33 Technologies That Seemed Like Ultimate Breakthroughs At The Time But Are Now Nearly Completely Forgotten

33 Technologies That Seemed Like Ultimate Breakthroughs At The Time But Are Now Nearly Completely Forgotten

You can’t always guess what the future will hold. But you can bet your bottom dollar on one thing—there’s bound to be a whole bunch of tech breakthroughs that seemed incredibly important at the time only to have been left by the wayside.


Our team here at Bored Panda has spelunked into the darkest corners of the net to find you some of these tech innovations that seemed so amazing just a handful of years ago but which sound bizarre, hilarious, or even useless now. Check them out below and, as you scroll down, upvote the pics that you liked the most. Got a strong sense of nostalgia? We’d love to hear all about the tech you remember the most fondly, so be sure to write us a comment or two with your thoughts.


Even the best experts can’t accurately predict which technologies will stand the test of time and which ones will just be so much junk. However, that doesn’t mean that we should give up trying to guess what our future’s going to be like.


#1 See-Through Electronics


Image credits: rysterf


#2 These iPhone Apps Where You Drank Fake Beer


Image credits: onmilwaukee


#3 Movies On An iPod With A 2-Inch Screen


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Nobody can deny that the pace at which technology changes is incredibly fast. So much so that some of us (e.g. me) get left behind, clinging to what’s familiar, safe, and doesn’t require us to feel like we’re already pensioners. (No shade on pensioners, though—most of the ones I know are better at adapting to new tech than I am!)


Ramona Pringle, the Director of the Creative Innovation Studio and Associate Professor at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University, told me all about the changes in tech during a previous interview with Bored Panda.


#4 TVs With A VHS Player Built Into Them


Image credits: Wikimedia Commons


#5 Digital Mp3 Players With These Songs


Image credits: Luminous_Fantasy


#6 Watches That Lit Up Blue


Image credits: itslikesoulman


“We don’t know what the future holds, and anyone who says that they do is selling snake oil. But, there are certain things we can count on: we love stories, and we love to be part of something biggest than ourselves. Be it oral storytelling, books, blogs, movies, or video games, we’ve never lost our love of narrative,” Pringle told Bored Panda earlier.


#7 Robot Dogs


Image credits: PussyAnalBreath


#8 Netflix's DVD Service


Image credits: suburbanmen


#9 Cassette Tape That Let You Connect Your iPod To Your Car Stereo


Image credits: reddit


“Equally true, even when we can’t go into a concert hall or colosseum, we look for ways to be together, connected, and part of a communal experience. The tech might change, but these will continue to be the drivers of our entertainment experiences,” she said that entertainment and connectivity will most likely continue to drive changes in technology in the future.


#10 Car Phones


Image credits: steverotter


#11 Batteries That Let You Check How Much Energy Was Left


#12 A DVD Or VHS Player In A Car


Image credits: photobucket


According to Pringle, over the next decade, we should see big changes occurring in the entertainment tech industry. “Immersion and interactivity have long been goals for creators and media makers when it comes to how technology can influence entertainment,” she said.


#13 Portable DVD Players


Image credits: ldn_elek


#14 Thick Big Screen TVs Only Rich Kids Had


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#15 The Motorola Razr. Still The Coolest Cell Phone To Be Produced


Image credits: Boojibs


“For the last decade, we’ve leaned into virtual reality because of how it enables both of these. We can step inside a world and have influence over it, and the story or experience that unfolds. I think one of the things we can expect moving forward is, in a sense, the opposite of virtual reality. Instead, more of an enhanced reality or fictional reality, wherein the entertainment isn’t in a headset, but instead, all around us,” Pringle highlighted what we might see start popping up with more frequency over the next few years.


#16 Remember When Laptops Used To Have That Little Rubber Clit For A Mouse?


Image credits: reddit.com


#17 The Original Ipod And The Million Buttons It Had


Image credits: RobertoSport


#18 That Singing Fish


Image credits: StevenBalthaser


“A decade ago, we didn’t talk to robots. Today, many of us do. Siri and Alexa are some of the more common bots, but we already interface with non-human characters regularly. As technology advances, including augmented reality and mixed reality, I think we can expect that entertainment will be something we can engage with off of the screen, but out in the world, with characters and stories we can engage with throughout the day, or throughout our houses,” the researcher said.


#19 The GE Alarm Clock That Everyone Seemed To Have


Image credits: 2ezyo


#20 Fake Lighter Phone Apps


Image credits: play.google.com


#21 CD Players With 45-Second Skip Protection


Image credits: Philips


How we engage with one another will also have a large impact on entertainment, according to Pringle. One example of this is the unexpected rise of e-sports. “Whoever would have thought that people would pay money to watch other people play games? Media that engages us and gives us something to gather around, be it together, or virtually, is something that will always appeal to us,” she said.


#22 Paper Toss iPhone Game


Image credits: mrkowalscheme


#23 Phones With Internet On Them In The First Place


 




 

 

 

 

 



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#24 Hit Clips


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We’re also likely to see “the ebb and flow” of experiences that focus on bringing people together offline, on-screen, and online. “In the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of interactive and immersive venues like the museum of ice cream or the Dr. Seuss experience,” Pringle told Bored Panda about how the divide between what we consider to be tech and not might get blurry. Especially in the field of entertainment.


#25 Having The Option And The Ability To Update Your Facebook From A Text Message


Image credits: SillyActuary


#26 Cd Players That Held Multiple Cds At Once


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#27 Digital Cable And Being Able To Watch A Ton Of Useless Channels


Image credits: photobucket


“These are places we can go, with friends and family, and have a shared experience. It feeds back into our online experiences because we can share photos or memories and these environments are designed to foster that. Certainly, as we find ourselves in a time of social distancing, we’re seeing new creative ways of “being together” even when we’re apart. So I think we can expect to see entertainment that helps us connect, be it online or off, and immerses us in an experience, story, or community.”


#28 A TV With A DVD Player In It


Image credits: ryuguy


#29 Those Backwards Seats In Station Wagons


Image credits: or_worse__EXPELLED


#30 Speakers That Attached To The Monitor


Image credits: Smeg98


#31 Pagers Are Now Collecting Dust


Image credits: Wikimedia Commons


#32 Can I Interest You In A Sidekick II With Aol Messenger?


Image credits: TheConfusingWords


#33 Old School PC Microphones


Image credits: wanpakujozu