9 Old Technologies That Did Not Take Off

Keeping apace with the ever-changing digital landscape

We live in a world where so many technologies and gadgets are created or innovated to make our lives simpler and more comfortable. Some have thrived like the introduction of QR code technology, while others are short-lived. Older tech devices are quickly replaced by newer, better ones that offer more features, simpler user interface, and enhance comfort to end-users.

In this article, we will review several technologies and gadgets that had once been popular but have become obsolete or less used over time.

1. Google Glass

a man wearing a google glass, an obsolete technology.
Google Glass is known to be Google’s most embarrassing flop. The product features a head-mounted display in the form of eyeglasses. With its hands-free functionality, it allows users to use a mobile internet browser in addition to accessing maps, camera, and calendar via voice command. Google Glass also has a controversial feature where glass recording is automated without the user’s permission. Due to privacy concerns by the public, Google has discontinued Google Glass in 2015.

2. Segway

segway is a lifestyle product that did not take off.
Segway is counterintuitive to biking or walking. It is a lifestyle product that acts as an energy-saving device with self-expressive benefits. The product, however, had various disadvantages that include the costly nature of the product, a lack of security, and the effort to balance oneself. What used to be a trendy public use has now been deduced to a cultural stereotype where only mall security officers and tourists groups use these two-wheeled personal transporters.

3. Virtual Boy

Virtual boy from Nintendo did not take off because it is impractical.
Nintendo’s Virtual Boy was once seen as a must-have for game enthusiasts everywhere. Essentially, the user has to wear the headset provided and move around when they play. However, this was quite impractical as the player may experience some medical problems when playing. To operate Virtual Boy, you have to lean against the video game console as though you were looking at a set of binoculars. Within a few hours into the game, your neck and back start to hurt due to the unnatural sitting position you are being subjected to. Other medical concerns previous players have reported were headaches, deteriorating vision, and nausea.

4. Cinerama

Cinerama was an early version of IMAX
Cinerama was an early version of IMAX. It revolutionised the big screen film industry by pioneering the panoramic film format. Due to the cumbersome process of projecting images simultaneously from multiple projectors, it was later replaced by 70mm film. Furthermore, the set-up of Cinerama required high expenditure as it needed to hire specialised professionals to film and project the images.

5. E-book Reader

e-books was one popular, however,  with the emerging of smartphones, e-book lost its popularity.
Even though e-books are gaining popularity due to the rapid digitalisation of products and services, e-book readers are surprisingly underused. This is because we have smartphones that are smaller in size and are often used as an overall multipurpose device. Also, having an e-book reader is not exactly cheap and you have to charge it if you want to make it to the last page of your e-book.

6. Beeper or Pager

Beepers or pagers were once popular wireless telecommunication devices.
Beepers or pagers were once popular wireless telecommunication devices. They are used for receiving and sending alphanumeric and voice messages. Needless to say, they have major limitations. For example, they do not allow simultaneous two-way communication and image and file attachments. Today, they are replaced by our smartphones due to their advanced communication features.

7. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) did not take off because it is expensive, fragile, and delicate.
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) were well received as an on-the-go communication device during the 1990s and early 2000s. The PDA came with the facilities of email, text messaging, phone books, and web browsers. Because of this, it became an ideal gadget for business use. The PDA was, however, expensive, fragile, and delicate.

8. Apple Newton

Apple Newton is a PDA as well created by Apple, however it has been discontinued due to its high cost and premature dispatch to the market.
Another obsolete personal digital assistant device was the Newton Personal Digital Assistant created by Apple. The device was invented to give a simple, portable, and professional user experience. Because of its unflattering big display, high cost, cumbersome usage, and its premature dispatch to the market, the PDA has been discontinued.

9. The DivX

DivX allow people to download & watch movies, however, it failed to survive due to its expensive and tedious nature.
DivX was a solution designed to make it easier for people to download and watch movies with quick turnaround time. To access the content, users were required to have affiliated machinery like DVDs. The device, however, failed to survive due to its expensive and tedious nature. Soon after, the availability of new technology quickly replaced the outdated video player and converter.

Although these items and technologies are either less used or have disappeared from the market, they have nonetheless played a pioneering role in producing advanced innovations, such as these trending technologies. Looking for more tech and lifestyle topics? Explore CARE’s blog articles today!