Whenever I think of tech that was way ahead of its time, the first thing to come to mind is always the Apple Newton. If you're not familiar with the Newton, imagine an iPhone, but existing in the mid 90's. As one of the first handheld computers, it was innovative and had tremendous potential—but a variety of issues such as the size, cost, and technical limitations caused its demise.

Considering the astronomical success of the iPhone, it's clear that many of the Newton's concepts were solid; we just needed to wait 10 years for the technology to be capable of delivering on the vision. Which is why I think it's the poster child for tech that was way ahead of its time.
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by:Jackie Man
I still have a working eMate 300 and it got a pen to navigate. Of course, there is no handwritten input like an Apple Pencil for iPad Pro today.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
I've got a working Palm Pilot and I've still got a Newton

But please don't get me started on Antique Vintage computers otherwise Geek/Nerd mode will be enabled!
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by:Brian Matis
@Jackie Man: Interesting that you mentioned the handwritten input. That was certainly one of the major factors in the Newton's demise. Great in concept, but an absurdly hard problem to solve. It was noble of Apple to try to get the tech to bend to whatever way the user naturally wrote, but Palm made the much smarter (in hindsight) compromise of creating their own handwriting-like gesture system. With that sort of more strict/structured system the software could have a much easier time recognizing what the user was trying to write, while still meeting the user halfway by being similar enough to handwriting that it wasn't too hard to learn. I remember that they even had a game built-in that was all about learning and getting good at their gesture system. Ingenious!

@Andy: I had a Palm V and I'm pretty sure I've got it stashed in a drawer somewhere. Now I'm thinking I might have to dig it up to see if it still works! Never did have a Newton, but my dad was in sales for an Apple reseller at the time so he got to bring one home for a few days and I got to play with it. Remember thinking it was so freakin' cool. There's definitely a part of me that wants to check eBay to try to buy one—for historical reasons, of course! ;-)
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
Ah buying back ones youth gets you into lots of trouble!

Or buying back Nostalgia!
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)
I loved the Palm handwriting system much quicker than typing on a virtual keyboard!
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