Tech Ahead of Its Time: 9 products that were released too soon

Every now and again, someone comes up with a revolutionary idea for a product or service and brings it to market. Just as often, however, the supporting technology isn’t there, consumers aren’t ready to embrace it, or management mishandles how to properly launch such a product. Whatever the reason, some ideas just aren't meant to take root, no matter how groundbreaking, ultimately falling victim to bad timing.

Finding the good in a failed product can be difficult at the time but in hindsight, it’s those same products that often serve as precursors to existing technology. In this article, we will be profiling nine such ideas that were conceived and brought to market well before their time. While some weren’t exactly failures, most were – and all are responsible for playing a role in current devices or services that make our lives more comfortable and enjoyable.

Read: Technology Before Its Time: 9 Products That Were Too Early to Market

These articles are brought to you in partnership with TechSpot.

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Power glove worked perfectly for me. I tried my friend's and it sucked. I think a LOT of them were just bad batches never attended to. I have about 60+ games, tested'em all. Fluid action.

That's kinda sad.

So basically what Apple did was see the Palm Treo and copy it creating the iphone although with probably better OS and stuff? amke it all flashy and with the right marketing made it a huge hit

Well no. Apple REALLY DID bring a whole new UI design to market and made it work. The original iPhone wasn't really a smartphone though, you couldn't install any third party programs on it. It was a good web browser and music player but that's pretty much it. The 3G running iOS 2 was a lot better.

Treos running Palm OS actually sucked. Maybe early 2000s they were good, but by the mid-2000's you wanted a Windows Mobile device. They were the fastest and had the best hardware. Even PALM started building treos running Windows Mobile like the treo 700w and 750w. Windows Mobile wasn't finger friendly, relying mostly on stylus for touch input and many (most?) phone-enabled WM devices had physical keyboards.

I remember the iPhone launch. My WM phone did everything it did and a whole lot more such as GPS navigation a year before the iPhone came out. iPhone wasn't able to do navigation until the 3G model because the original didn't even have a GPS receiver. It couldn't send or receive MMS, couldn't copy and paste, couldn't install third party programs, couldn't do **** basically.

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.

Interesting that the smartphone example was the Palm Treo, when the Ericsson R380, released several years before, provided the same capability.

.fahim said,
Interesting that the smartphone example was the Palm Treo, when the Ericsson R380, released several years before, provided the same capability.

Eh, they seem to have forgotten about Windows Mobile which crushed everything before iOS came out and for another 1-2 yet after iOS was released if you wanted to actually DO anything on your smartphone). PALM even started making treos running Windows Mobile. It's funny, WM had a fast development pace up until WM5, adding features and support at a very high speed. But that was when it had a very small userbase. As soon as people started jumping onto smartphones Microsoft stopped developing WM and let it stagnate. WM6, WM6.1, WM6.5 all barely added anything in the years after WM5.

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

Same here, we had an old Hitachi VCR that didn't feature VideoPlus+ (in the UK), but it broke and we eventually bought a Sony VCR. I used to see the codes in the TV guide and be eager to try them out. They were handy when we used them. We now have the wonders of a Freeview (DVB-T) EPG.

Add the UMPC and it's ilk into that list. I still want a Vaio UX - maybe Sony could release a new version...

blerk said,
Add the UMPC and it's ilk into that list. I still want a Vaio UX - maybe Sony could release a new version...

Not just the UMPC, but also the tablet PC.