The 18 Weirdest Product Ideas Today

wifi kettle

Think your product idea is weird? You haven’t seen anything yet.

Who can forget Google Glass and the giant Hampster Wheel Desk?

Those are nothing compared to some of the weirdest product ideas around today. Check out some of the weirdest product ideas that entrepreneurs have developed recently.

WiFi Tea Kettle

Who has the time to manually heat water for tea and coffee anymore? If you prefer a more high-tech experience, you’re in luck. The iKettle connects to your WiFi so that you can start and change settings from your smartphone.

Clip-On Man Bun

weirdest product ideas

Want a man bun but don’t have the patience to grow your hair out? Groupon has you covered with this clip-on man bun that looks like the real thing.

Mind-Controlled Car

Soon, you may no longer have to put any physical effort into driving a car. Researchers at Nankai University in Tianjin, China have been developing technology to create a car that essentially works via mind control. Currently, they’ve developed a car that can drive in a straight line using the technology. But who knows how far it can be taken.

Hoverboard

Pretty much anyone who’s seen a futuristic movie has dreamed about the day when they could own a hoverboard. And while the hoverboards that have become popular of late may not look exactly how you pictured, they’re still one of the more way products to hit the mainstream.

Latte Art Maker

weirdest product ideas

Latte art has been the subject of many an Instagram photo. But you don’t even have to learn to make your own anymore. There’s a machine that can use your photos or digital files to make really advanced latte art on all of your coffee beverages.

Selfie Toaster

Why eat plain old toast when you could make toast with a picture of your face (or someone else’s face) on it? This selfie toaster lets you do just that.

Inhalable Chocolate

As consumers become more calorie conscious, companies have tried to come up with ways to curb people’s cravings without overloading them with calories. One of the more interesting innovations is Le Whif, a French product that lets you basically inhale flavors like chocolate, so that you can taste it without actually intaking any calories.

Potato Greeting Cards

weirdest product ideas

Want to send a greeting to a friend but don’t want to send a plain old card? There are actually several different services out there that allow you to add messages (anonymous or not) to potatoes that will be mailed to people on your behalf.

Eye Massager

You can buy massage chairs, foot massagers, and even full-body massages. But now you can also buy a wearable device that provides a massage specifically for your eyeballs.

Musical Hoodie

weirdest product ideas2

You’ve heard of hoodies, and you’ve heard of musical instruments. But now you can get both in one product. This wearable musical instrument has panels that you can use to create different sounds while also wearing your hoodie throughout the day.

Air Umbrella

Though not available just yet, the air umbrella is just what it sounds like — an umbrella made of air. It reportedly works by pushing high bursts of air above you so that water droplets can’t get through, meaning you may no longer have to deal with metal rods and a soaking umbrella when you get inside.

Bugs That Teach Coding

weirdest product ideas2

Learning how to code can be a difficult undertaking. But there’s now an unconventional option for teaching kids how to code — and it comes in the form of these little robot bugs.

Stache Shield

Sick of getting food and other messes all over your mustache? The Stache Shield, funded late last year on Kickstarter, is a product designed to keep those messes off your facial hair. It is currently available for pre-order.

Leather Made From Old Fruit

weirdest product ideas2

For those who don’t want to buy leather products made from animals, there may soon be a more animal and earth friendly option. Researchers in the Netherlands have come up with a process for making a leather type material out of old fruit.

Altwork Station

weirdest product ideas2

Don’t lie down on the job, unless you’re the owner of this new take on the traditional work station. The Altwork Station is an adjustable work station that allows you to change positions throughout the day, and even to basically lay down with your computer screen overhead.

Electronic Under Shoes

These “under shoes” look sort of like roller skates, but they’re not for skating. They’re electric transportation devices to help you walk faster.

Cricket Protein Bars

Anyone looking for a quick protein boost while on the go has probably tried different types of protein bars. But now you can actually get protein bars made with cricket flour. Yes, crickets.

3D Printed Pancake Maker

weirdest product ideas2

No longer do you need to settle for plain old round pancakes. This pancake maker that was funded via Kickstarter early in 2015 uses 3D printing technology to turn your pancakes into 3D works of art.

***So don’t worry if your product ideas are a little crazy. Once you’ve looked over this list of weirdest product ideas, you’ll realize any product can be a hit — with the right customers.Image: iKettle via Smarter/Facebook, Manbun.com, Ripple Maker, Parcel Potato/Instagram, Showpiece/video still, Dash Robotics, Fruitleather Rotterdam, Altwork, PancakeBot

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Housing.com appoints co-founder Snehil Buxy as chief product officer

The company that has raised over $100 million in capital from investors like SoftBank, nexus venture partners, changed its business model in November from being a listing portal to focus on only buying and selling of properties.

