10 consumer gadgets that bombed

The tech landscape is littered with electronic innovations that didn’t live up to expectations – or bombed from the get-go.

Michelle V. Rafter, MSN Money

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Aug 10, 2013 12:02AM
I realize that this is a Microsoft article, but really . . . aren't we forgetting about the Zune (Microsoft's ill-fated iPod challenger) and the Surface (their over-priced and under-performing version of the iPad)? And how about Bing!?! Come on Microsoft, you don't have to look far for failed and failing products! I guess the Microsoft editors and execs forgot that they live in glasshouses.
Aug 9, 2013 11:27PM
If they hadn't overcharged for the TVs and glasses, 3d might have taken off this time. Shortsighted greed claims another good idea. Maybe in another couple of decades...
Aug 10, 2013 12:11AM
The Betamax died because the porn industry backed VHS.
Aug 9, 2013 10:58PM
I barely remember Betamax, but I remember it had much better picture quality than vhs, but they refused to license it to other manufacturers. VHS came out and spread the technology to everyone and that's how they came out on top.
Aug 12, 2013 8:07AM
Must be a slow news day.  This was already a front page MSN story about 2 weeks ago
Aug 12, 2013 9:22AM
How many times are you going to run this story, MSN??? This is the third time!!!!
Aug 9, 2013 11:10PM
Aug 12, 2013 6:33AM
Sony did not kill betamax in 1977. I remember as a kid video stores still had both VHS and beta machines around 1985 when we purchased ours. The video stores in the area had both VHS and beta till around 1987 when they started fading away.
Aug 12, 2013 7:49AM
How could they stop selling that MSN tv thing in the late 2000's?  Did I fall asleep, or am I not reading it right?  Some of these things sure seem to have stayed around a long time or turned a pretty good profit before shutting down to be called a total failure.  And a lot of them that failed led to other products that took off. 
Aug 9, 2013 10:31PM
That Apple Lisa looks like rectangular pieces of Poop.
Aug 12, 2013 10:22AM
If Minitel was a French company, why is the display terminal showing Japanese?
Aug 9, 2013 11:54PM
 anyone remember a pda made by sony that could hook up to a phone line and send/receive faxes? it was a clunky thing but nothing else like it at the time. was like the apple newton, but it worked. only problem is it used some strange battery that no regular store would sell.
Aug 9, 2013 11:24PM

you know, a lot of those gadgets were way ahead of their time do that why they didn't do well. i remember SEGA Dreamcast, a game console that first use CD. and now look at Xbox and PlayStation. and 3DO that was ahead of its time

Aug 12, 2013 11:07AM

what about 8Track? of course that lasted a little while befor Casettes doomed it.

Aug 12, 2013 12:16PM
Where's the Sega CD?   Sure it had some great titles, but no one is going to pay $300 for a peripheral.

Even better, HD-DVD, which seemed pointless with the introduction of Blu-Ray around the same time.
Aug 9, 2013 11:56PM
laserdisc was great, especially japanese import discs that were made to hi-lite the better picture quality. they even made unit that would play both sides without you having to flip the disc. 
The funny thing here is, after I just finished watching G.I. Joe: Retaliation in 3D on my 47 inch LG 3D TV, which was stunning, is that the movie industry doesn't seem to believe 3D is a failure, because they're still putting out 3D movies.

Comcast Xfinity service also gives you a large selection of 3D material to watch, although the selection doesn't change often.  New items are added as they're released for availability On Demand.

Also, the glasses, especially passive, were incredibly cheap.  So incredibly cheap, all you had to do was BUY the TV and they (atleast Best Buy) will give you a 6-pack of 3D glasses, to go with the 2 pairs that come with the TV itself.  And if you've ever gone to a 3D movie, you can bring those glasses home to use. Active glasses (offered by brands like Samsung which uses active technology) are the only expensive kind.

The real failure here is ESPN for only offering NEW 3D programming less than once or twice a month, while replaying old 3D programs over and over again.  I love football, but I have no interest in watching the Chik-Fil-A Bowl from last year in 3D.  And Comcast fails them because you can only watch the 'live' 3D programming with a specific cable box, yet you can watch On Demand 3D programming with a basic cable box.

I personally watch anything that's available to be watched in 3D in 3D because the depth make it seem much more entertaining to me.  I own multiple 3D movies and enjoy them all, and I've seen dozens of 3D movies in the theaters, and really don't think they're as big a failure as all these 'consumer reports' make them out to be.

Aug 12, 2013 10:27AM
Anyone else remember the video disc machines that played movies off a LP record shape?
Aug 12, 2013 12:51PM

Who wrote that article about the Betamax?  So much of it is off.  For one thing, Sony is the inventor of the Betamax.  They did not license the Betamax to other manufacturers until JVC came out with the VHS and licensed it to other manufacturers.  When Sony realized this, they started to license the Betamax to other manufacturers, but by that time the VHS format was tracting popularity (although the Betamax is SUPERIOR).  The Betamax was the first with these technologies over VHS:
Beta Hi-Fi

Super Beta (VHS HQ was a year later)

ED Beta (versus Super VHS)
The Betamax technologies in all those categories are superior to the VHS equivalent.

Sony and other manufacturers made the Betamax well into the 1980s, and Sony kept making the Betamax well into the 1990s, but by this time, Sony was the only manufactuerer to continue the Betamax and ceased production by the mid 1990s.

If there was one technology that did not deserve its fate - it was the Betamax.

Aug 12, 2013 10:05AM
I don't see how they can say 3D tv failed, umm I would buy one next time I need a tv, not going to trash a perfectly good tv just to hop onto newest thing, but I would next time I need tv, give it time.
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