If you figure that you want to 'pay it off' in a year, and you're doing a shirt and a pair of pants a week, and a suit (two pieces) twice a month, then it's actually $3.58 per item (if you clean double the shirts & pants, it's $2.24/item; if you mete out the cost over 5 years, it goes down to $.93/item & $.68/item, respectively), plus the cost of electricity. Still cheaper than dry cleaning (for suit pieces at least), but as far as I can tell, it's not a substitute for dry cleaning period (i.e., you'll still want to get things thoroughly cleaned every few cycles). The main thing keeping up the cost is the assumption of fixed prices for the pods.
Of course, if you price it out over the life of the machine, it gets lower, but I am not sure how many households need it enough to justify that initial output. So I guess I wouldn't call it a "useless product," just not one that's going to be commonplace anytime soon.
My not-quite-useless but still "What?!" product: Cellphone cases that absorb every speck of dirt. I just replaced my perfectly functional red Body Glove case (with a black and metallic one that's equally functional) because I felt like a slob. No amount of soaking, washing, scrubbing and stain removing got the black smudges off all eight corners of the thing. Manufacturers know that the modern consumer carries a phone everywhere, so why not make the case non-absorbent? (The label says it's "antimicrobial," but apparently not antifilth!)