On first encounter, new gadgets are always a little odd, no matter how useful they ultimately prove. Consider that, just a few years ago, pulling a smartphone out of your pocket likely generated some quizzical stares. Now, nothing could be more mundane as phones have become the de facto tool for everything from keeping in touch with friends to hailing a cab. For every technology that became ubiquitous, however, there are dozens of examples of devices that never made it past the awkward stage.
1. Remote Watch/Calculator Watch
Is there any single gadget more closely associated with nerddom than the calculator watch? Wearing one of these meant signaling to the world: I often need to do lightning-fast calculations on my wrist, and I don’t care who knows it. It was a badge of honor, and in a way a precursor to today’s smartwatches. Of course, as with so many other gadgets and devices, smartphones (and, you know, taste) sent these the way of the dodo. Just slightly cooler was their distant cousin, the TV remote control watch, which you could at least use to get the ball game on at the bar.