Museum features innovations that went nowhere fast


LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - One was ahead of its time. Another was the loser of a format war. Yet another was a bad idea. And there was the game so bad that Atari reportedly buried thousands in the desert.

These are some of the hundreds of famous product fiascos on display at the Museum of Failure, a new exhibition in Hollywood, a town known for its own share of flops.

As innovation evolves into irrelevance, these items offer a glimpse into how companies tried to anticipate or catch up with rapidly changing consumer behaviors.

"I really enjoy when I see people actually immerse themselves into the different objects here at the museum," says curator Samuel West, 44. "And when they leave, saying 'I got a new perspective on failure, it's not that frightening.'"

Many of these failed innovations preceded great success. Among them, the Apple Newton, which was the first handheld smart device and predecessor of the Palm Pilot and eventually, the smartphone.

And then there's the laser disk, which came before the DVD frenzy.

Perhaps some of the more recent failures are a prediction of the gadgets of the future.