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What Great Gadgets Died Way Before Their Time?

Illustration for article titled What Great Gadgets Died Way Before Their Time?

We've talked about tech's biggest blunders and some of the gadgets we miss the most, but these are the wonderful pieces of hardware that have the most tragic stories—the technology that was simply ahead of its time.

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These are gadgets and pieces of tech fashioned into greatness after their extinction where consumers, experts, and bloggers can see more clearly with the added benefit of hindsight. Whenever I think about a gadget that died before its prime, my thoughts inevitably turned toward the Sega Dreamcast. When I bought this quirky little guy back in 1999, I was enchanted by the idea of having a display in my controller. Crazy Taxi's graphics looked amazingly stellar (for the time.) Not to mention that the Dreamcast was the first console ever to come with a built-in modem so you could play online.

The Dreamcast's forward-thinking hardware really wasn't the problem though. It was the third-party desert in which it resided. Although it had a few good titles, it never acquired the expansive catalog needed to beat back the upcoming challenger, Sony's PlayStation 2.

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Do you know some other sad stories of tech simply being to awesome for the general public? Are there examples of tech before its time in the here and now? Will we all someday be looking back at Google Glass and regretting the error of our ways (probably not)? Let's give these wonderful innovation some of the praise they deserve, even if it is too little too late.

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DISCUSSION

Honestly the Zune. I don't know if it died before its time as much as it was late to the party. I still use my Zune 120 every day and always wanted an HD, but it still makes me sad it didn't last. It was a crazy better device than the iPod.