X

Products that seemed so weird...at first (pictures)

New technology may seem bizarre at first, but it can very quickly become integrated into our daily lives.

james-martin-bio
james-martin-bio

James Martin

See full bio
sergey-brin-google-glass-0020_610x407.jpg
1 of 7 James Martin/CNET

Google Glass

Google's Eric Schmidt recently discussed what many people have already been thinking about the company's new augmented reality eyewear -- it's a bit weird looking.
Schmidt admitted that talking to someone who is wearing Google Glass can be a bit, well, awkward, and that the wearable technology will require a new set of social rules.
Throughout history, new technologies have forced society to adapt, requiring new social norms and sometimes very big changes in the way the world operates. Out with the old and in with the new: here are a few technologies that seemed very, very strange when they were first introduced.
segway.jpg
2 of 7 Segway

Segway scooters

Segway introduced us to a whole new form of transportation -- the two-wheeled, gyroscopic, balanced scooter. While the "personal transporters" seemed very weird at first, today mailmen can be seen riding them, and in San Francisco, you're likely to spot packs of tourists sightseeing on these tricky two-wheelers.
458px-Panasonic-Anrufbeantworter.jpg
3 of 7 Wikipedia/Norbert Schnitzler

The answering machine

Never miss a call again, with an automated home answering machine -- it's like having a personal robot to answer your phone! The first answering machines weren't widely available in the U.S. until the 1960s, but the technology has already been replaced. Today, built in voice mail lets phones answer themselves.
28713r.jpg
4 of 7 Herbert A. French

The automobile

Electric horses!? These clunky machines revolutionized travel and forever changed the landscape of America. Today, cars are literally everywhere. Unfortunately, they haven't changed much in the past 100 years.
800px-Panasonic_electric_toothbrush.jpg
5 of 7 Wikipedia/Mk2010

The electric toothbrush

At first, mechanizing such a simple task seemed silly, but millions of people now use electric toothbrushes every day.
Jabra_Supreme_Bluetooth_headset_35107438_07_1_620x433.jpg
6 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Bluetooth earpieces

Just a few years ago, it was strange to see people wandering the streets talking to themselves. Are they lunatics? Nope, just chatting away with their Bluetooth devices.
contact-lens-.jpg
7 of 7 Wikipedia

The contact lens

Contact lens to improve vision were first introduced in 1889, but it took another 84 years before they even started to resemble the contact lenses we think of today.

Early glass models were thick and could only be worn for a few hours a day. Glass lenses eventually became smaller and lighter, but it wasn't until 1971 when Otto Wichterle invented the soft contact lens that they became commonplace.

Now, not only are contact lenses widely used for correcting vision, we are just steps away from digitized contacts that are themselves a heads-up augmented reality.

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Then and Now: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Then and Now: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

95 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

81 Photos
Astronomy Photo Contest Finalists Will Take Your Breath Away

More Galleries

Astronomy Photo Contest Finalists Will Take Your Breath Away

36 Photos
The 40 Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Absolute Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
The Dodge Hornet SUV Will Be a Rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale

More Galleries

The Dodge Hornet SUV Will Be a Rebadged Alfa Romeo Tonale

8 Photos
2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe: Just Right

More Galleries

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Coupe: Just Right

36 Photos