Technology is rapidly changing nowadays and tech companies are scrambling to marvel new technologies and devices to get ahead in the market. However, not all inventions have changed the world, some products died out quickly. Here are seven innovative devices that started strong, but died out soon.
1. Google Glass
Google rolled out Glass in 2012 with a extravagant product demo, in which skydivers streamed their jumps using the device. As the first in the market, the product banked on its novelty and exclusivity.
Then, Google allowed "Glass Explorers" to test it a month before it reached the market. Although tech buffs wanted to get hold of the Glass, it raised privacy issues as the 5-megapixel photo and 720p video camera can violate privacy laws in some locations.
More importantly, Google Glass is too expensive at $1,500. So despite the great technology, Google Glass quickly retired in 2015.
Back in 2012, Pebble creators was able to raise $10 million and became the most-funded Kickstarter of all time as smartwatches were just a budding technology. Its Kickstarter campaign cultivated a massive following for Pebble and backers received their watches in 2013.
With a great start, the company launched more watches as well as generated $20.3 million from another Kickstarter campaign in 2015. While Pebble seemed to be making success, it lacked capital while Apple watch snatched most of its clients. Pebble shutdown in December 2016 after returning the Kickstarter funds it received. Later on, Fitbit bought Pebble's intellectual property.
TiVo revolutionized the public's television watching as it introduced digital video recorder technology, which allowed recording of various channels at the same time. Aside from not missing a show, TiVo also skipped commercials, which everyone loved.
However, with rapid advancement in digital technology, DVRs became useless. The company was not able to adapt until 2016 when Rovi bought TiVo for $1.1 billion. The new TiVo Corporation focused on licensing its technologies instead of producing hardware. Just recently, the company merged with Xperi Corporation, which specializes in intellectual property and licensing technology.
4. Nintendo Virtual Boy
Nintendo continued to create different innovations in playing video games. However, not all Nintendo inventions are worthwhile.
In 1995, Nintendo launched probably its strangest product of all time, the Virtual Boy. It was touted as an innovative virtual reality gaming device, but it was far from being virtual.
It used a parallax effect to create a depth illusion, but it just gave players a painful headache as players lean into the head-mounted system where they would play the controller attached to it. Only 22 games were made since its launch before it was pulled out within a year.
In 1975, Sony's Betamax allowed people to record programs and watch them later. Despite JVC releasing VHS in 1976, Betamax continued to revolutionize people's television viewing until the early 1980s.
However, because of the higher cost, Betamax lost over VHS in the videotape format war. Still, Betamax remained one of the most important media technologies created since television.
While a smartphone now works as a small yet powerful handy computer, people in the '90s only learned about pocket computer when PalmPilot Personal Digital Assistant was launched in 1996.
PalmPilots allowed people to send and receive email, organize schedules, take notes, and even send documents to printers, which were really useful for business people. However, when smartphones came out, the new technologies quickly outdid the archaic PalmPilots.
In 2010, HP bought Palm, but soon sold Palm trademark to Chinese company TCL, which tried to revive the brand, but failed.
Segway is a two-wheeled "human transporter," which offered innovative commuting in an urban setting. It was developed by Dean Kamen as a self-balancing personal transportation tool in 2001. Soon, it became a pop culture icon.
While it was increasingly popular, it cost too much at around $5,000. According to a Business Insider report, Steve Jobs initially regarded Segway "as big a deal as the PC," but later said it (Segway) "sucked." Segway never became the next PC, but it became a new way security officers move around. It was discontinued in 2020.
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Written by CJ Robles