Stochastic Computers: Pioneered in 1953, stochastic computers involve computation by treating data as probabilities. Despite the huge amount of interest in stochastic computing in 1960s and 1970s, the technology has failed to compete against digital logic computers.
IBM launched PCjr computer as a relatively inexpensive version of its IBM PC to target homes and schools. The PCjr was reportedly unpleasant to use with its infamous chiclet keyboard. PCjr also didn't come with a hard drive, and instead programs were run on cartridges that had to be plugged into the front of the device. IBM pulled the PCjr from the market in 1985.
Digital Audio Tape (DAT)
Digital Audio Tape was developed by Sony and Philips and was one of the most hyped technologies by audio experts. The most unique aspect about DAT was that it was digital despite being an audio tape. It also had higher sampling rates than audio CDs without relying on compression. Unfortunately, DAT was not adopted for fear of piracy. Instead audio CDs were introduced around 1983 and were embraced by consumers and the audio industry.
In mid-90s, PointCast Network was a popular application that delivered customized updates directly to desktops-- but along with a bunch of advertisements using the so-called push technology. Soon after, PointCast's push technology quickly turned into a problem, taking up a lot of bandwidth and clogged corporate networks in the dial-up internet era, which led to companies banning it from offices. Surprisingly, the technology later made a return through low-bandwidth RSS feeds in the following decade but with PointCast Network's proprietary application.
Napster was the first in the digital world to introduce peer-to-peer music file sharing with the help of its application. While it gave a huge shocker to Internet music giant ITunes, Napster faced legal ramifications as the platform was used for large scale music piracy.
Zip drive was a follow-up technology to floppy disk which was introduced by Iomega in late 1994. Compared to Floppy Disk, a Zip drive had a much higher storage capacity, ranging from 100 MB to 750 MB. The problem with many of the Zip drives was that in many cases, the drive head had the tendency to become misaligned, rendering the data inaccessible. Iomega faced a huge lawsuit from dissatisfied customers in 1998.
The Newton was a series of personal digital assistants (PDA) developed and marketed by Apple. Apple tried their best to help popularize the Newton PDA (personal digital assistant), but due to high price and major issue with handwriting recognition (Newton's flagship feature), it could not find meaningful adoption. Apple had to pull Newton from the market in 1998.
Windows Millennium Edition was launched in 2000 by Microsoft as a follow-up OS after Windows 98 SE for PCs. Users reported difficulty installing and even using Windows ME. One of the most common issues with the operating system was that often during startup and shutdown, the computer would show Blue Screen of Death or a system crash error.
During the 1990s, computer RAM was very expensive, costing somewhere between 30-50 USD for an MB. When Windows 95 apps pushed up the need for extra RAM, a company called Syncronys promised users to double their RAM if they install their software- SoftRAM. The product purchased by over 700,000 users across the globe was found to be misleading by regulators as it did not double the system's RAM. All it did was expand the size of Windows' hard disk cache, something that could be achieved without any extra software.
HD-DVD was pitched by Toshiba as the follow up to DVD technology in 2006. Toshiba even launched HD-DVD players for it. Unfortunately, the technology could not click with end-users when they discovered that Sony's Blu-Ray technology launched at the same time was far superior.
Smart Personal Objects Technology
Microsoft Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) in 2004 for smart home appliances. The technology covered day-to-day appliances all the way from watches to kitchen appliances. The technology failed to take off as it relied on FM signals instead of WiFi. To make it worse, users had to get regular subscriptions to have access to the service.
Unlike the popular binary digital electronic computers that required the encoding of data into binary digits, quantum computers use quantum bits which exist in a superstation of states. As of 2018, the development of quantum computers is still at an early stage despite the fact that quantum computing started during the 1980s.
Despite decades of research and billions of dollars in funding, Nano technology has struggled to find a fair share of applications in global industries. The technology first came to light in 1959 but standards and practices related to its use in manufacturing has not been clearly specified to this date.
Consumer 3-D Printers
3-D Printers were considered as the next revolutionary technology when launched in the 1980s. But after decades of being into existence, 3-D printers remain a niche hobby for end consumers. This is because most modern-day households and offices have no real use applications of these expensive gadgets.
Many tech enthusiasts hailed Glass as the next big computing platform, but Google didn't consider the privacy implications of putting cameras on users' faces. Businesses banned Glass from their establishments, while mainstream consumers disliked the device's awkward appearance and high price tag. Google discontinued Glass in 2015 but promised to launch a next-gen version in the near future.