While it’s fun to guess and debate what the next big thing will be, regardless of whether it’s technology, political or social situations, or any other aspect, it’s much more fun to take a look at the things people said would be the next big thing that never did.
Reddit has recently been discussing just that—all of the things that people thought would be huge, but that most of us have now forgotten (or didn’t even know) about.
The online community’s user u/LineOfDeath (very appropriate given the question) asked people “What was supposed to be ‘The Next Big Thing’, but totally flopped?” and over 50,000 comments later, the AskReddit post blew up with over 76,000 upvotes in under a day.
Bored Panda invites you to take a look at the things people answered in the list below. And while you’re there, vote and comment on the best ones. Well, OK, not the best ones, but you get what I mean.
More Info: Reddit
Not entirely relevant, but I liked the trend where everybody wanted the smallest cell phone possible. For 20 years cell phones got smaller and smaller. Often being the main selling point of the phone.
Then all of sudden you could watch videos on your phone, and almost overnight the trend reversed to “larger is better”
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The Segway. It was supposed to change the way everyone lived. The invention of the century or something like that. A really big deal.
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Airship travel. These were the next, awesome way to travel long distances; in fact the spire on top of the Empire State Building was meant as an anchoring point for airships.
The Hindenburg kind of put a damper on it, though
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Google+ was supposed to be the answer to Facebook
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The European Super League.
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Hoverboards? I remember in a span of 3 months everyone had them and showed them off and then they just disappeared.
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The Panama Papers
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The area 51 raid.
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This one might be a bit obscure just because I’ve only ever met one other person familiar with it, but Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone was looking like it could’ve been the end all be all of smartphones.
Based off the Phonebloks idea of having a Lego-like hot-swappable module phone, the idea was that you could switch out any components of the phone on the fly. Camera, fingerprint scanner, even different quality screens. Conceptually, it really looked like it could take over the phone market, as it would lead to people not having to buy whole new phones anymore, but rather replacement or upgraded parts to a phone they already liked, thereby reducing costs and increasing utility.
You don’t want a phone with 5 cameras that inflate the cost unnecessarily? Just buy a one camera module. You want a 1440P Super Amoled screen to replace your 720P regular screen? Buy one and swap it in.
However, like many Google projects, it died off for myriad reasons and the longstanding era of $1000 dollar smartphone slabs lived on.
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What ever happened to those curved televisions? I remember seeing one on an advert a few years back bit havent seen or heard about them since.
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The “Dark Universe” cinematic universe, starting with 2017’s THE MUMMY.
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Technically it was a hit! Right until it flopped when people figured out the whole ‘inhaling rockfibers is not healthy’ thing…
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Dip N Dots…
Been the “Ice Cream Of The Future” for 40 years now it seems.
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Lazer discs the size of records.
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After so many years, they’re finally getting some traction during Covid. I wonder if it will last.
The 2010 live action avatar: the last air bender movie
Amazon’s shopping buttons. They pushed really hard for those and I never saw the point.
At the time video calling with your phone completely flopped because 3G couldn’t support it. There was so much advertising about this thing that was meant to be huge but the tech really didn’t work yet. But it did blow up later on with 4G, better phones, wifi in more public spaces.
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Still remember half the movies being blue and the others red.
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Hydrogen cars were a promising new form of motorized vehicle. They were supposed to be incredibly good for the environment, emitting only water as the exhaust. They exist, but not like how some people imagined. I was a pretty big hydrogen car believer at the time. There are some hydrogen stations, but mostly centered around California. Thing is that the hydrogen is quite expensive and not very efficient compared to smaller engines, hybrids, and EV’s. The hydrogen is also somewhat inefficient to produce, store, and distribute as well.
You can actually get a hydrogen car though, they’re out there. The Toyota Mirai is a really good example. Out of all hydrogen cars, that one is definitely most popular. In fact, Toyota pays for $15,000 worth of hydrogen in your first few years of ownership since it’s so expensive. This means that for your first 3-ish years of owning one, you might not have to pay a penny in fuel. As you can see I’m still a hydrogen advocate. Don’t expect to be able to take it very far from your nearest hydrogen station though.
hat streaming service that lasted like two months. ‘Qubi’ or ‘Qupi’ I think?
Even bad timing aside (a mobile based streaming service at a time when no one could really leave their house) the marketing was just horrible. I saw ads for it for nearly a week before I realized it was a new video streaming service, and by that point was so annoyed by the ads untrusting everything I didn’t care at all, just out of spite. Also I mean it was just YouTube you have to pay for and got worse content.
EDIT: it was Quibi. It made so little impact I couldn’t recall at first.
The Wii U