In an alternate universe, our doubles are watching the Nicolas Cage Superman movie on their CrunchPads as key alerts come into their Nokia Moonraker smartwatches. History is filled with hyped-up products that never quite made it to market but could have been great. These are our favorite gadgets that never came out.
First reported in 2008 and canceled in 2010 before it was ever released, the Courier looked like it could have been the future of tablets. Instead of a slab, it was a book, with two 7-inch displays and a hinge to close them. It would have been focused on productivity and organization, with support for a stylus. Some reports suggest it wasn't integrated well enough with Microsoft Office to be released. —Andrew E. Freedman
Sony's PlayStation VR might be the first successful console VR platform, but that doesn't mean other companies haven't been trying to make one for decades. In 1991, Sega announced the Sega VR, a virtual-reality headset that would bring the same technology from some of Sega's arcade games to the Genesis. Sega reportedly canned the project out of fear that the level of immersion would cause real-world injuries, which is funny to think about when looking at the incredibly realistic games we currently have on the PSVR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. — Mike Andronico
While most desktop computers and many laptops are upgradable, the best you can do to improve most phones is pop in a microSD card. Google's Project Ara was meant to launch a new series of modular, upgradable phones from which you could add and remove pieces as easily as you can yank the keyboard off a Microsoft Surface.
Not made just for early adopters, the initial bare device was meant to cost only $50. For that price, you would have been able to bling it out with camera modules, extra sensors or even a faster processor. Unfortunately, Google disconnected Project Ara in 2016, long before the first models were expected to ship. But another company, Motorola, did apply the modular concept to its Moto Z phones, which use snap-on speaker, battery and camera modules known as Moto Mods. — Avram Piltch
The iPhone wasn't the first phone Apple worked on. The WALT — Wizzy Active Lifestyle Telephone — was a device with a touch screen, stylus and early "apps," like an address book and notepad. Unlike the iPhone (and Newton, the company's PDA), it wasn't designed to be portable but rather meant to be a companion to a landline telephone. The device was announced at Macworld Boston in 1993, but it was never officially released. — Andrew E. Freedman
Credit: Jim Abeles/Flickr
Announced in 2007, the same year the first netbooks appeared, the Palm Foleo was a 10-inch laptop that would have provided a larger keyboard and screen than you could get on the company's smartphones. The Foleo was designed to sync with your Palm handset in real time and run its own stripped-down, proprietary operating system with a set of first-party apps for email, web browsing and document editing.
However, critics balked at the idea of paying $499 for a device that wasn't large or functional enough to replace someone's main laptop or small enough to fit in a pocket. Though the Palm Foleo was canceled before it had a chance to roll out, the concept of tiny, low-cost laptops (aka netbooks) took off for quite a while. — Avram Piltch
Before its phone business was acquired by Microsoft, Nokia was working on a smartwatch, code-named Moonraker, that it planned to release with its Lumia 930 smartphone. It would have borrowed from Windows's Metro interface and added a few simple apps made for a watch screen, like messaging and email. At that time, though, Microsoft was working on its own wearable, the fitness-based Microsoft Band, and the company canned Nokia's watch. — Andrew E. Freedman
This stunning device was supposed to be Lenovo's entry into the nascent "smartbook" market. Meant to combine the best features of phones and laptops, smartbooks like the Skylight were lightweight systems with long battery life, optional 3G connectivity and ARM processors.
The 10-inch Skylight was built in eye-catching "glossy lotus blue" and "earth red" colors. and It had a unique rounded shape that made it look a bit like a baby grand piano and a metallic ring around the edge for added style. It was to run Lenovo's colorful and attractive Skylight OS and featured a special slot above the keyboard with a removable USB stick that contained all of your data.
Unfortunately, Lenovo pulled the curtains on Skylight in spring 2010, just a few months after it was announced and before any models shipped. However, ARM-powered Windows 10 machines with constant 4G connectivity are coming within the next six months. — Avram Piltch