Apple, Cups, Walt Telephone discussed on Ridiculous History


All right. I got to talk about a proposed apple product that never came out. And it was a communications device was actually a telephone capable of sending fax messages that could recognize handwriting and had a touch screen and a stylist user interface. You could choose custom ring tones for it. But this was a landline telephone, not a smartphone that you would carry. You would actually have this plugged into the outlet in your house. And Apple announced it all the way back at Macworld 1993. It was called Walt. And Walt was an acronym that stood for and I swear I'm not making this up. With the active lifestyle telephone boy. Does that sound like an apple product with the active lifestyle? Telephone? You can tell that this was not during Steve Jobs run over at Apple is one during the time where Steve Jobs was not at that company. Apple had partnered with BellSouth on the design of this proposed product, and what appeared to be a production model as a not just a prototype, but something that would have actually gone out to store shelves. Of this. Walt Telephone showed up on eBay back in 2012, with cool asking price of $8000 and I found conflicting reports online about whether the auction actually went through or whether it was taken down early. I don't know what the case is. Maybe it actually went through and someone bought it for eight grand. Or maybe for some reason, the auction was taken down. But either way, the Walt never saw the light of day on an official basis. Sometimes we actually will get a product. It's not true vaporware, but the product that we get is different from the one we were originally pitched. Actually, that happens quite a bit. And if you're lucky, it happens in the good way and that the thing you get has more features than what you were originally promised. And that's awesome. My you say, Well, this is even better than what they were talking about before. More frequently than not ends up being a case where you get something that has fewer or completely different features than the ones you were promised. So to start off with, I want to talk about vessel. Ve E s s Y l. This is one of those cases where you've got a lot of unhappy people ready to accuse the founder of the company Mark one of shenanigans that founder's name is Justin Lee. So what's the story? Well, vessel was supposed to be a smart cup that could actually analyze the contents that were inside the cup. Using sensors. The chemical analysis would include a nutritional breakdown of liquid inside the cup. And then by pairing the cup with a mobile device by a Bluetooth you could keep track of your nutritional habits, and it was all part of this quantified self philosophy. It was really a big deal just a few years ago where people are trying to track and analyze all sorts of data about themselves, and some of us still do like I still track all of my meals and I still track all of my steps. But this cup was supposed to be able to analyze anything you poured into it and then automatically send that information to a companion app. So if you board soft drink into it like Coca Cola or Pepsi Would identify that and say. Here's how many calories you're consuming. Here's how much caffeine etcetera How much sodium that kind of stuff it would identify it as whether it's Coke or Pepsi. Even at least that was the concept. Or his fruit juice or coffee or whatever it might be. The principal was supposed to be the same. No matter what Lee would start taking pre orders for the Smart Cup, starting in 2014 at $99 a pop with the idea being that the eventual actual cup once it goes on sale. Would be $199. So essentially, you're get it for $100 off by pre ordering And he raised more than a million dollars that way. The cup was supposed to ship in 2015, but it didn eventually his company issued a statement that said the Cups were taking longer to produce than anticipated that finding a sensor technology that would work for mass production was problematic and that the company would instead offer up kind of a stopgap. They wanted to offer up a cup called the prime vessel Prime spelled P. R. Why? Emmy? For some reason, the vessel company likes to get rid of perfectly fine vowels and replace them with wise. Anyway, this prime vessel would track how much water you drink in a day. Assuming you used your cup for all your water drinking. Which was a big step down from the originally promised gadget and, according to a statement from the company made to the better business Bureau. Anyone who chose not to get a prime vessel could request a refund. So in other words, you had a choice. You could say I'd like my money back because you have not delivered the thing that you promised or I will take this prime vessel in the meantime, and I will keep waiting for the actual cup to come out. I should also note that, unlike the promised vessel, the prime model actually shipped. Ah lot of people had problems with it. But it did ship whether all of the models shipped to all the customers. I can't say. But something did actually leave the company and go out into the world. In fact, you confined prime vessel on stuff like Amazon. The company, by the way, has since gone out of business. And while some people have essentially accused Mark one of perpetuating fraud, I'm not ready to do that. I am not certain that that's a case, Justin Lee studied biomedical computing at Queen's University..

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