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Tech gadget failures that someone thought would make great gifts

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

Now that Christmas is over, let me focus some attention on what technology has done to gift giving and receiving. Just for fun, and because you need something to read while eating that burger.

I got one of those health monitor wristbands that continuously measures my heart rate and keeps track of what I do every second of the day and night.

That’s fine, except that I really don’t care what my heart rate is every second. I’m assuming that it’s about the same as the second before.

It was given with love, and I really appreciate the thought behind it. I am going to try to make good use of it, even though there is just so much information I need about what I do all day and night.

What if it breaks or the battery runs down, and it shows that my heart rate is zero? That would really freak me out.

Being a life-long gadget person, I’m the first one to jump all over the new stuff, but some are just expensive toys, and not all that useful.

I saw a heavy-set woman push one of these wristbands on a shopping network. She went on and on about how useful they are and how she can’t live without hers.

How can product-pushers on these shopping channels give testimonials on products they push? There is not enough time in the day. All they’d be doing is consuming 24/7. She also ranted about a cover that keeps the ice and frost off car windshields.

Maybe she needs one of these monitors to keep track of her heart rate while she is installing that cover. Pace things out a little, perhaps. Wait for the heart rate to go down a bit before clipping on the other side.
A long time ago, Sony made a watch that also doubled as a TV remote control. I had one. It was a lot of fun to play tricks on friends whose TVs I secretly commandeered, but after a while, the newness wore off. Also, the remote control part of the watch broke.

I had another one that was also an FM radio. That was before the Bluetooth era, and we had to connect corded earphones to it. That kind of limited my left hand movement, so eventually that gadget went into the garbage heap of technology as well.

Sony also came out awhile back with a wired PC mouse that doubled as a phone of sorts.

The problem was that when used as a phone, the mouse didn’t work, and the sound quality resembled that of someone talking underwater. It wasn’t a hit. Miraculously, I didn’t buy one.

Here is another gadget I didn’t get because I’m not much of a gamer - the Nintendo Virtual Boy, a portable monochrome gaming system that required that you press your eyes into the machine’s goggles.
It remained on the market for one year. The biggest disadvantages were that it caused eye strain, headaches and nausea.

Another useless gadget to me is the smartwatch. It only works when synced with a smartphone. I can just use the phone. And, you have to talk into the watch like Dick Tracy.

The lady who peddled the health-monitoring wristband looked like she could use the HapiFork.
“This fork tells you to slow down when you’re eating too fast. The HapiFork is designed to measure your eating habits and vibrate when it thinks you’ve eaten too much or are eating too fast. Every time you bring the fork to your mouth, it’s like having someone poke you and say, ‘Hey tubby, lay off the noodles,’” opines slappedham.com. That’s where I found the fork review.

And just to make sure that you keep track of every bite you eat and how you eat it, there is a smartphone app that comes with The HapiFork. Bon Apetit. “You’ve had enough. Put down the fork.”
My heartrate is steady, but I am not walking enough - just a few dozen steps so far. No kidding. I’ve been watching football all day. Now bug off, smart gadget.