Virtual reality and its oversize helmets. The Segway scooter. AT&T's Picturephone from 1964? These tech innovations and more were supposed to change your life. Whoops!
AT&T Picturephone (1964)
Bubble Memory (1970s)
Virtual reality (1990s)
Internet appliances (circa 2000)
Foveon X3 camera technology (2002)
Municipal Wi-Fi (2004)
RFID everywhere (2004/2005)
HD Radio (2006)
Google Wave (2009)
See another slideshow: 15 tech products that failed early adopters
Only a few years ago, netbooks were primed to become the new face of computing -- low-cost, ultraportable devices that left most of the heavy lifting to the cloud. The craze apparently was kicked off by the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) movement, which solidified in 2006 and was dedicated to providing small, very low-cost laptops to children in developing countries.
But Apple's iPad stole netbooks' revolutionary thunder starting in the spring of 2010, and demand for mininotebooks is in decline as tablets take over. To their credit, netbooks removed some significant cost barriers to computing, but no one argues today that they're the future of computing.
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