Techdemis: The Rise and Fall of Discontinued Technologies

Technology is constantly evolving, creating new possibilities and opportunities for humanity. However, not every technology succeeds in the market or stands the test of time. Some technologies are discontinued, either because they are replaced by better alternatives, become obsolete, fail to meet the expectations, or face legal, ethical, or social challenges. These technologies are known as techdemis, a term coined by combining technology and demise. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most notable techdemis in history, and what we can learn from them.

What are Techdemis and Why Do They Matter?

Techdemis are technological innovations that were once heralded as revolutionary but eventually faded into oblivion due to various reasons. These discontinued technologies can be found across different domains, such as consumer electronics, software, and even industrial sectors. Some examples of techdemis are:

  • Google Glass: Google Glass was a wearable device that projected information onto a transparent display in front of the user’s eye. It was launched in 2013 as a prototype for developers and early adopters, and was expected to revolutionize the fields of augmented reality, communication, and education. However, Google Glass faced several issues, such as privacy concerns, social stigma, technical limitations, and high price. It was discontinued in 2015, and rebranded as Google Glass Enterprise Edition for specific industries.
  • Segway: Segway was a self-balancing electric scooter that was introduced in 2001 as a personal transportation device. It was designed to be faster, safer, and more efficient than walking, and was predicted to change the way people move around cities. However, Segway failed to gain widespread popularity, mainly because of its high cost, regulatory barriers, safety risks, and public ridicule. It was discontinued in 2020, after being acquired by a Chinese company.
  • Betamax: Betamax was a video cassette format that was developed by Sony in 1975 as a competitor to VHS. It offered higher quality and longer recording time than VHS, and was supported by major movie studios and broadcasters. However, Betamax lost the format war to VHS, mainly because of its higher price, lower availability, and smaller market share. It was discontinued in 2016, after being obsolete for decades.

Techdemis matter because they can teach us valuable lessons about the nature and future of technology. They can show us how technology is influenced by various factors, such as innovation, competition, regulation, adoption, and obsolescence. They can also show us how technology can have positive and negative impacts on society, economy, and environment. By studying techdemis, we can gain insights and perspectives that can help us make better decisions and choices about technology.

How to Identify and Avoid Techdemis?

While techdemis are inevitable and unpredictable, there are some ways to identify and avoid them, such as:

  • Research: Before investing in or adopting a new technology, it is important to do thorough research and analysis. You should look for reliable and unbiased sources of information, such as reviews, ratings, testimonials, and reports. You should also compare the technology with its alternatives, and weigh the pros and cons. You should also consider the technology’s compatibility, usability, and scalability, and how it fits your needs and goals.
  • Experiment: Before committing to or relying on a new technology, it is advisable to experiment and test it. You should look for opportunities to try the technology for yourself, such as demos, trials, or rentals. You should also seek feedback and opinions from other users, experts, or peers. You should also monitor the technology’s performance, functionality, and reliability, and how it affects your experience and outcome.
  • Adapt: Before sticking to or depending on a new technology, it is wise to adapt and adjust to it. You should look for ways to integrate the technology with your existing systems, processes, and habits. You should also look for ways to improve the technology with updates, upgrades, or accessories. You should also look for ways to protect the technology from risks, threats, or damages, such as warranties, backups, or insurance.

What are some other examples of techdemis?

Some other examples of techdemis are:

  • Floppy disk: Floppy disk was a removable storage device that used a thin magnetic disk to store data. It was widely used in the 1980s and 1990s for personal computers, software, and games. However, floppy disk became obsolete due to its low capacity, slow speed, and vulnerability to damage. It was replaced by other storage devices, such as CD-ROM, USB flash drive, and cloud storage.
  • Zune: Zune was a portable media player and online service that was launched by Microsoft in 2006 as a competitor to Apple’s iPod and iTunes. It offered features such as wireless syncing, FM radio, and social networking. However, Zune failed to gain popularity and market share, mainly because of its late entry, lack of innovation, and poor marketing. It was discontinued in 2012, and replaced by Windows Phone and Xbox Music.
  • Google+: Google+ was a social networking platform that was launched by Google in 2011 as a rival to Facebook and Twitter. It offered features such as circles, hangouts, and sparks. However, Google+ failed to attract and retain users, mainly because of its complexity, privacy issues, and low engagement. It was shut down in 2019, after a data breach exposed the personal information of millions of users.


Techdemis are discontinued technologies that were once considered revolutionary but eventually became irrelevant or extinct. They can be found in various domains, such as consumer electronics, software, and industrial sectors. They can teach us valuable lessons about the nature and future of technology, and how it is influenced by various factors, such as innovation, competition, regulation, adoption, and obsolescence. They can also teach us how to identify and avoid techdemis, and how to make better decisions and choices about technology. Techdemis are not failures, but rather milestones in the evolution of technology.

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