Words: Tom Ryder

Apple will be licking their wounds this week in the wake of a barrage of abuse regarding their new maps technology. But their blunder isn’t the worst technology proposal that’s ever been seen. From Thomas Edison’s concrete furniture, through to metal cricket bats and iPhone cases shaped like a giant ear, we really have seen some beauties over the years. But which five sit firmly at the bottom of the pile?

1) Pigeon-guided missiles

In 1940, BF Skinner thought he had found the perfect solution to long-range warfare. Guided missiles. Unfortunately the guide he chose for these weaponised nukes was a creature sorely lacking in mental capacity. Crapping on the enemy? Ideal. Bombing the crap out of them? Think again.

2) Wink glasses


Have an inability to perform the unconscious action of shutting and then opening your eyes again? No? Then these 430-dollar blink-reminding specs launched in 2009 would have been right up your street. Your street only.

3) Furbys

What is there not to like about this furry fella? He looks: soft, friendly, fun to interact with. Your very own mess-free pet. He is in fact: impossibly hard on the inside with garish plastic features and a beak, works via noisy gears and motors and performs pre-programmed commands. Christmas 1998 was such a disappointment.

4) Toothpaste squeezer

Aquafresh multi-action? £2.95. Handcrafted chrome-plated toothpaste squeezer with Italian design credentials? $300. The look on your girlfriend’s face when you tell her where the ‘weekend away fund’ has just been invested? Doesn’t bear thinking about.

5) The Microsoft Office paperclip

How could we forget. So much potential and yet hideously unhelpful. And like Paul McCartney, he just refused to go away. Open up another document and he’s back again to begin the torment with twenty questions about how to write a shopping list. Thank God for Apple. Oh, hang on a sec…