability to get anything else done while sitting on one of these chairs. And I’m not the only one – in the video above, you can watch Ellen DeGeneres try out the Hawaiian Chair live and give her own take on how “effective” it really is.

DVD Rewinder


Do you remember the days of having to rewind your VHS tapes before returning them back to the rental store? I certainly do, and it was not a fun task. So when DVDs were introduced to the market and a company invented an automatic DVD rewinder, it may have seemed like a great (and necessary) invention to some. Except it wasn’t, of course, because of the one major logic flaw – DVDs don’t have to be rewound, under any circumstances.

It’s still unclear whether this invention was made to capitalize on the technological ignorance of a huge segment of the market, or if it was always meant to be a gag gadget. Either way, I’m glad it was invented, because it makes this list a whole lot more fun.

Rotating Ice Cream Cone



The rotating ice cream cone: because who has the time and energy to manually turn a waffle cone around to lick both sides? I think this product is hilarious, because it shows humanity at its laziest. Instead of having to move your hand while consuming delicious frozen treats, you can now stick your tongue out and have all the dairy goodness come to you. The days of developing carpel tunnel syndrome from rotating your wrist to reach the ice cream on both sides of the cone are finally behind us. Plus, the rotating ice cream cone comes in four completely unnatural colours, like toxic waste green and pylon orange. Get yours today, before the warm weather

USB Pet Rock



Here we have a rock that is connected to cable which plugs into the USB port on the user’s computer. Yes, this may sound simple, but it’s what happens next that is so intriguing! Once your pet rock is plugged in to your computer, absolutely nothing happens. That’s right – nothing. It doesn’t even use any power, or light up, or act as a storage device…it just sits there, and also happens to be connected via USB cable. This gadget wins the “most boring” award, hands-down.

Car Exhaust Burger Grill


We’ve all been there. You’re three hours into a road trip when your stomach starts rumbling because you haven’t stopped to eat. Wouldn’t it be convenient if, instead of having to make a pit stop at the closest Tim Hortons, you could just pull a homemade burger out of your exhaust pipe? I assume this is the situation that an Iranian team of designers had in mind when they invented the car exhaust burger grill. It uses the heat produced by the user’s exhaust pipe to grill burgers on the go; because the risk of exhaust fumes in your lunch sounds appealing to just about everyone. This one was a huge miss, but I have to give them points for imagination.

This concludes our list of tech fails throughout (recent) history. It seems impossible, but even ridiculous ideas seemed great to someone at some point. But, hey, we have to learn from our mistakes in order to grow, so don’t be too hard on the inventors and the mad scientists. Their next idea might just be a game-changing one.


Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor

Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.