FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

:CueCat Blowout!

One of the oddest relics of the dotcom bubble has to be the :CueCat scanner (no, the colon before the name is not a typo). The idea was that magazine readers would use the cat-shaped device to scan ads to view a web page related to the ad, and to help advertisers better determine the effectiveness of their ads.

The :CueCat embodied everything that was wrong with the dotcom era: technology for technology's sake, an unworkable business model, a pretentious name, and one of history's most strained cat metaphors. Though the concept was a dud (obvious in hindsight) and would have tanked regardless of the dotcom collapse, a number of publications, including the otherwise smart Wired and Forbes, bought into the idea (or the hype, rather).

Now, you can own your own souvenir of that wonderful bygone era at a bargain price. Anaheim, California-based A-Z Computer Liquidators is selling millions of the scanners for just 30 cents each! The only downside is that they only accept orders of 500,000 units or more.

Hopefully some enterprising soul will find a clever use for all these millions of artifacts of this technology that was never meant to emerge... if only to recycle their component parts.

Source: Digital Deliverance