During my Ph.D. from time to time I had doubts whether the research I was doing was really meaningful. We integrated sensors into furniture , measured respiration through radar  and enjoyed sharing these ideas at ubicomp, pervasive and iswc conferences.
Just recently, a colleague pointed me to a paper that describes how to improve the interaction between human and "the worst treated animals in the worlds" (chicken) . First I thought that was joke. But the reviewers at that time obviously did not manage to reject the paper as it is (1) well written, (2) novel, and (3) presents a solid evaluation. Having done something for the first time nobody else has done before may also have reason...The question for me: how can we balance between crazy ideas that open minds and trigger future developments and meaningless dump problems that just waste our time, even worse: if that work gets cited and creates an entire research stream...
 Antifakos, S., Michahelles, F., and Schiele, B. 2002. Proactive Instructions for Furniture Assembly. In Proceedings of the 4th international Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (Göteborg, Sweden, September 29 - October 01, 2002). G. Borriello and L. E. Holmquist, Eds. Lecture Notes In Computer Science, vol. 2498. Springer-Verlag, London, 351-360.
 Michahelles, F.; Wicki, R.; Schiele, B., "Less contact: heart-rate detection without even touching the user" Wearable Computers, 2004. ISWC 2004. Eighth International Symposium on , vol.1, no., pp. 4-7, 31 Oct.-3 Nov. 2004
 Lee, S.P., Cheok, A.D., Teh, K.S.J., Goh, P.L.D., Chio, W.J., Wang, C., and Farbiz, F. 2005. A mobile pet wearable computer and mixed reality system for human–poultry interaction through the internet, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 1 (Nov. 2005), 1-17.