Reasons for some failed futures
Being interested in technological failures, I read "Where's My Jetpack?: A Guide to the Amazing Science Fiction Future that Never Arrived" by Daniel H. Wilson. Some excerpts that I found interesting, related to causes of failures:
"Jetpack: "the development of the jetpack effectively ceased the day Wendell Moore passed away, and there are plenty of reasons why. As it turns out, the government frowns on the notion of everyday people equipped with jetpacks and the ensuing midair collisions, air range, and transformation of drunk drivers into inebriated human torpedoes. Worse yet, jeptacks are nearly useless in military applications - a soldier strapped to a jetpack is a sitting duck"
Moving sidewalk: "a few litigious pedestrians have spoiled it for the rest of us with their skull-cracking falls and attendant lawsuits"
Self-steering cars: "Obstacles abound, but without a broader understanding of the world, a robot car cannot tell the difference between a harmless clump of grass and a farmers' market. Negative obstacles, such as holes in the ground, are particularly difficult for robot cars to identify. Navigation is also more difficult in cities, where tall buildings and bridges can block crucial GPS signals and soft, delicate targets (called pedestrians) abound."
Flying car: "Merely providing the vehicles is not enough, however; if everyday people are to use them, scientists must know how to track thousands of these car-planes. And knowing is half of the battle. Collision-deterring navigation systems are key to transforming highways into skyways. Regular people just can't be trusted"
Hoverboard: "They may be perfect for cruising over flat surfaces like water, ice, or a well-manicured lawn. but they are dangerously inept on city streets".
Why do I blog this? currently collecting material about technological failures and failed (micro-)visions of the future for a project.