Way back in 2000, a company called Digital Convergence created a barcode reader dubbed the CueCat. Shaped like a cat, this barcode scanner was meant to scan codes printed in magazines like barcodes you see on typical grocery store products.
The idea was to make the CueCat barcode the standard for advertising. If you wanted to learn more about a particular product in an ad, you could use your free CueCat scanner to get more information.
Although the CueCat flopped in the market, it did foresee the rise of today’s QR codes. Instead of using a dedicated scanner, people today use an app on their Android or iPhone. The CueCat is one of those technological oddities that never caught on despite its appearance as a cat. That just goes to show you that while cats may rule the Internet, they’re not as good at dominating the hardware market as well.