In the realm of technological innovation, change has been one constant factor that has driven modern day advancements beyond our perception and imagination. This fruition of collective efforts put in together with intelligent minds, however, has not always been a winner, or the next hottest product. Sometimes it was ahead of its time and sometimes it was a poor performer. Their reasons for flops in innovative technologies ranged from an erroneous promotion drive, presence of simpler alternatives, intangible consumer response and lopsided market forces. Whatever the reasons, these flops with their wasted resources and efforts were followed by bigger developments which overshadowed their absence and loss. In the wake of their failure, these products, teach us that small debacles do not ruin your chances for success; it helps build a stronger path of determination that leads to accomplishment and victory.
1. Virtual reality
In the early 90s a fabricated world of virtual reality was the step into the future. Hyped in sci-fi movies and books as the world in future, this was a sensory virtual reality technology fooled the brain to exist in a non-real world with the help of hi-tech goggles. However, the idea of shutting off the real world by covering your eyes to reach to the virtual one was not preferred by many. Thus dying a silent death. However, efforts are still on to revive the technology in less dramatic and more commercialized methods of simulations by the tech geeky fans of virtual existence.
2. Microsoft Surface
Introduced in 2007 as the next big thing, the Microsoft Surface stayed limited to a few outlets and failed to gain momentum. It was designed as a wide touchscreen top that was to become the incredible computing for 'generation-next'; but with steep pricing, limited production and promotion, the product is yet to initiate its commencement.
Touted as the next best self-transport system, the Segway has failed to pick up pace in popularity and sales since its introduction in 2001. Dean Kamen’s breakthrough technology flopped mainly because of its high price, inconvenience by users to travel on busy streets, sidewalks and is often said to make the user look silly in public. These worked on dampening any high spirits that was hyped by the initial eagerness, thus not enthusing fellow walkers or car-owners jump for this unique greener option. Until further awareness or modifications are engineered, the Segway is believed to be on its route to extinction.
Supersonic speed, zipping across continents before batting a few eyelids at the rate of 1300 mph, what more could a transcontinental flier ask for. The Concorde, which not only turned heads because of its much famed joint venture of two European bitter rivals (UK and France) but also a ray of hope for speedy air-travels around the globe, however, could never make a substantial take-off due to its high fuel and operational costs. This aeronautical innovation of 1969 remains still an enigma, that can be only restricted as an exclusive luxury flight, has been shelved off from commercial projects following laws proscribing its sonic boom post September 11, terror attacks in the USA.
5. Nuclear power
The one most hyped technology that has enveloped our feeling for better power supply is now in its way-out from future. The Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine in 1986 followed by the recent Tsunami disaster in Japan has got the entire world thinking and re-thinking on its existing plants and future prospects for development.
6. Delta 7 Sports Arantix Bikes
Released in 2007, the Delta's Arantix bikes were an exhilarating prospect in the field of mountain biking. With light body, patented unique durable 3D frame, the bike was supposed to change the bicycler's perception to biking. But, it failed to make its mark mainly because of its $11,000 price tag. Although you can justify its high price to its highly intensive production method, still the price killed this unique product from making history in sports biking.
7. Apple Mac G4 Cube
Back in 1999, when big desktop computers was cluttering our worktables and home, Apple had come up with the Mac stylish and compact G4 cube, to revolutionize computing system as well as gain brownie-points in marketing over Microsoft windows. The bizarre eight inch Power cube designed by Jonathan Ive for Apple was initially introduced with a G4 processor operating at 500 MHz, a DVD player drive and CD burner. But it failed to impress the general consumers with its $1,599 price tag and thus failed to rev up the heat in consumer market. However, the small form concept was awakened with its advent followed by the advent of laptops, MacMini, etc., opening a flood of gadgets and products into our lives.
8. Laser Disc
Back in 1958, the market was about to explode in anticipation of this new technology for home entertainment. Easier to store, compact concept and high definition output projected it as the perfect replacement for VHS and Betamax. However, its disadvantages in recording abilities and lack of popularity followed by the CD arrivals saw an end to its future in 1990.
9. Hubble Space Telescope
After expending a whopping $ 2.5 Billion, the Hobble telescope when launched in space in 1990 sent back some blurry incomprehensible images and exasperated aspirations of millions. Its defective calibration instruments were later corrected three years later and got launched back for further services. Till date it has been brought back home five times for correction, upgradation and replacements.
10. Sony Aibo
Sony’s friendly robot pet concept was expected to make both children and parents happy with the prospect of its low maintenance and high fun quotient. However, high prices and complicated robotic get-up stole away its puffed-up magnificence, demoting it into an obscure toy-shop gizmo.