The best technology is the kind that provides an effective solution to a problem – like Chair Speaker, an innovative TV listening device that solves the problem of the dialogue on TV being too quiet.
Not all technology is quite as effective as our dual wireless headphones for TV, though. But let’s remember that failure isn’t always a bad thing.
“Failure is what teaches us about how things work, and it enables us to do better and greater things,” Interesting Engineering says. That being said, “While failure can be beneficial, some past inventions failed in pretty spectacularly ways, like causing people's jaws to fall off.”
That last comment is a reference to the use of radium in a wide range of products. “When radium was first discovered, people generally had no idea about its harmful effects and looked upon it as a magical health substance,” they explain. “Doctors and companies put radium in everything, from water to toothpaste, with all the products claiming to make you healthier, more attractive, or even give you a greater libido.”
Thor-radium powder was one of these products. It was marketed as a way to increase sexual prowess. A gentleman who must have had something to prove drank a total of 1,400 bottles of it before his lower jaw fell off. “It was at this point,” the folks at Interesting Engineering say, “that people started thinking that radioactivity probably wasn't the best for you.”
Failure to Launch
Mental Floss also compiled a list of major technology fails. They came up with 21 of them, including:
- A Ford Pinto that could fly. It had a range of 12,000 feet and could reach a top speed of 130 mph.
- The Egg Cuber, which Mental Floss explains, “was exactly what it sounds like: you put an egg into a little plastic contraption and you squash it until it's a cube. Finally!”
- The Bell Rocket Belt. “It was a rocket pack that helped a person leap for a short distance. President John F. Kennedy was even given a personal demonstration, but the belt only put a person in the air for 21 seconds at a time, enough to reach a mere 120 meters.”
- “In the mid-1990s, Thirsty Dog! and Thirsty Cat! were released. They were flavored water for your pets. Beef- and fish-flavored. Yum.”
We Have a Winner!
Chair Speaker’s TV listening device utilizes voice-enhancing technology and Extreme IR (infrared) to deliver high quality sound that is better than headphones to hear TV.