Every now and again an invention comes along that completely revolutionises the market. Take the iPod for instance – Apple arguably managed to completely change the way we listen to music. However for every invention that takes off there are thousands that just don’t make the grade, even when they should. Here is a look at 15 inventions that should have been more successful than they were!
The Segway was meant to bring about a revolution in transportation. We should all be zipping around on Segways instead of walking but for some reason it just didn’t take off how it should have done. The technology and the idea were sound but even Justin Bieber couldn’t make them cool, so now they tend to just be used by lazy tourists.
Whoever thought messing with Coke would work is clearly crazy! In 1985 the ‘New Coke’ was taste tested and won out over the regular Coke as it was sweeter and lighter. However, in a case of consumers knowing what they want (even if it does taste worse) ‘New Coke’ was rejected and ‘Classic Coke’ was reintroduced. The fact that tests showed people preferred the ‘New Coke’ means it should have been a successful invention but people just don’t like their brands messed with!
Nintendo Virtual Boy
The gaming market is big business and back in the 90’s virtual reality (VR) was the next big quest. Nintendo tried to find their place in the VR world with the Virtual Boy and arguably it should have succeeded. However, gamers have been very reluctant to adopt VR and the Virtual Boy was only released for 6 months before it was scrapped and replaced with the Nintendo 64.
Spray on Hair
Hair loss has been a problem since the dawn of time (probably) and so anything that claims to combat it should, in theory, be a success. Spray on hair in a can claimed to thicken hair to make up for the fact that it was getting thin, or falling out. Sounds perfect! Unfortunately according to reviews it simply just made hair look like it had been attacked with spray paint. Not the look that most people were going for and so this invention flopped.
Yes, it sounds like a thing of spy movies! A jacket that is also a parachute, allowing the wearer to jump from buildings, escape from enemies and generally have an adrenaline pumping time. Or, alternatively it could be used as the designer had intended and be worn by aviators for if they ever needed to leave their aircraft in an emergency. Either way it should have been a huge success. Unfortunately the designer jumped from the Eiffel Tower to show it off and plummeted to his death. Unsurprisingly no-one wanted to buy it after that.
Technology is an unforgiving field and one wrong move can send a product into obscurity. This is exactly what happened with the Betamax. As recording technology was the next area to crack, the race was on. Arguably it have gone either way in the Betamax vs VHS war but Sony jumped the gun and in an effort to be first they didn’t have the best product. The better product won out and Betamax faded into the background. If only Sony had held out and developed it further, things could have been a lot different.
The Baby Cage is actually just what the name suggests. What the name doesn’t reveal is that these Baby Cage’s were actually suspended outside of windows in an attempt to create a bit of extra space for families who were limited on space. As with many inventions, the idea is not that crazy – many families would like a bit of extra space. However, it seems that most families would actually prefer to have less space and keep their babies firmly inside.
Who doesn’t want to give their abs a workout while they are sat at their desk? Getting fit without having to go to the gym sounds perfect but the Hula Chair never took off like it should have done. The fact that exercising while you should be working inevitably distracts you from your work tasks combined with the fact that the chair cost $250 are probably two of the main reasons people didn’t dash out to buy this amazing invention.
Phone Fingers claimed to solve that pesky problem that comes with any touchscreen device – fingerprints on the screen. The inventors thought of everything including allowing customers to measure their fingers so that the Phone Fingers would fit like a glove. Unfortunately what they didn’t think of was the fact that most people would prefer to put up with fingerprints than have to put latex fingers on every time they wanted to use their phone.
The flying car is another invention that seems like it could be straight out of the movies. Unfortunately, just like the Parachute Jacket, it’s chances of becoming a revolutionising invention came crashing down. Early models never made it off the ground but in 1973 a Ford Pinto did start to fly. However, the Pinto broke free from the wings and the passengers died on impact. Flying cars were kept alive in the movies but that was it for real life after that incident.
It may not be a topic that is often discussed in polite company but everyone likes a bit of comfort when they nip to the loo. Comfort is exactly what this product was offering and so you would think it would be a huge success. Not only does it allow people an extra 18 inches of reach but it also means that no-one ever has to touch a soiled piece of toilet paper again. Unfortunately for the company, most people are not in that much discomfort that they need to take an 18 inch stick to the toilet with them, nor are that squeamish about toilet paper, and so this product was canned before it ever even hit the market.
As viewers we want our viewing experience to be as real as possible. We have embraced 3D cinema and TV, and we can even go and watch films in moving chairs to make us feel more like we are actually in the action. It isn’t surprising then that Smell-o-Vision was created to allow us to use another of our senses when viewing. The idea was pretty logical but the reviews came in that Smell-o-Vision stinks and it was quickly abandoned.
Vio is a Coca Cola invention and for that alone you would be forgiven for thinking it would be a success. However, it seems that the company completely missed the mark with this ‘vibrancy drink’. The taste testings all showed that people don’t really want to drink carbonated flavoured milk. Shocking!
The product that originally claimed to cure headaches or migraines simply by applying it your forehead in the same way that you would apply chapstick to your lips. It sounds perfect – no more popping pills and having to find a drink to wash them down with, simply grab HeadOn out of your bag, swipe across your head and before long you’re back to normal. The only sticking point is that it didn’t work. Medical practitioners claimed there was no scientific basis for it to work and the company had to concede that it was ‘homeopathic’ remedy. Not quite the perfect headache buster we thought it would be.
Portable Record Players
This portable record player was intended to revolutionise the music world. It would allow people to easily take their music out and about with them and listen wherever they wanted. Unfortunately it didn’t take into consideration that people would still need to carry around records, which aren’t small. This, combined with the fact that it was released just before the introduction of cassette players (which were actually very small to carry around) meant it didn’t really get the chance it deserved.