Ahead of Its Time: 9 Tech Products That Were Too Early to Market

By Julio Franco ยท 31 replies
Oct 11, 2013
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  1. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Nice write-up.
  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,870   +1,291

    The Treo was fantastic in most respects - it was my first real smartphone. However, I soon traded it for a Nokia because of Palm's unfortunate decision to use slick, rounded metal buttons. It made typing and navigating on that particular Treo a maddening experience.
  3. t3chn0vamp

    t3chn0vamp TS Booster Posts: 128   +19

    Nice article :)
  4. Is it sad that I used or had over half of those things and had at least heard of all the rest?
  5. Add the UMPC and it's ilk into that list. I still want a Vaio UX - maybe Sony could release a new version...
  6. I was surprised to see VCR Plus+ (we called it G-Code here in Australia). Was a great little invention back in the day, I didn't use it myself because didn't have a VCR that had it. I even remember the local TV guide always included the G-Code for each program. I definitely would of used it, if had access to it.
  7. Google Glass soon to join the list.
  8. slamscaper

    slamscaper TS Booster Posts: 191   +38

    "I love the power glove. It's so bad..."
  9. AnilD

    AnilD TS Enthusiast Posts: 39   +23

    The Treo was pretty successful product and the reason Palm bought Handspring back in the day. There were plenty of apps and it was a very useful gadget beyond the phone. However I don't argue with it being on the list. Palm should have evolved the Treo and arrived to near iPhone-level smartphones before anyone else. The story would have been way, way different.
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Lol, some of these I actually own as an avid game collector.

    Powerglove is exactly as described, its funny to use, I have gotten a lot of entertainment figuring out how the thing works time and time again.

    Virtual Boy, wow that was a headache in a box, I do like some of the game, I own every one for it from the American side and some are actually quite fun. Teleroboxer is actually an amazing game that I love on it, but I get a headache trying to play through it.
  11. This article is a reminder that innovation does happen, but only a small amount becomes successful. When I see articles condemning companies for not being innovative, I have to laugh. You have to launch innovative products at the right time, and hope you are also LUCKY.
  12. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I remember the Treo. I also remember it was frightfully expensive. I'm surprised Handspring didn't sue Apple for copying them then claiming to be the first smartphone maker. That said they may have attempted to do so but Apple probably dissuaded them by sending in the muscle complete with cement shoes.
  13. Personally, I had webTV and met multiple users online that had webTV. I don't consider it a failure....
  14. The Treo wasn't released before it's time. That and the Blackberry were very successful. I still have a Treo in a drawer here. VCR+ was also pretty popular.

    The power glove just wasn't very good along with that horrible 3D system. Smart watches stink now too and are unlikely to have a time. The problem with WebTV was the resolution of the TVs.

    Quantum Link and AOL were the first social large networks and they certainly weren't before their time. It was really when AOL went unlimited time that it took off.
  15. Power glove sucked to play with but it made you feel like a badass with it on.
  16. Timonius

    Timonius TS Evangelist Posts: 647   +58

    I remember the Sega Channel. Had lots of fun with my family with that one.
  17. Surprised to not see Apple's Newton on the list.
  18. Draconian

    Draconian TS Enthusiast Posts: 52   +12

    You could probably fill this list with Microsoft products alone. No mention of the Microsoft tablet that appeared in the mid 90's.
  19. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    The Nintendo Virtual Boy was pretty cool. Too bad it was too cool for that time xD.
  20. mlauzon

    mlauzon TS Rookie

    Two problems with the article:

    1) Sega Channel on-demand gaming service
    1a) Videotron in Canada had a gaming service through their cable box in '89/90...which predates Sega Channel by a few years.

    2) Palm Treo smartphone
    2a) The smartphone has been around since '94, so Palm didn't create the smartphone market either!
  21. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

    It makes one feel old when there's a description of a VCR's function :|
  22. mlauzon

    mlauzon TS Rookie

    You feel old, I'm almost 40, I didn't even know what a VCR was until sometime in '84, the group home I lived in got one then, although earlier that year my primary worker brought in a Beta machine and that was the first & last time I ever saw one of those!
  23. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

    I'm 39 :)
  24. mlauzon

    mlauzon TS Rookie

    Okay, you've got two years on me!

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