The year 2013 saw a huge rise in smartphone improvements and sales. Along with the device evolution came some of the worst accessories to ever add form or function to the platform. Naturally, the intention wasn't to create the worst possible accessories for the mobile platform -- the intention was the make some quick cash from naive consumers. Here are just five of the most ridiculous smartphone accessories from 2013.
When you think of an item that's edible, a smartphone case doesn't typically come to mind. However, I'm a little shocked that it took this long for someone to create such an oddity. The really strange thing about this case is that it's made of rice and salt instead of something sweet and sugary. I suppose this edible iPhone case could come in handy if you're out on a hike with your phone and forget to bring a single item of sustenance. But eaten you've case, your poor phone will be unprotected and in the wild.
Everyone needs a Roomba for their phone, right? This little gadget sits on your smartphone and cleans the glass for you -- automagically, hands free. Seriously, if you're too lazy to clean the glass of your smartphone manually, you're too lazy to own a smartphone. What really shocks me about this gadget is that people have actually purchased it! I want to believe the Auto Mee S is meant as a toy and not a serious tool for cleaning smartphones. Either way, it was made and sold and should have never been.
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night with your smartphone looming over you. That's what you get with the Smart Phone Sleeper. This handy little device is meant to give you a hands-free smartphone experience while you're lying in bed. You simply slide the base under your mattress, attach your phone, and enjoy the magic of modern convenience and technology. Of course, this device assumes that you need to keep your smartphone that close (and ready) all night long. Sure, there could be possible uses for this device that make the tiniest bit of sense, but as is, it definitely rates up there as one of the most ridiculous accessories of 2013.
Walking hands-free with your smartphone is as simple as connecting it to this over-the-head device and letting your smartphone dangle at your ear. That anyone thought this was a good idea does not speak well for inventors of smartphone accessories. It also doesn't hurt that there have been lawsuits against the company for damages to cell phones and even personal injury. For some reason, there are people out there who gave the Gojo Hands Free a try. Too bad that iPhone glass isn't indestructible.
5. Sony QX10
At first blush, this might seem really cool. Imagine turning your iPhone camera into a seriously powerful zoom camera. The thing is, this is actually a camera that attaches to your iPhone and uses its touch screen as a viewfinder/controller. The “camera” connects to your iPhone via wireless or bluetooth and allows you up to 10X Optical Zoom. I have a much better idea: Use the already high-quality iPhone camera or -- even better -- get a dedicated camera. If you really want to take high-quality, high-resolution, close-zoom pictures, you're not going to achieve that goal by connecting a camera to your iPhone and using the touch screen as a controller.
The list of ridiculous smartphone accessories goes on and on. For me, these all top the list as serious wastes of time and money. Have you come across (or even purchased/used) a worthless accessory for your smartphone? If so, tell us all about it in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.