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Thread: Tech That Disappeared Too Soon

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    Default Tech That Disappeared Too Soon

    Had we followed the footprints, we might have suspected the offing of the Hewlett-Packard TouchPad and with it, webOS. The TouchPad had a lifespan of just less than two months, though it's experiencing quite a bit of an afterlife. On word of its discontinuation, prices have been dropping, with Best Buy, which had faced a glut of inventory, selling the 16GB for $99 and the 32GB for $149.

    Even though we called the TouchPad "the best non-Apple tablet we've seen yet," in its review, there's a touch of foreboding when we liken it to the Microsoft Zune HD and wonder aloud if "the nascent tablet space will mimic the MP3 player category and eventually dissolve except for one strong leader."

    Don't get superstitious and blame us, though. Technology advances quickly so we must grant a few natural demises, but plenty of products have made premature disappearances over the past few years. When one goes missing, analysts and columnists alike play the part of Miss Marple, whipping out their oversized magnifying glasses and dusting for fingerprints. They ask and answer all the necessary questions to determine whether what has occurred constitutes a crime. If an offense has been committed, then the detectives dissect the evidence to convict the culprit of the untimely death. The most likely suspects tend to be consumers who fail to come to the rescue of a product in need and bloodthirsty competitors fighting to get ahead.

    To get by in this shady world, technology needs more than just luck but a little scrap, too. Page through our story to visit the unfortunate ghosts of products past.




    The Flip

    The Flip portable digital camcorder premiered in 2007 and made a starlet's ascent, moving 2 million units in its first two years. In its relatively short life, the Flip went through a few iterations, including HD versions, and customers got the chance to add their own designs to the devices. As the smartphone market started a trajectory of its own in 2009, the company's founders handed over their business to Cisco Systems for $590 million. Unable to compete with phones that blended video capability into their many fortes, the networking company closed down the unit this April.




    Microsoft Kin

    The social media-geared Microsoft Kin was meant to have a lot of kith, and it's not surprising since it was backed by a billion dollars. For as forward-thinking as a phone that integrated Facebook and Twitter was in 2009, the Kin One and had poor sales and were summoned home by Microsoft in June 2010.” Its next of kin, Windows Phone 7, has members of the Kin clan on its development team.


    3Com Audrey

    The Audrey was a bit of a regression, gender-wise, intending to spend her time dedicated to small tasks at home, generally from the kitchen. 3Com sent the internet appliance to the market in 2000 to serve as an easy way to manage e-mail and calendars, browse the Internet, and passively receive push content. But fair Audrey proved too fragile for the rough days of the Internet shakedown and was discontinued after less than eight months.



    Lala

    Lala attracted a devoted following to its music service that let users listen to a song initially for free and then at just 10 cents per play or 89 cents for purchase. : Lala went through a few different versions. Its final had a cloud feature that let members upload their MP3s and access them from any computer. If that sounds like a business model that might worry the owner of iTunes, it was. Apple acquired Lala in December 2009 and silenced it by May of the next year.



    Power Mac G4 Cube

    The Power Mac G4 Cube prevails as a movie prop, museum piece, and MacQuarium. As a computer, though, it forfeited. The G4 was pretty (as were its companion Harman Kardon speakers) but expensive and tough to upgrade, not to mention that it had overheating issues, explaining its one-year life span.



    Windows Ultra-Mobile PC

    The Benjamin Buttons of the computing world, ultra-mobile PCs predate netbooks but were about half the size. In 2006, Microsoft enlisted hardware makers to fashion tiny and light portable computers. Devices like OQO's Model 02—with a 1.5GHz processor, 60GB hard disk drive, 1GB of RAM, and integrated mobile broadband data capability—were impressive but soon eclipsed by smartphones and Wi-Fi-capable laptops.



    Virtual Reality

    Virtual reality in the 1990s was the 3D of today. People seemed to crave a more immersive experience with technology but the products were a big disconnect. There was a holodeck type of appeal to inhabiting a world that was entirely computer-generated but felt real thanks to a haptic interface. In reality, there was no escaping the fact that the clunky helmets and gloves streaming with electrodes netted only a poor simulation of life.



    Apple Bandai Pippin

    Maybe Apple and Bandai should have paid closer attention to the musical Pippin before they named their progeny. Like the eponymous character, the Apple Bandai Pippin set out to accomplish extraordinary things but would have been suited settling for an ordinary life. The 1995 video game console marked Apple's attempt to break into the market, which was already dominated by the Sony PlayStation, the Nintendo 64, and the Sega Saturn. The Pippin tried to outdo them all by being a Power Macintosh at heart. While not a full-on computer, the Pippin could accommodate games and another popular entertainment choice at the time, CD-ROMs, and also function as a network computer. Consumers didn't bite, though, turned off by the high price ($599) and limited selection of just 18 games.



    Google Wave

    Google Wave wiped out in August 2010, less than a year after it washed up on shore. The collaboration and communication portal came with pages of documentation, a lengthy explanatory video, and even its own nomenclature. Feature-rich Google Wave let project participants replay the evolution of the project in a browser, employ contextual spell check, and integrate blogs. But with information overload, by the time anyone learned what a "blip" or a "wavelet" was, they were speaking a dead language.


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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Tech That Disappeared Too Soon

    Virtual reality thing looks freakish

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    Default Re: Tech That Disappeared Too Soon

    it looks LOL :S


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    Default Re: Tech That Disappeared Too Soon

    khaise virtual reality er jonno mathay ekta pura television lagano lagsilo,no wonder it disappeared too soon.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tech That Disappeared Too Soon

    Very interesting. I'd like to include Samsung Omnia(i900). It was a all hype and go get it in 2008,but disappeared in 2009 early when Omnia-II(i9000) came out,even though much hyped i900 was a good smartphone backed by WM6.1,but the engineers went nuts and set a resistive touch screen which was the worst decision ever made in smartphone history,people lost interest hence omnia-II didn't sell that well,but samsung managed to keep the design and set it in Galaxy Series. The problem was that when Omnia-II came out people realized that i900 was kind of prototype,Omnia-II got corrected all & only the things people disliked about Omnia-I,but Omnia-II was introduced at the same price and Omnia-I suffered a massive price fall,so ultimately people gaveup on samsung for a while and went ahead to HTC,Apple or waited for android. Lesson to learn: "Don't think that apple got away with iPhone series does mean you can get away with that same strategy of smoothing the edges of old products and then presenting it as a new one. Apple deeply monitor what their customers are ranting,chanting,crying or wanting and make changes accordingly but other giants fail to follow the strategy correctly resulting in useless new releases that people won't buy. First ask consumers what they want and then make it,don't just rely on your engineers' report from the lab about what could be better,remember consumers buy the products not the engineers or lab operators so choose the correct audience."
    Last edited by blimp; August 31st, 2011 at 19:35.

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