The company that has raised over $100 million in capital from investors like SoftBank, nexus venture partners, changed its business model in November from being a listing portal to focus on only buying and selling of properties.

Mumbai: Mumbai-based Locon Solutions Pvt. Ltd that operates the real estate portal Housing.com said on Wednesday that it has appointed Snehil Buxy as its new chief product officer. Buxy has been one of the co-founders of the company that started in 2012.

Buxy was one of the creators of the original market-disrupting Housing.com product and has played key roles, including leading the front-end team and spearheading product development. In his new role, he will be looking to focus on creating disruptive products and solutions that will leapfrog the company.

“My mission going forward is to continue to drive the creation of revolutionary product with the aim of making Housing the most trusted, transparent and efficient place for buying and selling homes,” said Buxy, in a statement.

Post the firing of former chief executive officer Rahul Yadav last year, a lot of changes have come about in the senior management. In the aftermath, the company appointed Mani Rangarajan as the chief financial officer, Nikhil Rungta as the chief marketing officer, Jason Kothari as the chief executive officer and Nandini Mehta as general counsel. In addition, the company is also looking to reorganise teams and cut jobs in order to be operationally efficient.

The company that has raised over $100 million in capital from investors like SoftBank, nexus venture partners, changed its business model in November from being a listing portal to focus on only buying and selling of properties. The company has 1.6 million properties listed across 56 cities.

[“source-Livemint”]

Zomato chief product officer Tanmay Saksena quits

Food tech start-ups such as Zomato have been struggling to scale their businesses, making wary investors pile pressure on start-ups to reduce cash burn on discounts and overhead costs. The pressure has been trickling down the management ranks. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/MintFood tech start-ups such as Zomato have been struggling to scale their businesses, making wary investors pile pressure on start-ups to reduce cash burn on discounts and overhead costs. The pressure has been trickling down the management ranks. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

New Delhi: Zomato Media Pvt. Ltd’s chief product officer Tanmay Saksena has abruptly left India’s largest food discovery and ordering platform, highlighting investor pressure on food delivery websites to improve their financial metrics.

Saksena’s departure comes barely a year after he joined Zomato, one of India’s most valuable start-ups, having spent four years at Disney Social Games as vice-president (studio operations), based in Palo Alto, California.

He was promoted last month as chief product officer, having earlier served as the global business head for the company’s food-ordering business.

“Tanmay was one of our best people, and we are sad to see him go. We wish him luck for all his future endeavours,” a Zomato spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said Saksena had headed Zomato’s online food-ordering operations until the end of October, when the company’s co-founder Pankaj Chaddah assumed the role.

“Under Pankaj, we have seen the number of orders per day quadruple over the last three months,” the spokesperson said.

Saksena did not respond to emailed queries and calls fromMint.

This isn’t the only abrupt departure in recent months at Zomato, which has struggled to retain top management executives.

In July last year, ex-Facebook Inc. executive Namita Gupta quit Zomato within a year of joining the firm as chief product officer from Silicon Valley.

Chief financial officer Umesh Hora quit in November to join CarDekho.com. Chief marketing officer Rameet Arora quit the company in January 2015, barely six months after joining from McDonalds Corp.’s India operations.

Food tech start-ups have been struggling to scale their businesses, making wary investors pile pressure on start-ups to reduce cash burn on discounts and overhead costs. The pressure has been trickling down the management ranks.

“There is a problem in the way Indian start-ups hire. If you look at companies in Silicon Valley, they hire for tomorrow and not today,” said Prateek Srivastava, co-founder of Basil Advisors, a hiring consultancy.

“The needs and requirements of a start-up keep changing and therefore there is a disconnect in the expectation levels of founders and investors, and that of senior-level hires,” he said.

Srivastava pointed out that India’s start-up ecosystem is still not evolved and hence people from Silicon Valley find it difficult to adjust in the country. “An expectation correction needs to happen,” he said.

Poor unit economics in the food-ordering and delivery sector leads to high burn rates, experts said. The burn rate could be as high as $1.5-2 million a month for the bigger companies, as they spend on acquiring customers, besides incurring costs on delivery.

