Come One, Come All: Awful Tech Roundup, February 2018 Edition
At Bitsonline we like to bring you stories of technology that’s disruptive, enriching, and with the power to improve billions of lives around the world. However, sometimes it’s important to remember that not everything innovative is so noble. Welcome to our Awful Tech Roundup, a series that outlines the most useless, dystopian, and just plain odd things coming out of Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
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It’s a celebration of the marketing and hucksterism culture we’ve cultivated to prey on the rich and gullible, and a showcase for all the societal developments that plunge us deeper into the cyberpunk hellhole we’ve been careening towards since the invention of electronic logic.
In this edition, we’ve got spying, various things that shouldn’t be connected to the internet, and new ways to make condiments messier and less practical. First item on the roundup docket is …
In case the name is too subtle for you to figure out what the BigoDicky could possibly be for, let me lay it out for you: it’s a dildo and nipple clamps, glued to the inside of pink sportswear, with an internet connection for some reason. Also, it seems to have been designed by aliens:
Apparently, the designers wanted to capture a realistic sexual experience for their users, and, as all men are born with rotating toilet brushes attached to their palms, this is the design they went with.
That’s not all, though. They’re also selling it with a mobile app and VR headset that screams, “I’m wearing sex toys under my clothing.” The project has flex funding, so the designers clearly thought this idea had legs. With only a few backers and a high 5 digit goal, I don’t see them bringing this device into the world, but if they do, users can enjoy all their masturbation telemetry being collected by the Chinese for later use.
If that first entry into the Awful Tech Roundup was a little too spicy for you, the next one is the most milquetoast, no-problem-too-small product we’ve seen in recent memory …
The Carbon, a 90$ Travel Mug You Have to Plug in to Use
Have you ever thought to yourself, that you’d pay nearly a hundred dollars for your coffee to be slightly warmer? Me neither. But apparently there’s enough people that have this issue that they’d be willing to tote around and drink out of a portable kettle in order to avoid the indignity of lukewarm caffeine.
That’s right, the Carbon is funded, and if you pledged the price of the retail product, they’re nice enough to knock off a quarter of the price for you when they hit shelves.
Just some napkin math here, but they list the dimensions as 22x7cm, and the volume as 450ml — unless I’m way off base, that means the total volume of the thing should be around 900ml, so half of the Carbon’s guts are electronics, and more importantly, batteries.
Call me cynical, but putting 400ml of lithium cells right next to scalding hot water in a handheld device doesn’t seem like the best idea to me. Never mind that you get less room to put actual coffee in this thing than a regular thermos half its size, it’s potentially a handheld time bomb a la Galaxy Notes and hoverboards, too.
But hey, at least you can use your perfectly heated coffee to put out the fire your Carbon causes when you plug it into an outlet overnight, I guess.
The next item is a bit more dystopian. Somewhere, in the depths of some poor, overworked mother’s basement, a crafty neckbeard has been hard at work building …
A DIY, Fully Automatic VR Masturbation Machine
As much as the video speaks for itself, and as much as I want to comment on the cultural sickness that lead us to this moment, what’s more interesting is the mysterious origin of the video. There’s no further information presented (at least not in English) and the account that uploaded it seems to deal exclusively in undertale fan videos otherwise.
What’s really scary, though, is that this thing has actual design, probably hundreds of man-hours behind it. Someone had to rig that sphygmomanometer up to to that microcontroller. Someone had to code that anime sex sim. There’s a sort of mad genius behind it, driven by an escapist compulsion that has taken generations to manifest in these disenfranchised mechanical engineers. Someone put their soul into this jerk off robot.
And that’ll do it for this first entry of the Awful Tech Roundup. Look out for the next one to get your fill of useless gadgets and the horrible realities that scientific advancement is making accessible to the consumer.
What’s your take? Would you use any of these wild gadgets? Sound off in the comments below.
Images via Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Hoverdream