5 Crazy inventions you won't find in 2015

There have been many fantastic inventions which have changed our lives beyond all recognition, others, however, have seen more limited success. Some have been ahead of their time while others have flopped because they're just just a bit crap.

Today, we honour the latter with five dubious innovative efforts, which have either fallen short already or are almost guaranteed never to be in use in the future.

Here are five we think are worthy of mention

1. Plastic Grass

Yes, it might well be a relative of Astroturf, patented 25 July 1967, but we have to say that this clip and future forecast from the Beebs Tomorrow's World in 1968 is way off the mark. The clip was trying to persuade the UK's keen gardeners that they would be Hoovering their lawn rather than cutting it. Plastic grass, fair enough to play football on but not as a lawn replacement. If it hasn't taken off by now we certainly can't see any change in the situation come 2015.

 

2. The Parachute Jacket

There is not one of us who hasn't thought that merging the parachute with a fashionable jacket would be the answer to the age-old looking good whilst jumping off of buildings/planes problem.

Well this effort from Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt certainly looked to address this issue. However, it appeared to have limited success, well zero actually, since, as well as plunging to his death when trying out the casual wear from the first deck of the Eiffel Tower; to our eyes it doesn't appear to make the grade in its folded up "stylish overcoat" state either. However hats off to the chap, as, judging by the video, it certainly took some pluck as well as belief in his invention - if it wasn't for pioneers like him we'd all still be living in caves.

 

3. Self-saluting Hat

The self-saluting hat was an attempt to automate the act of doffing your headwear to passes by, which must have become rather tiresome after the seventh "good day" of the morning.

The patent was produced in 1896 by James C. Boyle and worked by way of a metal legs which fitted on the head - meaning you could attach the device to a range of head dress. When the head tilted the hat leapt into action: "automatically effecting polite salutations by the elevation and rotation of the hat on the head of the saluting party when said person bows to the person or persons saluted".

Suffice to say the invention didn't catch on and in an age where hat etiquette is pretty much entirely dead, we can't see this making a comeback for 2015.

 

4. Metal detecting sandals

Who doesn't enjoy the idea of metal detecting? The possibility of finding treasure at your local park or beach more than makes up for the lack of cool associated with this pastime. But if that's still an issue for you, then you might want to take a look at these fashionable yet practical metal detecting sandals. However, even though they're at the top of our wish list at the moment, we just can't see them still being around in 2015.

 

5. Total coverage umbrella extension

Possibly not the wackiest, but certainly one of the most ill conceived inventions on the list, this umbrella extension appears to be seriously floored. Yes, it may go some way to keeping you dry, but add a little wind into the mix and things could get very ugly indeed.

In addition, it is clearly not conducive to interaction with others, which is something you may well want to do as you stroll around town (but perhaps is doubtful to be a concern for the model above considering she looks like the scary lady out of The Ring). So, given this, you have to concede that this is something destined for Room 101.

If you enjoyed this article, then head over to our Future Week homepage where you'll find a collection of features on what gadgets will be like in the year 2015.