"Next Big Things" That Died (Since the Smartphone)

Google Glass
The Occulus Rift
3D TV
The Hololens (will never be sold to consumers)
Augmented Reality (Pokemon Go! came and went)
The Galaxy Fold (was just delayed indefinitely)
Smartwatches (changed nothing)

I'm starting to think the smartphone and the tablet were the apex of consumer technology's evolution. It's like there's a force resisting innovation beyond that point. I don't want to hear about smart home devices, or even self-driving cars. Those don't excite me. They will make life even more boring than it already is.

I feel bad for anyone who pre-ordered the Galaxy Fold. Poor bastards.

Just kidding. I would love to taste their tears. No useless overpriced status symbol for you. It's so appropriate that the last Apple commercial to feature a song was Daniel Johnston's "Story of an Artist," just one of the saddest songs of resignation ever, playing against a background montage of depressed-looking hipsters who clearly gave up on their dreams.

At least we have that border wall to look forward to. There's your next big thing. Huuuuge actually.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
What is Galaxy Fold?
As for 3d telly, I think it's been invented a few times and never caught on. The thing is, things far enough away look 2d anyway so no-one really needs it do they?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Smart watch isn't that basically just a smart phone with a strap around it to attach it to your wrist?
 
Smart watch isn't that basically just a smart phone with a strap around it to attach it to your wrist?
It wishes. The smartwatch is like the smartphone's runty annoying little brother. We liked it at first, it is not without its charms, but after 6-7 years it has failed to live up to expectations. Its parents, Samsung and Apple, probably have to reassure it constantly, "Hang in there little buddy, you will come into your own eventually. It can't be easy living in your older brother's shadow, but you have your own special talents. Like fitness tracking! And other stuff!" All the while knowing it will be nothing but a constant burden, gradually deteriorate in quality, usefulness, and significance, and have to be discontinued, fading from existence and the collective memory as something equally useless and pointless, let's say SmartShoes, takes its place.

Why did all our best minds have to die or go crazy or commit suicide in the last decade? Steve Jobs, David Foster Wallace, Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stephen Hawking (intuition tells me he was on to something with black holes shortly before his death), Anthony Bourdain, Kanye West, Elon Musk. Again, it's like something doesn't want us to evolve beyond a certain point, technologically or culturally.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It wishes. The smartwatch is like the smartphone's runty annoying little brother. We liked it at first, it is not without its charms, but after 6-7 years it has failed to live up to expectations. Its parents, Samsung and Apple, probably have to reassure it constantly, "Hang in there little buddy, you will come into your own eventually. It can't be easy living in your older brother's shadow, but you have your own special talents. Like fitness tracking! And other stuff!" All the while knowing it will be nothing but a constant burden, gradually deteriorate in quality, usefulness, and significance, and have to be discontinued, fading from existence and the collective memory as something equally useless and pointless, let's say SmartShoes, takes its place.

Why did all our best minds have to die or go crazy or commit suicide in the last decade? Steve Jobs, David Foster Wallace, Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stephen Hawking (intuition tells me he was on to something with black holes shortly before his death), Anthony Bourdain, Kanye West, Elon Musk. Again, it's like something doesn't want us to evolve beyond a certain point, technologically or culturally.
I still don't know what a Galaxy Fold is or when Kanye died or about Hawking going crazy...
 
I still don't know what a Galaxy Fold is or when Kanye died or about Hawking going crazy...
Hawking died a year ago, Kanye went crazy, and the Galaxy Fold is the result of some coffee/adderall fueled recent CompSci graduate blurting out, "Hey, what if we mashed a smartphone with a tablet? That's something new, right? At least people will think it seems new, and like, gaze upon it in awe. Let's price it at $2000":

Samsung's version of the Galaxy Fold:


Reality's version of the Galxy Fold:

Hauwei gets all the good stuff first :(
 
Why did all our best minds have to die or go crazy or commit suicide in the last decade? Steve Jobs, David Foster Wallace, Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stephen Hawking (intuition tells me he was on to something with black holes shortly before his death), Anthony Bourdain, Kanye West, Elon Musk. Again, it's like something doesn't want us to evolve beyond a certain point, technologically or culturally.
Almost forgot about Charlie Kauffman, screenwriter (Eternal Sunshine..., Being John Malkovich, etc.). Not sure what happened there. Maybe he was cursed like that crazy fella who directed the "Kony 2012" documentary? Wish he (Kauffman) would come back, we need his voice.

