Some products serve more than one purpose. This can be genius and handy – or good for nothing. Following days of rigorous research, here’s my selection of the weirdest product mashups from past and present.
The term «mashup» is often used in the world of music to refer to a remix made by taking two different songs, usually by two separate artists, and combining them into one.
In light of current events, here’s a mashup with Avicii. (Via mashup-charts.com)
This technique was really popular in the 90s and resulted in a few awesome – and a few awkward – titles. As a side note: We used to do this with a dual cassette player. Today, all you need is a smartphone.
The technique has also been adapted outside the music industry: Take two (or more) things, combine them and voilà, you have a new multi-purpose product. However, there’s no guarantee that such new creations are in any way useful or functional. In fact, while they might look intriguing at first sight, they often turn out to be uninspiring and useless.
Mashups from an antiques shop
The remote-control watch
I recently stumbled across the legendary Casio CMD 40: a wristwatch with integrated remote control. Oh the fun we used to have with these watches at high school – much to the dismay of our teachers, who simply didn’t understand why the TVs seemed to switch off spontaneously.
The notebook printer
A notebook with built-in printer? Canon presented this flash of genius in 1993. Doesn't sound so silly – makes me think of an insurance agent who sets up contracts and prints them out immediately. Nevertheless, this product didn’t succeed.
The phone with cigarette lighter
The manufacturer Seabright wasn’t exactly on fire when it came up with this idea in 2009. In reality, this gadget didn’t electrify the audience: The SB6309 never went into mass production. The first lighter phone was also destined to be the last one.
The camera with built-in projector
Anyone who takes pictures has the need to show them, right? Well, that's exactly what Nikon thought in 2011 when the company decided to combine camera and projector to one product. According to Nikon’s marketing material, this is what the Coolpix S1100pj looks like when you’re using it:
Crazy stuff, right? Neither the notebook printer not the phone lighter or the camera projector prevailed, but the idea of multi-functional product mashups lives on.
The Galaxus freak show
Even today, manufacturers in search of new sources of income useful products regularly build on the mashup technique. So I asked our product experts: Are there any mashups in our shop? The answer? Of course! Here are the wackiest combinations from our range, sorted according to a specially developed rating scale.
The singing shower
Music makes the world go round – that's what they say. Diaqua certainly believes so and invented a shower with integrated sound system. The crux? It needs a Bluetooth source. This makes me wonder: If I'm taking my iPhone into the bathroom anyway, why don't I play the music directly from there? I'm not saying iPhone for no reason; it really has to be an iPhone, because the singing shower doesn't seem to work properly with Android. A stupid idea and poor implementation. 0 points for this nonsense!
Video camera and projector – a match made in heaven
The Sony HDR PJ410 is for directors who value live broadcasting and want to reproduce their oeuvres without post-editing, cutting and, more than anything, without delay. This video camera has an integrated projector that screens your video material with glazing 12 lumens. (To be fair, the projector function is just a gimmick, Sony doesn't emphasise it.)
Does this sound familiar? You get up in the night to take a pee and you can’t find the toilet seat. No? Hasn't happened to me, either. And yet, here’s the glow-in-the-dark toilet seat – your guarantee you’ll never do your bathroom deeds in the sink again.
Toilet seat with automatic lowering mechanism and two side lights. The LEDs only light up in the dark.
We use headphones when we want to enjoy music on our own. We use loudspeakers to play music to several people. Doesn't this beg for a mashup? Here you go: This «headphone speaker» caters for both target groups equally. Headphones on the inside and loudspeakers on the outside, you can use it to annoy your fellow commuters on your way to work.
Is it really true, have you just invented earphones that never get tangled up? And you’re selling them as a wristband? How dreadful. Let’s give a humble round of applause to the Wraps Classic Line, available in six colours. Don’t get me started on the audio quality.
Wraps Classic Line (In-ear, Black)
Why wear your earphones only to listen to music? Wraps combines wristband and headphones in one – a unique design.
It’s elegant and a real bargain – kind of. This torch can’t only produce light, it also records videos and takes pictures. You never know when you'll want to record a spontaneous meeting with a burglar. Or capture the sex life of nocturnal animals.
Taschenlampe mit Rekorder (28.30cm)
Flashlight with integrated camcorder.
approx. 7 – 9 days Currently 2 piece(s) in stock at the supplier
If ordered immediately. Information subject to change.
Let me proudly present: The vase lamp. The glowing wine cooler. Or whatever you want to stuff inside this lamp. Inside? Yes, this is a lamp from the outside and a vase from the inside. And it comes with a built-in Bluetooth sound system. Oh, and it’s portable, too. A ghetto blaster for design hipsters, so to speak.
This decorative LED light features an integrated Bluetooth 4.1 speaker for indoor and outdoor use. It can also be used as a wine cooler or plant pot etc.
I'm the master tamer at the flea circus that is the editorial team, a nine-to-five writer and 24/7 dad. Technology, computers and hi-fi make me tick. On top of that, I’m a rain-or-shine cyclist and generally in a good mood.
Zu Beginn waren auch die Kameras in den Handys in dieser Kategorie, niemand glaubte, dass es sinnvoll ist, dies in dieser Form zusammenzuführen, es kam anders wie man sieht. Auch die ersten "Walkman-Handys" wurden etwas schräg betrachtet.
Stimmt! Und wenn man die Welt breit betrachtet, sind Mashups überall zu finden. Internet + Fernsehen = Netflix. Manchmal brauchts halt seine Zeit, Video on Demand interessierte lange Zeit niemanden. Bei der Musikdusche rollt es mir aber trotzdem die Fussnägel auf ;)