10 Inventions That Could Have Changed Everything But Never Caught On

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Mankind has always been inventive -- it's the reason why we no longer have to poop and run away from gigantic jungle cats anymore. But for as far as we've gotten, we've kind of missed the mark by shunning some great ideas during our existence.

So here is our tribute to innovative technologies we could've had, if not for all the dumb, sneering philistines of the human race.

10. QR Codes

QR Codes started appearing on everything but the kitchen sink. But a couple years later only about 17% of smartphone users had scanned a QR code, and many of them were not satisfied with the experience. So what's the problem? Maybe it's that phones don't come pre-loaded with a scanner, or maybe it's that users aren't willing to put in the effort of scanning a code when it often just leads to advertisements. Whatever the case may be, it looks like QR codes will die out.

9. A car and a plane everywhere.

Henry Ford had an idea to make cheap, easy-to-use and portable planes that the everyday person could fly. Ford scrapped the whole thing after a prototype crashed during a test flight.

8. Smokeless Cigarettes

In the late eighties, when secondhand smoke became a major public concern, RJ Reynolds spent $325 million to develop PREMIER a 'smokeless' cigarette. The product was canceled after five months of test marketing. Smokers complained that it tasted and smelled awful, and was too hot to hold. Nor were anti-smoking activists appeased. They saw Premier as a cynical ploy to make the habit publicly acceptable again.

7. Eco Clubs

Andrew Charalambous, the owner of the Bar Surya, outfitted the floor of his club with piezoelectric cells that capture some of the mechanical energy expanded by dancers, convert it to electricity and store it in batteries; able to power 60% of the club's energy requirements. This innovative design in energy production never broke through past his own venue.

6. Inhalable Insulin

You'd think people needing insulin would much rather inhale it than have it injected, wouldn't you?

That's what Pfizer thought as well. However, in 2007 they dropped their 'Exubera' brand of inhalable insulin, but demand wasn't exactly overwhelming. The product took 11 years to develop, but only one to bomb.

The company failed to properly reach out to healthcare providers, and patients found the bulky inhaler too unwieldy and embarrassing to use in public, not to mention costly.

Yeah, it just doesn't seem to work.

5. Cinerama

Cinerama was introduced in 1952, 56 years before the conception of IMAX technology. It delivered a full range of peripheral vision to spectators via the projection of three strips of film on a curved screen, but eventually, it was abandoned in 1962. The reason was that three projectionists would be required to project three strips of film simultaneously, which means it would be a really, really complicated process.

4. Capsula

In 1982, a modular car called 'The Capsula' was presented by 'Italdesign.' Its entire cabin could be replaced, turning it into a different kind of car as it was needed. However, no one took up the idea and it remained a prototype.

3. Project Orion

Project Orion was given serious consideration by the U.S. government in the late '50s and early '60s. Its goal was to develop spaceships driven by nuclear explosions. Such a ship could have carried dozens of people to Mars in a matter of weeks. A tangle of political circumstances at several levels led to the project's abandonment in 1964.

2. Concorde

The British-French Concorde was the world's first and only supersonic passenger jet. Not only did it look great, it transported up to 100 passengers in luxury at up to 1350 mph. London to New York in less than three hours! Only 14 ever flew, and they were retired in 2003, ending the age of commercial supersonic travel. Although profitable, supersonic planes never caught on, thanks to noise, pollution, maintenance costs, and ticket prices.

1. The Tucker 48

The Tucker 48 was a car truly ahead of its time. Inventor Preston Tucker was the first auto manufacturer after WWII to develop a car that included a rear-engine, four-wheel independent suspension, disc brakes, fuel-injection, seat belts, safety glass, self-sealing tubeless tires, and a center headlight that turned in the same direction as the steering wheel for greater visibility at night. 

Tucker would never be able to put his cars into production, however. The Tucker Corporation was investigated by the SEC due to questionable fund-raising practices to secure capital for production. Although all charges would be summarily dropped, the negative publicity from the investigation rang the death knell for the Tucker automobile.

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