Technology is a hazardous science, and when it comes to inventing new objects to transform our daily lives, industrialists often tend to make tons of them, even if it means making a significant comeback a few months later.
While the innovation market is more prolific than ever, let’s look back at those inventions that seemed like good ideas, but finally ended up in the cemetery of the technologically forgotten.
Amazon Fire Phone
Equipped with Fire, the American giant’s home OS, the Fire Phone released in 2014 is what is commonly called a huge commercial flop. Sold for $649 on day 1, the smartphone developed by Amazon was a resounding failure in the United States. So much so that even at $199, the terminal never found a buyer.
After an $83 million shortfall and the dismissal of several engineers, Amazon finally announced the end of its commercialization in 2015, barely a year after its release.
Launched in 1992, the MiniDisc promised to become the worthy successor to the audio cassette. Despite its success in Japan, and a major advertising campaign by Sony, which at the time was trying to raise it to the top in the West, the situation was clear. Only 50,000 readers sold in America in the first year, and in nearly 20 years of existence, Sony only managed to sell 22 million copies of its MiniDiscs.
The arrival of the MP3 player in the early 2000s ended the (almost) promising format, and Sony officially announced the end of its production in March 2013. For many teenagers who grew up in the 1990s, this announcement still sounds like the end of an era.
The connected glasses
After the failure of Google Glass in 2013, it was thought that the connected glasses market was definitely dead and buried. But that wasn’t counting on Snapchat, which had the original idea to launch its Shows in 2016, connected sunglasses capable of filming in HD and synchronizing everything directly on the social network. The idea wasn’t completely crazy, but from 115 € per pair, no one really liked the concept. A failure that did not prevent the brand from releasing its new Spectacles 2 a few months ago, soberer but above all more expensive than their older sisters (175€).
Driven by the success of the 2009 film Avatar, 3D TVs have quickly become the new fashionable technology. Spoiler alert, this craze finally lasted only as long as it took to watch James Cameron’s blockbuster. Presented by its manufacturers as the future of multimedia, 3D films will ultimately appeal to no one and will remain confined to a few cinemas.
It must be said that while the three-dimensional effect was often quite limited, and accompanied by a particularly poor catalog, the constraint associated with wearing (ugly) glasses was very present. After a slow agony, it was finally in 2017 that the death of 3D televisions was officially pronounced by the manufacturers, in favor of 4K, a much more useful and comfortable technology in everyday life.