The 25 worst tech products of all time

These products are so bad, they belong in the high-tech hall of shame

Numbers 21 to 25

21. Eyetop Wearable DVD Player (2004)


Some things just aren't meant to be done while walking or driving, and one of them is watching DVDs. Unfortunately, that message was lost on, makers of the Eyetop Wearable DVD Player.

This system consisted of a standard portable DVD player attached to a pair of heavy-duty shades that had a tiny 320-by-240-pixel LCD embedded in the right eyepiece. You were supposed to carry the DVD player and battery pack in an over-the shoulder sling, put on the eyeglasses, and then... squint. Or maybe wear a patch on your left eye as you walked and watched at the same time.

Up close, the LCD was supposed to simulate a 14-inch screen. Unfortunately, the only thing the Eyetop stimulated was motion sickness.

22. Apple Pippin @World (1996)


Before Xbox, before PlayStation, before DreamCast, there was Apple's Pippin. Wha-huh? That's right--Apple had an Internet-capable game console that connected to your TV. But it ran on a weak PowerPC processor and came with a puny 14.4-kbps modem, so it was stupendously slow offline and online.

Then, too, it was based on the Mac OS, so almost no games were available for it. And it cost nearly $600--nearly twice as much as other, far more powerful game consoles. Underpowered, overpriced, and underutilized--that pretty much describes everything that came out of Apple in the mid-90s.

(Photo courtesy of The Mac

23. Free PCs (1999)

In the late 90s, companies competed to dangle free PCs in front of you: All you had to do was sign up, and a PC would eventually show up at your door. But one way or another. there was always a catch: You had to sign up for a long-term ISP agreement, or tolerate an endless procession of Web ads, or surrender reams of personal information. may have been the creepiest of them all. First you filled out an extensive questionnaire on your income, interests, racial and marital status, and more. Then you had to spend at least 10 hours a week on the PC and at least 1 hour surfing the Web using Free-PC's ISP.

In return you got a low-end Compaq Presario with roughly a third of the screen covered in ads. And while you watched the PC (and the ads), Free-PC watched you--recording where you surfed, what software you used, and who knows what else.

We can't say whether this would have led to some Big Brotherish nightmare, because within a year merged with eMachines. By then, other vendors had similarly concluded that "free" computers just didn't pay.

24. DigiScents iSmell (2001)


Few products literally stink, but this one did--or at least it would have, had it progressed beyond the prototype stage.

In 2001, DigiScents unveiled the iSmell, a shark-fin-shaped gizmo that plugged into your PC's USB port and wafted appropriate scents as you surfed smell-enabled Web sites--say, perfume as you were browsing, or cheese doodles at But skeptical users turned up their noses at the idea, making the iSmell the ultimate in vaporware.

25. Sharp RD3D Notebook (2004)


As the first "autostereo" 3D notebook, Sharp's RD3D was supposed to display 3D images without requiring the use of funny glasses. But "auto-headache" was more like it, as the RD3D was painful to look at.

When you pressed the button to enable 3D mode, the notebook's performance slowed, and the 3D effect was noticeable only within a very narrow angle--and if you moved your head, it disappeared. Maybe the funny glasses weren't so bad after all.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Tynan

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >


Learn more >

Family Friendly

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?