According to people familiar with the development, Zomato’s entire leadership team, including founders Deepinder Goyal and Chaddah, have been trying to cut spending and improve business dynamics to inch closer to profitability.

In January, Zomato shut operations in four cities citing poor demand. In October, it also cut 10% of its workforce to curb costs.

In November, an internal email by Goyal surfaced in several media publications that spoke about the company’s alarming rise in costs and drop in sales. The email highlighted heightened pressure on the sales team by Zomato’s management.

In December, Mint reported that Zomato was looking to invest $40 million in its food-ordering business by June 2016. Zomato was valued at about $1 billion in September when the company raised $60 million from Singapore’s Temasek Holdings Pte and existing investor Vy Capital.

The company, which ventured into food-ordering only in May, having earlier been a restaurant search and review website, faces stiff competition from Bengaluru-based Swiggy, which raised $35 million in January.

With several companies struggling to scale their operations and some shutting down, the food-ordering business has largely become a three-way fight between Zomato, Saif Partners and Accel Partners-backed Swiggy, and Rocket Internet-funded Foodpanda.

Internet-first kitchen SpoonJoy (Emvito Technologies Pvt. Ltd) was bought by Grofers (Locodel Solutions Pvt. Ltd) in October; restaurant aggregator Dazo shut down in the same month. Another food tech start-up, Eatlo Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, closed in December.

 [“source-Livemint”]

Freshdesk launches new support product Hotline.io for mobile-first businesses

This is Freshdesk’s third product since its launch in 2011. The other two are Freshdesk, which is a cloud-based comprehensive customer support platform, and Freshservice, launched in 2014, which helps companies meet their internal IT support requests.This is Freshdesk’s third product since its launch in 2011. The other two are Freshdesk, which is a cloud-based comprehensive customer support platform, and Freshservice, launched in 2014, which helps companies meet their internal IT support requests.

Bengaluru: Customer support platform provider Freshdesk Inc. on Wednesday announced the launch of a new product called Hotline.io, which allows businesses to provide support to their customers from within apps.

The news was first reported by technology website Venturebeat.

With the rapid rise in smartphone adoption, the number of businesses that are mobile-first and app-only have also risen. These businesses require newer, more mobile-friendly platforms for customer support, and Freshdesk is looking to tap into this area with the new product.

“Phone and email are not ideal channels for mobile app users. Mobile-first businesses face a unique set of challenges that need specific solutions. Support needs to be in-app, engagement should be real time, context must be readily available, and the solution has to be massively scalable. We built Hotline with these in mind,” said Girish Mathrubootham, chief executive officer, in a statement on Wednesday.

This is Freshdesk’s third product since its launch in 2011. The other two are Freshdesk, which is a cloud-based comprehensive customer support platform, and Freshservice, launched in 2014, which helps companies meet their internal IT support requests.

Hotline.io was built leveraging Freshdesk’s acquisition of Konotor, which helps businesses chat with their consumers inside apps, last December. Konotor was founded in 2012 and enables businesses communicate directly with their users to share announcements or promotions, and also allows users to talk to support teams—features that have been incorporated into Hotline.io

Konotor works with more than 40 million users through the apps it works with and has customers such as restaurant-discovery platform Zomato Media Pvt. Ltd, online financial services company BankBazaar.com (A&A Dukaan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd) and food-delivery service Faasos Food Services Pvt. Ltd.

Zomato is also one of Hotline’s early adopters and Freshdesk claims that companies like these have witnessed a 40% reduction in issue resolution time with Hotline.

On Tuesday, Freshdesk announced the appointment of two sales executives to the company, former Cisco veteran Bobby Jaffari as vice-president of sales, North America, and former sales director at AppNexus Arun Mani as managing director, Freshdesk Continental Europe, as it looks to expand its footrpint in mid-market enterprises and in Europe. Last November, it hired former LinkedIn India managing director Nishant Rao as its chief operating officer.

Earlier this week, Freshdesk also bought Framebench Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a company which lets users collaborate on files (documents, images, videos) in real time to allow its support teams to better interact with customers, marking its fourth acquisition in seven months. Apart from Konotor and Framebench, the five-year-old firm acquired Frilp, a social recommendation app in October, and 1CLICK.io, a video chat platform in August.

Freshdesk, which has so far raised $95 million from venture capital firms Accel Partners, Google Capital and Tiger Global Management Llc, has 50,000 customers globally, and competes with global heavyweights ZenDesk and Salesforce.com. The company is based in San Bruno, California, with offices in London, Sydney and Chennai.

[“Source-Livemint”]