28 June, 2017
The CueCat was a barcode scanner from the late 90s, which was intended to hook into your computer and let you scan advertisements to go to the advertiser’s website without typing the URL. It failed, obviously, for the reason that typing in an URL is not generally a stumbling block to buying something you want. Having ignored this colossal failure (the CueCat’s parent company blew $185,000,000 on the product,) Amazon’s Dash Wand does basically the same thing, but wirelessly. You can scan products in your house with the Dash Wand to buy more of them on Amazon. But with WiFi. Because, the line of thinking must go, plugging your CueCat into your computer with a wire was the problem, not the rest of it.
(If you missed it the first time around, and you have a PS/2 port on your computer, you can still buy an original CueCat for about five bucks, because there are still millions of them on our planet, none of which are currently in use.)