In Pictures: Ahead of their time, 9 technologies that came too soon

Sometimes you build it, and they end up not coming

1991: Philips CD-I Sure, CDs were good for storing music -- but they could also do so much more, like provide interactive educational and entertainment content, via your TV set! To meet that vision, Philips released the CD-I console to the world and waited for the customers to line up.

They singularly failed to do so. The CD-I didn't really stack up well against existing game consoles or media players, and sales remained low despite Philips' paying for infomercials in heavy rotation. The CD-I eventually slid into the kiosk market, where it also failed. Much of its functionality eventually showed up not on set-top boxes but in home computers, and, with the advent of larger hard drives, ultimately left the CD altogether.

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