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10 innovative technological devices that have failed miserably

Since then, as it is peeled from a branch of humanity never ceases to reinvent. Some of his creations, such as an iPod or machines for trimming nose hair so tightly into our daily lives that we can not imagine a world without them. Others … well, some inventions, no matter how brilliant they are, we remember on how deafening they failed.

10. Intellevision


Mattel’s Intellivision was a home video game console released in 1979. Its development was started only a year after the birth of her main rival – Atari 2600. It was graphic and sound capabilities that are far ahead of Atari, but it was only the starting point of its innovations. Intellivision was the first 16-bit game system, the first to include the voice synthesizer, and in fact the first granted the ability to download games on cable.

But poor marketing, coupled with poorly designed neergonomichnym controller led to the fact that Mattel has sold a total of three million units of the console. Would you say that it is a good idea? Losing Atari has sold ten times better. In 1983, the video game market experienced a crash from which came only with the advent of Nintendo NES – system with all the innovations Mattel Intellivision, but without any of its drawbacks.

9. Laserdisc


The first digital home video format was introduced in 1978 – and it was a Laserdisc, or «DiscoVision», as it was the ’70s. Having appeared on the market just two years after the video, this high-density digital format offers video and audio quality far beyond the capabilities of any VCR. CDs, before whom there were still four years, it was based on this technology.

But, unfortunately, the wheels were heavy and easily broken, and the players for them were very loud in comparison with VCRs. They did not have the ability to record and discs and players were insanely expensive. And videotapes seized power right up to the emergence of DVD, which were by and large miniature versions of Laserdisc.

8. Cinerama


Cinerama was the first wide-format projection. Screening of the film it came with three synchronized 35mm projectors, which broadcast the image on the giant curved screen. Although the method was technically challenging visual result was stunning, and far superior to any technology of its time.

Uh, we said “technically difficult”? We had a view of “virtually impossible.” Projection of the three films in perfect sync is as complex as it sounds, as there was no way to automate this process. For this work required projectionists highest class. Plus, very few theaters were willing to make the necessary modifications costly. As a result, only a few dozen movies ever been shown in the video format.

7. Betamax


This format from Sony offers a much more robust and miniature video tapes, and better resolution than the VHS format from their competitor JVC. Betamax VHS managed to surpass even the whole year in the U.S. and Japan. So what went wrong?

“The war of formats” between Beta and VHS (ie, Sony and everyone else) was the technical descriptions. Perhaps the most likely factor in the failure of Sony Betamax was the reluctance to license its technology. JVC had no such prejudices, and as a result, a wide range of manufacturers began producing VHS-device at a much lower price. And plus to this, Beta-enabled devices to initially record only 60 minutes of video, compared with 3 hours at VHS. Thus VHS won.

6. Quadraphonic sound


Quadraphonic sound made its debut in 1971, when several vinyl records with the sounds were produced in different (and incompatible) formats. His goal was to play an imitation of a live sound to speakers. And if it is lost on the correct system, it «3D-audio” gave a very impressive result.

But the problem was that there was about a billion ways to produce quadraphonic sound, and neither format has never been recognized by ubiquitous. Dolby surround, which does about the same thing, has been standardized and sold many times faster. Of course, the Dolby surround sound is used primarily for cinema and listening to music, most people think of as the stereo is enough.

5. QR codes


QR-codes, the name of which means “quick response” has been used for about ten years. They serve the same purpose as a bar code, but contain much more information. They were originally designed to track the movements of parts in the production of cars, but their ability to quickly appreciated in the field of advertising.

The problem was that no one knew what to do with them. A recent study showed that about 80 percent of today’s American college students do not have the slightest clue what to do with a QR-codes. (Hint: just scan them with third-party applications for your smartphone).

4. Digital audiotape (DAT)


DAT were presented in 1987. It had a tiny tape that recorded the sound quality of CD and above, and were intended to replace conventional film cassette. They were superior in all traditional film were more durable and portable even than CDs, and were able to record any sound segments.

A failure as a DAT format for music sales was mainly due to piracy concerns. The music industry is understood that with the advent of high-quality rewritable media piracy rate will soar into the sky – and buried the new technology. What is interesting, it paved the way for a fully digital formats like MP3, which of course is much easier piracy. Nice work, the music industry!

3. Virtual reality


Already in the early 90’s companies like «Virtuality» released arcade games like «Dactyl Nightmare», who put you in three-dimensional virtual space to perform various actions.

However, the technology at the time was simply not enough advanced to realize the vision of science fiction, and attempts to create a true virtual reality were, to put it mildly, unconvincing. And even now, when technology has come a gigantic way since the early 90’s, we are still very far from creating a full-fledged computer universe.

2. Apple Newton PDA


Long before Apple launched its iPod and began the era of its domination of the world of mobile devices, it has already made attempts to enter this market. Released in 1993 Apple Newton was actually the father of handheld computers, and has been an innovative device in almost all respects, but suffered a fiasco.

His problems began poorly developed system of handwriting recognition and a price tag of space – and that’s not taking into account the fact that he looked like a Commodore 64, crossed a cassette deck. Debut in 1995 as a miniature, low-cost and more functional Palm Pilot was the last nail in the coffin of his. Development of Newton was discontinued in 1998.



In its first incarnation, DIVX can safely assume that the biggest technological failure of all time. It was aimed at meeting the needs of those who wanted to “rent” movies in digital format – but the way that was chosen for this was a big mistake.

Promoted electronic retailer Circuit City, the idea was simple enough. You hire a disk, see it for two days and then throw away. Simple enough, is not it? Except for the fact that it was in fact a full-size DVD, but without all of its inherent characteristics, require a separate player who the buyer was to buy and film distribution industry fought against him, knowing neither sleep nor rest.

And by that time, as Netflix and Blockbuster made really simple digital film distribution, DIVX has become a memory, having to its credit sales only in 1998 and 1999. His legacy lives on only in a few annoying and, in general, do not need the software that is constantly trying to get you to download it for some unknown reason.

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