The Second Stupidest Product Ever Made (or How to Ruin Your Smartphone)

I receive a handful of Groupon-type emails every day.  I delete most of these sight unseen (I have zero need for laser hair removal, facial peels, and/or Microsoft Excel training).  But one of them did catch my eye.  Not in a good way, but for its sheer stupidity.

It is a protective case for your smartphone.  No big deal, those are pretty common – both on the Groupon sites and elsewhere.  A protective case is actually a pretty smart investment for those who have kids, use their phone a lot, or are a known “dropper“.  So far, so good.

No, what sets this product apart (and makes it the second stupidest product ever made) is the addition of another tool into the smartphone case:  a bottle opener.

We’ve all been there:  you’re out with your buddies, enjoying some delicious beverages, but…oh no!  This fancy pants craft beer has a pry-off cap*.  Never fear, instead of having a $2 bottle opener on my key ring or finding one in a kitchen drawer, I’ll use one attached to my $500 cell phone.  Sure, why not use my phone as a lever, exposing it to undo force, liquids under pressure, and my drunken friends?  That sounds like a great idea.  Maybe when we’re done we can use my iPhone to pound in this loose nail on your basement steps or play a round of disc golf with my Galaxy S III.

*I hate to stereotype, but I’m guessing the primary demographic for this case is not drinking a lot of craft beers or other beverages with pry-off bottle caps.  I’d wager the purchasers of this product are quite fond of beers with twist-off caps, such as Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Light.

How a redneck opens a longneck (image from

And if the prospect of turning your expensive smartphone into a cheap bar tool is not enough to get you to whip out your credit card, just wait!  There’s more:

The bottle opener case comes with a custom app that will count the number of bottles you’ve opened.  (“Ossifer, as you can clearly see, this app says I’ve only had three beers.  At least that what it showed right before I opened the fourth one and my screen cracked.”)

The app will also play a song when you open a bottle.  The LivingSocial deal did not specify what song is played, but I’m guessing it is something by Nickelback or AC/DC.

You can also get your bottle opener case printed with different sports teams logos (because what team doesn’t want to be associated with the brilliant minds who would buy something like this), or you can upload your own image such as the rebel flag, Calvin peeing on something, or a picture of Nickelback.

You’ll notice that I refer to this as the “second stupidest product ever made”.  Yes, potentially breaking a $500 smartphone by using it as a bottle opener is pretty dadgum stupid.  Yet, this phone case still has a legitimate purpose, as opposed to the Stupidest Product Ever Made, which does not.  Sadly, I fear a new contender for the title will come along soon.

The Stupidest Product Ever Made (or How to Waste $14.99)

We received a Bed Bath & Beyond catalog in the mail recently.  Normally it would head straight to the recycling bin*, but I had a minute to kill while waiting for the microwave to finish my popcorn.

*I already have a bed, I already have a bath, and most their “beyond” is a bunch of crap I don’t need**

**Except, as we’re about to see, as a source of blog content.

As I mindlessly flipped through, an image on page 9 caught my eye.  It is a device to be used to talk on your iPhone, Android, or other mobile phone without having to actually talk into the phone.

It’s not a Bluetooth earpiece, a telemarketer-style headset, or earbuds with a microphone.  No, those things would make sense.

The product they are trying to sell is this:

Dumbest product ever?

No, your eyes are not deceiving you.  It is a old-school telephone receiver hand piece that plugs into your smart phone.

Seriously?  Who out there is thinking, “Ya know, I like making calls on my cell phone, but I miss the crackling connection, mindless cord twiddling, and crick in my neck that my old landline handset provided”?

Who is the target market for this?  Technophobes?  Ironic hipsters?  People too stupid to understand what the “mobile” in mobile telephone implies?  People with really big pockets?  Teenagers who like the idea of screwing with people when they use this handset in their cars?

Assuming the sales of this device are strong – and really, how could an idea like this possibly fail? – look for more products in this line to be released for next Christmas including:

Operator, get me Huckledown 753!


It’s like a daffodil is choking a lily


“Dammit Ponch, stop doing roller disco and bring me a tighter shirt!”


Uses 8 D-Batteries. Still has longer life than my Android.


Sure, you have to provide his pay, uniform, MREs, ammo, and a college education when his tour is done, but NOBODY is going to steal your phone.

Thought of the Day – 6/8/2012

Today, a colleague was working with an iPad that had a red protective case around it.

I had to do a double-take to make sure he wasn’t playing on an Etch A Sketch*

*And yes, they do sell an officially licensed Etch A Sketch® iPad case.

I’m not sure what it says about the state of current technology when a $500 piece of cutting edge technology can be easily mistaken for an $18 toy that dates back to the 1960s.

The Problem With Google Glasses

A lot of the tech-savvy folks I work with have been talking about the Google Glasses video.   They love the concept of bringing technology to everyday tasks as a way to make life easier (and not to mention, another cool, cutting edge gadget to own).  The video is pretty intriguing, check it out:

Depending on where you live on the technology spectrum, these are either the coolest things ever or another piece of evidence in the decline of civilization.

Personally, I think the concept is neat, but a little sci-fi.  However, it is the execution of the video that really falls short for me.

Thought of the Day – 3/27/12

I love my smart phone.  With each day, I wonder why I did not get one sooner*.

*Actually, that is a lie.  I know why I never got one before:  I’m too cheap to pay for the phone and monthly data plan.  If it wasn’t for my employer picking up the tab, I would still be using my 99 cent flip phone with the cracked display.

The one drawback to this phone is it has a very fast draining battery.  Starting from a full charge, the battery will be dead within 24 hours – even if I never use it.  Which raises a question:

Can it really be called a “mobile” phone if it needs to be connected to a power source for a portion of each and every day?

Thought of the Day – 2/17/12

You often hear the phrase “They don’t build ’em like that anymore” used in reference to cars, houses, or appliances, or anything else that fails, breaks, or falls apart in less than 40 years.

But why is that?

In an age with more technology, more know-how, and more information available to almost anyone, shouldn’t everything be built better/smarter/stronger than it was 5, 10, or 100 years ago?

Thought of the Day – 1/24/12

How much has the roadtrip changed in my lifetime?

Growing up my family took several long driving trips, going from Nebraska to all four corners of the country.  In those days, we passed the time with books, magazines, a deck of cards, car games, cassette tapes, and a black and white tv that plugged into the cigarette lighter.  On a good day you could get 20 minutes of a show while driving thru a city – all on a four inch screen.

Today, things are different.  I spent the last few days at a work meeting in Minnesota.  To pass the 7 hour drive my colleagues and I used laptops, ipads, the in-car tv screens, satellite radio, mobile hotspots, smart phones, an ipod, and even an xbox to pass the time.

This post?  Coming to you from I-80 somewhere in Iowa via the WordPress app on my smartphone.  And that is only because I did not feel like getting out my laptop.

Sure beats Travel Bingo…

Thought of the Day – 11/10/11

When I utilize something with a USB connection, I typically follow three simple steps:

  1. Grasp cord/USB cable and attempt to insert into USB port
  2. Upon failure, turn cable and attempt to insert into USB port again.
  3. Upon failure, turn cable back to original position and successfully insert into USB port.
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