Fascinating Office Computer Technologies That Failed

The office has frequently and consistently evolved in so many different ways that it can sometimes be difficult to look back and see how businesses functioned without technologies that seem to be ubiquitous today.

Remote desktops, cloud computing and VOIP phone systems have over the past few years become the standard of most offices, but even a decade ago, these technologies were not all that common.

However, for every piece of office technology that became ubiquitous, there have been dozens that have failed, either due to timing, lack of interest or fundamental problems with its design.

Here are some of the most fascinating examples.

Sony Vaio Mouse Talk

The very definition of an idea that works far better on paper than in reality, the Sony Vaio Mouse Talk sounds like a fantastically elegant idea. You have a mouse that opens up to become a phone, saving space on an office desk.

It sounds great at first. At second, however, it quickly dawns on people that the idea of only using either a mouse or a phone is effectively useless for most people who would likely be using a phone at their office desk.

Without the ability to use both at once, most members of staff are unable to actually use their computer whilst on the phone to help their caller.

Xybernaut Poma

The idea of the mobile office has been popular for many years and has taken on a range of guises, taking the form most recently of Google Glass.

However, an early example of this idea in action was the wearable computer, one of the most infamous attempts at which came in the form of the Xybernaut Poma.

It looked ridiculous, was woefully underpowered and was the subject of a long-running fraud investigation.


Whilst in some respects it was both admirable and adorable to create the world’s smallest optical mouse, it did not take much testing to realise that a tiny mouse that had to be supported by the finger that was clicking on the button was next to useless for any kind of admin task.

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