Remember back in the early 2000s when every man and his dog was starting a dot-com business? We all know how that went down. The advent of Internet of Things (IoT) has got a lot of people excited as well and we're now seeing a torrent of products that are connected to the internet. Some of them are actually useful, others are utterly pointless. Here are five of the worst.
There is a lot of hype over IoT and there are legitimate business and consumer uses for it. Equipping sensors to factories to monitor machinery, consolidating user data from different devices and assets across an organisation for insights, wearables that can monitor a user's health - all these things are extremely useful.
But it seems the IoT trend has created this mentality of "just whack a chip in it, connect it to the internet, and call it a smart device". There is currently an epidemic of established companies and start-ups coming out with all sorts of IoT products that are, in our humble opinion, pointless.
Because it's a Friday and the long weekend is just around the corner, we've decided to bring you our top five IoT products we really don't need.
A water fountain that monitors your cat's water intake
Apparently cats can be fussy as hell when it comes to the water they drink. In comes Pura, a water fountain for cats that is, as described by its creators, "a beautifully crafted and ergonomically designed smart water fountain for cats that is easy to clean, encourages better water-drinking habits and helps you keep tabs on your kitten’s water-intake right on your smart phone". Yes, it's even ergonomically designed so your kitty doesn't have to strain its neck while it bends down to drink.
You can get data on just how much water your cat is drinking during the day which you can access from any smartphone. The product didn't reach its funding goal on IndieGoGo but the makers are still working on it so there's still hope for people who want to get a Pura.
Alternatively, you can just stop being a lazy git and clean your cat's water bowl everyday.
Smart lights that take a million years to update
The idea of internet-connected lights is actually pretty cool and being able to customise the illumination in your house with multiple lightbulbs that can change colour and times they turn on through an app is awesome. What we do find objectionable is just how long it takes to update one of these damn things.
Thirty minutes seems like a reasonable amount of time to force people to keep an app open. M pic.twitter.com/fyWQGQYpjk
— Kyle Neath (@kneath) September 26, 2015
For something like LIFX bulbs, it could take up to half an hour to update the software for each light bulb. You need to keep the app open during the update. Seems like a bit of an effort just to keep the lights on in the house. We're going to stick with the old school switches for now.
Artificially intelligent vibrator
Meet Hum. It's a vibrator like no other. "From the 3D printed internal structure, to the custom circuitry and pressure sensors, to thousands of lines of sophisticated computer code, HUM is a toy built like no other," according to its makers. What are the sensors for? Well, it gives you a graph that lets women "see" their own orgasms". Because every woman wants to see their moment of ecstasy laid out in a sexy line graph, right?
Look, a sex toy doesn't need to be that high-tech. I've seen a video of a girl using an egg plant, so please, let's not over-think things here.
Smart spoon that remembers favourable flavours
This was more of a fun project and not really a product aimed for commercialisation, but I can already see a company taking this idea and running with it.
Hirsch&Mann created the Maille Discovery Spoon "as a tool for the in-store sommeliers to turn tasting experiences into data. As the sommeliers explained the different flavours, customers could tap their smart spoon on a RFID sensor in front of the jar allowing them to save all their favourites".
Expect to see spoons that can track the taste of food in the not-too-distant future. Soon we'll have internet connected mouths that will remember what we eat and send daily flavour reports to our emails.
A menstral cup that tracks periods
LoonCup is a plastic cup that ladies can insert into their vaginas to keeps tabs on their menstrual cycle 24/7. It acts as a personal diary for your period and comes with an app that works across smartphones and even the Apple Watch.
No, thank you.
Want to see a part two for Five 'Internet Of Things' Products We Really Don't Need? Let us know in the comments.