If there's one thing Americans in their 20s and 30s are given credit for, it's their unparalleled level of tech savvy when compared to their predecessors. Would it then be reasonable to expect their spending within the tech space to more than make up for their spending habits everywhere else? Well, in this post, we go over seven of the worst tech purchases people are making in 2019. Here they are without further ado, and in no particular order.
The Alexa-Enabled Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet by Kohler ($8,000)
You read that right; Kohler's Numi 2.0 Intelligent Toilet features a heated seat, bidet, speakers, LEDs and Amazon's Alexa software assistant built in for a fully interactive experience the next time you've had one too many bowls of chili. The Numi 2.0 is slated for quarter four of this year. If a good old-fashioned newspaper or magazine just isn't cutting it – or you'd like to try getting chatty for a change – consider pre-ordering this gem today. Plenty of people already are.
The Portal Plus Video Caller by Facebook ($349)
If you've never heard of Facebook's Portal products, it's for good reason. The Portal Plus was designed to be the social media company's response to Google's Home Hub and Amazon's Echo Show, but is largely received by the public as a tone-deaf PR disaster. Given Facebook's illustrious record with user privacy breaches, we say more power to you if you're willing to pay close to $500 to let an Alexa-enabled Facebook device with "intelligent camera tracking" into your living room.
The Ti 26650 Vape Mod by Top Hat Mods ($10,000)
Is it made with gold, silver or precious stones? No – in fact, this head-scratcher from Tennessee vape company Top Hat Mods is atypical of their lineup of $50-$150 personal vaporizers. The Ti 26650 is made of very ordinary wood and plastic in a titanium frame, vapes e-liquids and doesn't do anything that standard vape mods can't do. It simply costs a whopping sixty-six times as much as the average high-end vape – and believe it or not, people are paying for it.
The Kérastase Hair Coach Bluetooth Brush by Withings ($200)
While it claims to be loaded with hi-tech sensors and transducers that can determine anything from the flaws in your brushing technique to the healthiness of your actual hair, the Kérastase Hair Coach actually gives you very little useful info via the smartphone-paired Hair Coach app. Brush stroke counter? Check. Brush pressure gauge? Check. Tons of L'Oreàl product ads suddenly bombarding your smartphone? Double check. After a day or so of use, it becomes pretty clear you are the product in a happy collaboration between Withings, Kérastase and L'Oreàl – and not the other way around.
The FlexPai Foldable Tablet & Smartphone by Royole Corp ($1,300)
Any fan of the incredibly popular Netflix series Black Mirror will tell you that folding smartphones are definitely the way of the future. However, they work so well on TV, and not at all like the FlexPai, which basically goes haywire whenever you fold it. The device rapidly toggles between phone mode and tablet mode, with apps drawing over each other and homescreen icons clicking themselves. This is one gadget that warrants a remedial dev team before a price tag.
The Vape-O-Cola Coke Can Vape Mod by Sin City Mods ($119)
How would you like a vape mod that isn't made with gold, silver or precious stones, but also doesn't pack any of the standard features present in much cheaper personal vaporizers and pod systems? Sin City Mods admit they make vapes that are mostly novelty items and conversation pieces – just check out their Red Bull Can and Big Gulp Cup mods. Still, it's boggling to see so much popularity in mid-range priced mods that are little more than a battery, tank and mouthpiece bundled in a can-shaped, plastic chassis.
The Belty Smart Belt by Emiota Paris ($160)
Try this proposition on for size: a belt that claims to automatically adjust itself based on your current position, but with negative Amazon reviews citing "inaccurate auto adjustments." The belt doubles as a $160 phone charger thanks to a USB port on the bottom of the belt buckle, but that's nothing a simple $25 belt and a standard phone charger in your pocket can't do. The Belty teaches us that not everything in life has to be "smart," and not everything from Paris is necessarily haute couture.
The Ring Zero by Logbar Inc. Japan ($150)
A gesture-based smart device controller in the shape and size of a ring certainly sounds good on paper, but Logbar's implementation really managed to snatch a massive defeat from the jaws of victory in this case. Initial anticipation for the Ring Zero certainly showed, as ratings poured in from major reviewers like CNet, Business Insider, Daily Dot and Snazzy Labs. The only problem? They were overwhelmingly negative reviews. Don't bother trying to operate your Apple TV or smart bedroom lights with this "clunky monstrosity" whose gesture controls "only work 5-10% of the time." Yikes.
The SX350J Dual 18650 Vape Mod by Magic Valley Vapors NY ($109,000)
If you happen to be a Bond villain and don't know what to do with all your ill-gotten cash, why not buy a vape mod that's been 3D printed in polished brass and then plated with 14 karat gold? That way, you'll have something to wave in the face of anyone who tells you not everything can be 3D printed. And just think: while plebeian vapers worry about their high-end vapes being stolen for their various nifty functionalities, you get to be paranoid about your SX350J being stolen in order to be melted down for gold.
Savings Accounts & Investments Are Not The Enemy
Whether it's online banking or Bitcoin, there are better ways to spend money in the tech space than being unwittingly filmed in your living room by the Facebook Portal, or involuntarily having your pants dropped in the middle of a food court by the Belty not-so-smart belt. Sometimes it pays to take some of the earthly wisdom from older generations and apply it to our daily lives. So remember, everyone: plan for the future, save your money, and practical makes perfect.