Future tech that didn't make it

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8bit's picture
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Future tech that didn't make it

 

 

  I was looking at this vintage Road & Track page (1975). At the time everyone thought all future cars would have a rotary engine. That didn't happen, and neither did laser disc players, lol.

   Road & Track Top 10 - 1975

 

 

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Well, they did, but... very

Well, they did, but... very short lived.

Likewise with bubble memory.  Can you imagine what 1TB of buble memory would look like?  ;-D

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macnoyd wrote:Well, they did,
macnoyd wrote:

Well, they did, but... very short lived.

Likewise with bubble memory.  Can you imagine what 1TB of buble memory would look like?  ;-D

 

It's look like a server rack. :D

 

I do still have systems with bubble memory. Back then, 16K was big. 

 

I will note that some rotary engines were used, and some are still in use. The reason they did not become commonplace is complicated, but in general, repairs were convoluted, and issues with their complexity versus economics at the time made them less desirable after the 1970s fuel shortage faded around '77/78. 

 

I've had cars with them, and they are indeed a nightmare to repair. My general sentiment was what the industry planned at the time: If the engine fails, replace it as a whole module. 

 

Still waiting for flying cars, self-lacing footwear, and hoverboards, too. At least we have touch screen technology, which did make it, but is now so horrible designed as to be not worthwhile. The pervasive touch keyboard sort of defies the simple premise of what the technology implied. TBH, pen touch screens, where you write on them, are older tech, and yet remain more futuristic. 

 

Also,what about VR? That died on the vine twenty years ago, and still pops up from time to time.

 

Holographic projectors? I saw a demonstration one time of an ionising projector that displayed graphic images in the air. What happened to that technology?

 

Digital paper: Likewise, many years ago, at (IIRC) either a CES or a CeBIT show, I saw a physical paper-like medium (or more like mylar), that could store a digital image, and be refreshed. It held its current image on battery power, and it took a few seconds to change, but you could make an entire 200p book of the stuff, and in theory, load a new book into memory, and rewrite the pages. Instead ot this, we got Kindle, which is nowhere near the same thing. Read 'digital paper' would have provided the same tactile experience as a book, magazine, or manual, but you could change its contents--in the language of today, you would swap SD cards in the spine. 

 

This would have in a word, been awesome. 

 

What about heads-up display glasses for computers? Those keen one-eye glasses with a translucent system image over one eye. We could make those now, so, why do they not exist?!

 

Last, 3D technology. We went from red and blue glasses, to shutter goggles, to screens with polarised film layers, but little to nothing has properly delivered 3D content as it was portrayed, and every time it crops up, it also seems to die off. I was always a fan of the shutter-based pseudo-3D games, such as on the Vectrex, or on the Nintendo Famicom, but now that we have the kit to do that with a handheld console, without the goggles, it has become a novelty item again, and quite ignored.

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   Then there was the Betamax

 

  Then there was the Betamax. What really killed that was Sony not getting in early with the home video rental market. That's the reason I switched to VHS. However, if all you do is tape straight off of TV, then you could still use one today, with the right cables and a set top box.

 

   The Betamax Casette

 

    When the movie Avatar came out everyone was predicting many new films would be 3D, and cinemas were refitting for it, but it never happened.

 

      I think that was eventually  the method with the rotary engine, dealers had reconditioned units sitting on a shelf ready to go.

 

     MotorWeek 1983 Porsche 944 Vs Mazda RX7

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