15 Gadget Concepts Gone Bad

We're all about creativity in design, but some concepts should stay on the drawing board.

Gadgets Gone Bad

Gadget concepts represent the wildest dreams of product designers and tech enthusiasts, and they often look a few years into the future to imagine technology that doesn't yet exist. But every so often, these dreams turn into nightmares. Here are 15 tech concepts that should never, ever escape the drawing board.

DSLR Camera Case

Not only does this unwieldy, waterproof camera case suffocate you, but it also results in horrible pictures, due to the plastic that covers the lens.

Image: Tasarim

MIT's Clasping Wallet

Part of MIT's Proverbial Wallet series, the "Peacock" expands and contracts based on your bank-account balance, putting your assets on display "to attract potential mates." Alternative, fail-proof method: Always carry a wad of bills.

Image: MIT

The Momenta

By clasping firmly to your neck, the Momenta reads your pulse and automatically records video when your heart starts racing, ostensibly to capture life's most exciting moments. I'll leave it to you to imagine the heart-pounding situations that are better left unseen by a video camera.

Image: SlipperyBrick

Pepper Mouth

Want to teach your kids online etiquette? Plug Pepper Mouth into their computer's USB port, and it will emit "a disturbing pepper smell" whenever it detects foul language. Malicious teens could use it as a modern-day stink bomb, too.

Image: Ultra-Modern-Life Training Lab

Human Eye Camera

Good: The Human Eye Camera's unique shape, combined with post-production editing, captures the world exactly as we see it. Bad: It looks like a giant human eyeball on a stick.

Image: Yanko Design

Revo-Round Roundtop

This functional disaster was apparently conceived as way to prevent Asians from looking like Westerners, because according to Roundtop maker Revo-Round, square screens result in square eyes. Even if this isn't real--though the company swears that it's legitimate--it's still an awful concept.

Image: Revo-Round

Asus MS71

Curse those pesky USB thumb drives! They never fit in your pocket, or on a key chain, or in your laptop case by the bucketful. Fortunately, Asus was clever enough to fuse a thumb drive with a wireless mouse. Because you'd never want to use both at the same time, right?

Image: Newlaunches

Bluetooth Rings

Designer BCK decided that you don't look silly enough with a Bluetooth headset stuck in your ear. Instead, you can slide a pair of Bluetooth rings onto your thumb and pinky finger and make calls by pretending to hold a phone. At least people won't think you're talking to yourself. Oh wait, yes they will.

Image: BCK

Google Vanity Ring

I get the commentary behind Markus Kison's Google Vanity Ring: The number of Google search results for your name is a new kind of status symbol. Or, it could just mean you're the Numa Numa guy.

Image: UDK-Berlin

Wireless Headphones With Webcam

Finally, a way to slip into your own world of music while also creepily recording the world around you with a head-mounted Webcam. It gets bonus points for the taxidermist-approved design.

Image: Yanko Design

Toshiba Prototype Headgear

Looks like Toshiba figured out the key to total immersion: Just wear an entire TV around your head. In 2006, Toshiba talked about bringing this crazy personal dome to market within two or three years. I wonder why we haven't heard of it since then.

Image: People's Daily Online

The Health-Conscious Tracking Phone

A phone that tracks your eating habits and provides dietary and exercise advice might have been a neat idea before the age of smartphone apps. Now it's just breathtakingly ugly.

Image: Yanko Design

The Samsung Jot

Forget the nifty stylus for jotting down messages and notes. What's with the rotary dialer? Supposedly, the Samsung Jot was designed for the year 2015, but it's actually a few decades behind the times.

Image: The Design Blog

Traccia Phone

Here's yet another concept phone with a reckless disregard for functionality. The Traccia sounds whimsical enough--you use the penlike optical sensor to trace words that are converted to e-mail and text messages--but everything falls apart when you think about putting the phone in your pocket. Ouch.

Image: The Design Blog

The Window Phone

Sorry, designers, this needs to be said: Transparent displays are bad news. The Window Phone's gimmick is to display weather conditions in the background, as if you were looking outside. Or, you could just look outside, and then go get a phone that actually works.

Image: Tuvie

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