7 useless technology gadgets we remember

From one feast to another: now the jubilee days of the second-hand market are celebrated. Are you among those who cleaned your shelves of useless gadgets during the post-Christmas period? Here are 7 technical shelf heaters we remember.

The electric knife. Photo: ATHOL MULLEN / WIKIMEDIA

Electric knife

Who was the first to invent the electric knife is disputed, American patents are available from both 1939 and 1964. The kitchen utensil quickly became popular when it reached the market, but interest declined as consumers realized how much maintenance the electric version required so as not to become a bacterial hotbed, or start rusting.

The classic: The egg cooker. Photo: NOELLA JOHANSSON / TT

The egg cooker

Here we have several examples of unnecessary machines that handle egg cooking and which also have a somewhat unclear technical history. Among the things that did not achieve any major success are both the egg cooking machine you see in the picture and a special version in plastic for cooking one egg at a time in the microwave. And, not to forget, the talking egg cooker.

Read more: List: Dr. Zander’s magnificent gymnastic apparatus

The mini disc, loved and hated. Photo: ROB WELHAM / CAMERA PRESS / TT


Sony’s idea was to replace the cassette tape with a digital music player that had a mini disk as a storage medium. The minidisc players were launched at the CES technology fair in 1991 and reached the market the following year. The players, who held about 80 minutes of music, flopped big and stopped selling in 2011.

A game console and a mobile phone under the same shell. Was Nokia ahead of its time? Photo: EVAN AMOS / WIKIMEDIA


A great idea, Nokia thought, and created a mobile phone that was both a phone and a game console. In 2004, Nokia N-gage was launched, which due to its design was difficult to use as a phone. And the small detail that it lacked good games.

A popcorn machine. Photo: WIKIMEDIA

The popcorn machine

The first commercial machines for popping popcorn were launched as early as the end of the 19th century. A less successful variant appeared in the 1970s: small machines for home use that popped the grains using hot air. Soon totally outcompeted by the bags for micropopcorn.

Betamax cartridges. Photo: SENOR K / WIKIMEDIA


In the “format war” that took place in the late 1970s and further into the 1980s, this little abrovink appeared: a mini version of the VHS cassette. Here, too, Sony is the guilty company behind the gadgets that fell heavily mainly due to an important factor. The competing VHS system offered a recording time of two hours, compared to one hour on the betamax cassettes.

This year’s Christmas present 2019: The mobile box. Photo: ANDERS WIKLUND / TT

The mobile box

This year’s Christmas present 2019 was a very nice thought about a break from screens and time for each other. But here’s the big question: do we really need to buy a special box to achieve this?


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