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
If inventor Dean Kamen had simply promised that the Segway would revolutionize the mall cop industry, no one could have faulted him. But instead, Kamen hyped the two-wheeled, mass-sensing electric vehicle as a city-changer. The Segway, he told Time magazine in 2001, "will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy."
Turns out, people didn't want to spend thousands of dollars to fill an ill-defined gap between walking, biking, and driving -- especially when concerns about the safety of the vehicle generated bad publicity, culminating in 2010 in the death of the new owner of Segway when he drove one off a cliff. Still for an hourly rate, you can probably rent a Segway at your nearest amusement park and experience the failed revolution firsthand.
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