Some Smart-Things Are Very Bad Ideas

And the RollScout it one of them…

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Head Image
© 2017 RollScout

The new and upcoming ‘internet of things’ will change our lives for the better! Or so the pundits and hardware peddlers would like to say. The problem is that for every good and transformative idea, there are ten more that are doomed to fail, either because they are too expensive, unnecessary or just plain intrusive.

However, of all of the potential failures out there, the RollScout would have to top our list for the most downright useless smart-thing which we have seen.

Taking the form of a toilet paper dispenser, the RollScout promises us the comfort of never again experiencing the heartfelt tragedy that is being caught without toilet paper. RollScout uses an infrared beam to periodically check the toilet roll attached to it, and then calculate how much paper is left.

Image: © 2014 RollScout

Should the device detect a lack of paper, it a small LED light will glow red on the face of the dispenser, in order to alert the user. Its makers also plan to create a smartphone app for the RollScout to connect to which would enable it to wirelessly alert the user. Furthermore, through the use of a low-intensity power cycle the device can theoretically last for between 9 and 12 months on a single battery.

So this is the RollScout, but why, oh why is it something we need? Most people know full well when they are running low on toilet paper, and simply are too lazy, or busy to actually replace it. Furthermore, at its current functionality, the light-up warning is completely pointless, given that a user can immediately see, and gauge how much toilet paper is left with their own eyes, without the need of an LED light.

Furthermore, the RollScout is going to cost a user at least $59, many times more than a standard toilet paper dispenser, yet with very little added functionality. Currently, the makers of the device are asking for crowdfunding on Kickstarter, however unlike other pointless projects, such as the infamous potato salad Kickstarter, it is likely to fall a long way short of its funding target.

Hopefully, no one will ever try and build something so pointless again.