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Every so often, someone announces a product they feel is so revolutionary that it will dramatically change the very way we live. Sometimes these products do have a great impact on our day-to-day existence. And sometimes they go in the dollar bin. These are those second kind of products, the ones that suck:

Segway

Segway Chinese Police
(source)

How It Was Supposed to Change the World: Heralded before its reveal as “the reinvention of the wheel” and “bigger than the Internet”, the Segway was meant to alter not only how people travel but the very infrastructure of major cities.

What Actually Happened: After months of hype, the grand reveal on Good Morning America introduced viewers to a slow-moving Razor Scooter for wealthy lunatics. Within a five-minute segment, the Segway went from the future of transportation to something only cops afraid of horses would use.

Mizar Flying Car

Mizar Flying Car Pinto
(source)

How It Was Supposed to Change the World: The Mizar was meant to end our reliance on airlines while achieving mankind’s dream of experiencing collisions a thousand feet above it the turnpike.

What Actually Happened: Part of the Mizar was a Ford Pinto, an automobile famous for a rear-bumper fuel tank that often caused it to explode if it backed into something. This was in addition to loosely-mounted wing struts, which detached mid-air during its one test flight, killing all on board. Production stopped immediately afterwards.

Virtual Boy

Nintendo Virtual Boy
(source)

How It Was Supposed to Change the World: In an age when virtual reality was all the rage but not at all practical, Nintendo’s Virtual Boy was supposed to be the first step into a whole new era of totally immersive entertainment.

What Actually Happened: Nintendo’s shortest-lived and lowest selling console heralded a new era of severe migraines, nausea, dizziness, and reports that playing it could result in flashbacks and permanent brain damage. Realizing they were not prepared to handle numerous class-action lawsuits regarding PTSD and prolonged rehabilitation stay, Nintendo pulled the plug on the lil’ torture device within seven months.

Video Phone

western electric videophone ad
(source)

How It Was Supposed to Change the World: From home phones to pay phones, people could ditch normal communication for a chance to accidentally appear naked during a telephone call.

What Actually Happened: Making a video phone call in the 1960s would cost the equivalent of $200 per three-minute call in today’s dollars, which doomed the Jetsons’ intrusive way of life to be a costly failure.

Corn Flakes

bowl of corn flakes
(source)

How It Was Supposed to Change the World: End masturbation.

What Actually Happened: Dr. John Kellogg, of Kellogg’s cereal fame, ran a sanitarium/holistic spa in which he treated patients with a strict diet and, well, numerous enemas. But when he accidentally created the corn flake, he believed he had found the ultimate bland breakfast food that would bore people to such a degree they would never, ever want to touch themselves. (Since he also believed it was spicy food that flamed so many passions.) Alas, as many people can attest, one bowl of Special K does not relieve sexual tension, no matter where you pour it.

 

5 Things People Mistakenly Thought Would Change the World

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