Wi-Fi is everywhere, and it's usually useful. It's usually so very useful, in fact, that we all know where to stand to get the best signals, where to connect to it for free and have memorised previously impossible to remember strings of letters and numbers - some even including varying levels of upper and lower case - to connect to the Wi-Fi of friends, relatives, and that offered by some of the more welcoming pubs.
It is, in short, a modern lifeline to the fun world of the internet, giving us escape from boring conversations, people and situations, adding the thrill of slagging off TV while it's happening to every housebound evening, keeping our apps fresh, and generally meaning there's always something to look at and do as long as we have a thing that's connected to it.
But Wi-Fi's ubiquity has sometimes misfired. The tech makers, ever keen to add "Wi-Fi? [TICK/YES]" to their products' lists of feature, have gone too far in some cases, adding connecticvity where it's not needed, for the benefit of no one.
In the world of kitchen technology, for example, there's no place for Wi-Fi. Same with the bathroom. And the garden. And… lots of places, in fact. These places.
The Wi-Fi Fridge
Not only does everyone laugh at the concept of the Internet connected fridge and use it as a totem of extreme tech stupidity... they're still being made. Today.
Literally right now, a production line worker is setting the default password on a Samsung WiFi fridge, wondering what sort of idiot is going to be buying it. Samsung and LG are fighting to make it seem useful rather than infuriating to have your fridge tell you things you don't want to hear, like the dread news that your milk's maybe turned.
One more password to clog your brain.
The Wi-Fi Running Shoes
Back in 2008, when Wi-Fi was, well, not new or exciting and even your mum knew WPA was more secure than WEP, agencies working with some of the money Nike makes from selling bits of rubber at vast RRPs put Wi-Fi into a shoe.
The reason someone might aspire to owning a pair of Wi-Fi Nike Dunks? The three lights light up a bit under varying Wi-Fi signal strengths. Different colours and everything. Technically clever, functionally pointless. Financially ruinous.
The Wi-Fi Washing Machine
You can "...just keep an eye on your washing's progress" with the Samsung WW9000 series washing machine, thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity and associated app. Imagine that.
Imagine being at work, say, and being able to open up an app on your phone and watch your washing machine status, live.
You could perhaps even set up an IP camera to watch it go round at the same time. You'd be closer to the heart of the wash than ever before.
The Wi-Fi Kettle
Or the - brace yourselves - iKettle. When anyone tells you that the "internet of things" is going to be great, show them this and tell them it obviously won't.
The selling point of this Wi-Fi kettle that a company actually made is that you can save minutes by "pre-boiling" your kettle remotely via the internet, although if you have nothing better to do than talk to your sodding KETTLE and have it offer to boil itself when it location-senses you've come home, spare minutes are likely to be something you have in abundance.
The Wi-Fi Pet Camera
We had to spend several minutes ascertaining whether or not Petcube was a joke, but with iOS and Android apps to handle live TWO-WAY voice streaming between pet camera and owner's phone via home Wi-Fi, it's surely way too expensive to be pretend or a long-running April Fool joke.
The idea is that people for whom watching washing machines go round remotely has become boring, this might make life worth living again by letting them watch an animal - creating reason #197 why you need to pick your phone up again despite having only put it down 45 seconds ago.
The Wi-Fi Bathroom Scales
Come complete with 25 self-pitying messages to automatically post on social media when it senses your weight inexorably rising through the years and the telltale vibrations of the heaving sobs of a crying person who PROMISED to lose weight a couple of months ago, read as "Oh god, the wedding is in only 10 days" and "I'll just wear a t-shirt for the duration of the holiday."
The Wi-Fi Bike
The second generation Picycle electric bike had Wi-Fi inside it, allowing the makers to spy on its maintenance issues, its users to channel travel stats to a smartphone, and to let its sad owner track thieves merrily riding it about town and bouncing from free hotspot to free hotspot when it goes missing.
It can also transfer ambient temperature data to your smartphone, in what's little more than a tragic waste of data; data that could've been used for something much more worthwhile, like letting neglected orphans hear music for the first time or watch a funny video of a cat.
The Wi-Fi Mirror
The Posh iMirror was a Kickstarter punt that eventually came good, if you consider selling a Wi-Fi bathroom mirror to be a force for good rather that a focus point for all that is evil in the world.
The maker's own web site seems unable to explain what it's for, though, with the best bets being to serve adverts to bored people regretting going on a cruise holiday and now just seeing out the next 15 days in their cabin.
So it's a tablet. Screwed to the wall. Who wants to stand up to see adverts? That's what hell is like.
The Wi-Fi Garden Lights
If you're old enough to own a house, congratulations. Congratulations also on probably being rich enough to afford unnecessary WiFi things to put in the garden, so you can sit on your L-shaped sofa and turn the lights on and off for no reason other than to impress visiting guests.
The flaw being it's cold in the garden when it's dark, and also a bit scary if you live somewhere urban (burglars) or somewhere rural (monsters, murderers), so they're really of as much use as the blunt mower in the shed that the last lot of burglars rejected.
The Wi-Fi Door Handle
The RemoteLock 6i offers "...remote control of your door lock over the internet from your PC or smartphone," a feature we can only imagine being of use in three scenarios; to unlock animal enclosures in zoos at breakfast time, to lock animal enclosures at bed time, and to keep children out of the room with the telly in so you can be a good dad from the pub.
Apart from that, it's more expensive and less versatile than securing your home with boards and nails.
The Wi-Fi Clothes
There's a t-shirt being sold with Wi-Fi credentials, existing under the pretence that it's useful for locating Wi-Fi signals.
The real reason they're being sold is so that the Illuminati can track the wearers and easily stick them into prisons come the revolution, although that's not specifically mentioned in the Amazon listing.
If you get one of these for Christmas, burn it and RUN.