From vacuum cleaner shoes to a robot that hands over toilet paper: the most pointless inventions of mankind in 25 years

Dmytro IvancheskulNews
Some inventions seem to exist simply because people can do it

Just like certain pieces of high fashion that can only exist on the catwalk and in colorful photo shoots, some of humanity's inventions are meant to be displayed exclusively at various exhibitions. One of these events is the Consumer Electronics Show, which annually surprises the world with both inventions that are useful and those that seem to be designed to question life.

CNET has compiled a gallery of such inventions. Some of them, despite their absurdity, managed to find their buyers.

Dyson Zone headphones for air purification

Dyson Zone headphones

One of the strange inventions is headphones with a kind of gas mask function. The Dyson Zone was announced on the wave of popularity of COVID-19 masks, although it does not protect against the coronavirus in any way, and development began in 2016. In fact, these are headphones with a filter that can protect against polluted air, not germs. The price is $949.

Charmin Rollbot

Charmin Rollbot.

In 2020, the toilet paper brand Charmin also came to CES to present its own product. You might wonder what a toilet paper company could come up with. It turned out that it was a robot with one single function: if you run into trouble in the toilet, RollBot will gladly bring you a fresh roll of paper. Is it convenient? Is it useful? Who knows ...

The robot never went on sale. Fortunately.

Kolibree Smart Toothbrush

Kolibree Smart Toothbrush.

In 2014, Kolibree presented the concept of a smart toothbrush that was supposed to monitor how you brush your teeth. To do this, you had to install an app on your mobile phone and connect the brush via Bluetooth. During the brushing process, the brush analyzes how well you do it and how much attention you pay to each tooth, and then transmits this data to your smartphone. The price is 100-200 dollars. Surprisingly, the idea caught on. Now, brushes with the Kolibree app can be purchased for between $50 and $70, depending on the configuration.

MP3 player case for a stun gun

MP3 case for a stun gun.

In the 2000s, when the iPod became a cultural phenomenon, every technology company tried to create its own MP3 player. The culmination was the Taser MP3 player, introduced in 2008. What is its absurdity? Taser is a manufacturer of stun guns that couldn't think of anything better than to build an MP3 player into a stun gun case. This miracle of technology with 1 gigabyte of memory was sold for $80.

Pepe pet dryer

Dryer for pets Pepe.

If you like to give your pet a little bit of a thrill from time to time, the Pepe pet dryer, which was introduced in 2019, will come to your rescue. If you find it difficult to dry your pet with a towel, just close it in the box for 25 minutes and watch it go crazy. What the developers were thinking and what animal advocates were looking at is unknown. You may be surprised, but the device has found its buyer despite the $660 price tag.



Throughout history, there have been so many gadgets designed to limit normal human behavior, but this one has exceeded expectations. Introduced in 2013, HapiFork is another vibration-based gadget that aims to make you eat your food more slowly. According to the creators' plan, over 20 minutes. This smart fork analyzes the speed of eating and vibrates if it is done too fast. Surprisingly, the so-called smart fork has found its buyer, although it costs more than $60.



This smart belt for pants has had two revisions: in the first version, it was equipped with a motor and could adapt to the situation, loosening if you ate or sat down. Sounds good in theory. The new model, introduced in 2015, unexpectedly lost the motor, but the buckle had a charger to which you can connect your smartphone. Interesting? Yes! Is it dangerous? Oh, yes!

Xybernaut Poma

Xybernaut Poma.

First shown at CES 1998, Hitachi's Xybernaut laptop computer was an odd idea, to say the least. The Windows CE-based Xybernaut Poma offered a 128-megahertz RISC processor and 32 MB of RAM for a price of $1,499. It had to be worn on the arm, face, and belt at the same time. It was hardly how we imagined the man of the future.

Denso Vacuum Shoes

Denso Vacuum Shoes.

It's hard to invent something new with shoes. Yes, you can add rollers or an automatic lacing system, but what else? This is what manufacturers from Denso, who brought vacuum cleaner shoes to the exhibition in 2017, were thinking about. Why? Because... why not... There was not even a hint of the cost of such an invention. And that's just as well.

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