I guess there's always been a struggle between evolutionary agency and the elemental forces of entropy and decomposition. Every agent of change that might (correctly or not) be labelled "messianic" in the post-war period was murdered: Mahatma Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, John Lennon, Tupac Shakur. The lesson here: never bear a cross for anyone or anything.
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I'm pretty sure Hawking was "on to something with black holes" for about the last 50 years...
 
What happened to the biotech revolution promised in the '90's? Stem cells? Gene modification? All that investor money went down the drain I suppose. I guess the "playing God" argument worked. What a shame.

Enough dwelling on the negative. What will be the actual next big thing in technology? My guess: a suicide pill and/or suicide machine that gently escorts you to the other side.
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
i have for some time the feeling that interest in smartphones is waning, i don't think it will completely disappear but i don't see anything really innovative happening anymore with them. i wish i could just leave mine at home because i only really use whatsapp and no other applications.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
What happened to the biotech revolution promised in the '90's? Stem cells? Gene modification? All that investor money went down the drain I suppose. I guess the "playing God" argument worked. What a shame.
You've not heard about personalized medicine and gene therapy then? Never mind advanced prostheses, neural interfaces and so on. There's stuff going on right now, being used to treat patients, that was science fiction just 20 years ago.
 

pattycakes_

Well-known member
You've not heard about personalized medicine and gene therapy then? Never mind advanced prostheses, neural interfaces and so on. There's stuff going on right now, being used to treat patients, that was science fiction just 20 years ago.
Yeah, there are pills in their late R&D stages right now where they extract a bit of bone marrow from you and make a pill that will go in and specifically target and kill your own personal cancer cells. No damage to any other tissue. It's fucking crazy. I was teaching a woman in Sao Paulo who was working on exactly this and she said it should be ready for mass production in the next few years and will be much cheaper and hundreds of times more effective than all current cancer treatments.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Yeah, there are pills in their late R&D stages right now where they extract a bit of bone marrow from you and make a pill that will go in and specifically target and kill your own personal cancer cells. No damage to any other tissue. It's fucking crazy. I was teaching a woman in Sao Paulo who was working on exactly this and she said it should be ready for mass production in the next few years and will be much cheaper and hundreds of times more effective than all current cancer treatments.
Yeah, it's amazing. And don't forget engineered phage viruses to target pathogenic bacteria - e.g. the ones that are now resistant to every currently used antibiotic.
 
All of this stuff, with the possible exception of light gene therapy, never makes it out of the university laboratories. You just don't see it in mainstream medicine. Neural interfaces? BMI's (I assume that's what you mean by prostheses)? Gene modification for cancer treatment? Yes, this stuff is real, it works, it's amazing, but you will never see it outside academia or the R&D departments. Look, I've been reading New Scientist and Science Daily and phys.org for about two decades, you hear about these incredible breakthroughs, then they just disappear. Why? Who knows. It could be the prohibitive cost of mass production, or FDA hurdles, or something even more sinister. But believe me, I look forward to the day when you can order fetal stem cells from Amazon.

In the 1990's, one of the hottest stocks you could have in your portfolio (sips coffee, 7:30 AM here) was biotech. Biotech was hyped to death and all we really got out of it was 23 and Me and maybe some light temporary gene therapy, but nothing permanent and certainly nothing revolutionary. Give me an example of a type of gene therapy or genetic modification that's "mainstream" or even popularly known and I'll shut up about it.
 
Now, the one everyone laughs at, drone delivery, will become the next big thing. Especially when we get little drone delivery CARS that are electric, fully automated, and can zip through traffic.
 
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