Omnisis at 20: 15 inventions we've outlived

By Mike Underwood | 05 June 2023
Omnisis at 20: 15 inventions we've outlived

The bunting is up. The cakes are in the oven. The party is planned. Omnisis has turned 20!

As we celebrate our milestone birthday, we’ve got a lot to look forward to at Omnisis (virtual) Towers with our continued growth and opportunities to work with a roster of, quite frankly, steller clients.

Twenty years is a long time and Omnisis (pronounced Omni-sis, not Om-knee-sis) loves a bit of nostalgia. So please forgive us as we indulge ourselves with a little series of fun posts about stuff we like.

To kick us off, we’re looking at inventions which haven’t quite made it to 20 or made it but not for long…

  1. Vine: The six-second video sharing app was launched in 2012 and quickly became popular, particularly among young people. However, it was discontinued by its owner, Twitter, in 2017 - only 5 years after its launch.

  2. Laserdisc (1978-2000): Remember these? Laserdisc was an optical disc storage medium, the forerunner to DVDs. It offered better video and audio quality than VHS tapes, but was eventually replaced by DVDs, which had better storage capacity and convenience.

  3. Betamax (1975-1988): Ahhh, the beautiful Betamax. Any post-Millennial probably won’t remember this home video recording format developed by Sony. It competed with VHS (Video Home System) for dominance in the consumer market. Despite its superior quality, Betamax officially lost the format war to VHS in the late 80s, although Sony continued to produce Betamax devices until the early 2000s.

  4. MiniDisc (1992-2013): Not going to lie, I loved a MiniDisc. Another lovely innovation by Sony, these magneto-optical discs looked like they were plucked straight out of a spy movie. It was initially marketed as a replacement for audio cassette tapes and offered better sound quality and durability. However, it faced strong competition from CDs and MP3 players and eventually became obsolete.

  5. DeLorean Motor Company: Famous for producing the car used in the "Back to the Future" films, this company was founded in 1975 but went bankrupt in 1982.

  6. MySpace: Founded in 2003, MySpace was the largest social networking site in the world from 2005 to 2008. However, it was rapidly overtaken by Facebook and sold for a fraction of its purchase price in 2011.

  7. Bebo: A social networking website launched in 2005, it became very popular in the UK, but was shut down in 2013 after struggles to compete with other social networks like Facebook.

  8. Palm Pilot (1996-2010): The Palm Pilot was one of the very early victims of the smartphone revolution. It came from a line of personal digital assistants (PDAs) developed by Palm, Inc. It revolutionised the hand-held computing market and became popular for its organiser features and handwriting recognition. However, with the rise of smartphones and their expanded capabilities, PDAs like the Palm Pilot became obsolete.

  9. Segway (2001-2021): Everyone remembers the Segway, right? These self-balancing electric transportation devices were meant to revolutionise personal mobility. But, despite early enthusiasm, they failed to achieve widespread adoption due to high price, limited practicality, and safety concerns. Production of the Segway ended in 2020, and the company was acquired by a different company, ending the original Segway era.

  10. Napster: The pioneering music-sharing platform was launched in 1999 but was quickly embroiled in legal battles over copyright infringement. It was shut down in 2001, only 2 years after its launch. The brand was later bought and used by other companies, but the original Napster as we know it didn't last 20 years.

  11. Pebble: Pebble was a smartwatch company that started with a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. It was one of the first companies to offer modern smartwatches. However, it was unable to compete with giants like Apple and Fitbit, and the company was bought by Fitbit in 2016.

  12. Theranos: Founded in 2003, this health technology company promised to revolutionize blood testing with a device that could quickly provide results from a small amount of blood. However, the technology didn't work as promised, and the company was charged with massive fraud. It was dissolved in 2018.

  13. Juicero: Launched in 2016, Juicero sold a $400 machine that squeezed juice from proprietary, pre-packed fruit and vegetable pouches. However, it was discovered that the pouches could be squeezed just as effectively by hand. The company suspended sales in 2017 and offered refunds to all customers.

  14. Yik Yak: Yik Yak was a popular anonymous social media app launched in 2013 that allowed people to create and view posts within a 5-mile radius. Despite its initial popularity, it faced criticism and legal issues due to instances of bullying and harassment on the platform. The app was shut down in 2017.

  15. Joost: An Internet TV service launched in 2006 by the founders of Skype. Despite early hype, it couldn't compete with other video platforms like YouTube and Hulu, and was discontinued in 2012.

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