Congratulations, America. We now have little tiny computers that we can wear on our faces. We did it. Remember the old days when we actually had to call our friends to see what they were doing? We had to leave our couches to get Thai food — and when we got our Thai food, we had to pop in a VHS and fast-forward through all the previews. What an age we lived in. We decided to take you on a curated stroll down memory lane and dig up 17 of the most ridiculously outdated tech commercials from all time. Yes... Virtual Boy is in there.
17. Virtual Boy
Protip: If you're going to market a product as 3D, make sure it's 3D. And no, a blinding red screen doesn't count.
16. America Online
You can book plane tickets, research dinosaurs, play fantasy football, send emails, and make Kayaking friends with America Online — but no web browser will ever fix a total disregard of how normal people are supposed to act.
15. IBM Portable Computer
There's such an odd air of mystery surrounding the details of this laptop. How big is it? Pretty big. How much power does it hold? About as much as some other computers from a few years ago? Do any of these people actually hold the jobs they claim to hold? Let's hope not.
14. Canon Camera
Wait — we're getting some mixed signals here, guys. This Canon camera blew the minds of suspiciously Fascist-like Italian babes at airports... but allowed you to creep on fighting couples with total ease? Okay, fine; sign us up.
13. JVC VHS Player
Wait, why's some lady in spandex doing jumping jacks all over a VHS player? What's going on?
Dude, you're getting a sh*t-ton of computer viruses. Also, Matthew Lillard called: he wants his DNA back.
11. 1-800 Call Collect
Typically saved for desperate kids who missed their bus after school, calling collect was the premier way to solve a problem on the fly in a pre-iPhone world. Plus it had Bart Simpson's endorsement — who knew.
10. Sega Genesis
You've got to appreciate the balls on the dudes at Sega: they literally sing about how much better they are than Nintendo in this commercial. More importantly, remember when it didn't get any better than 16-bit? Mind blowing.
9. Murata Fax Machine
How is it possible that fax machines are, not only still in use, but still all over everyone's business cards in 2014? This commercial basically predicted the precursor to Seamless. So everyone go ahead and blame them when the fax machine finally dies.
8. Sega Game Gear
It's crazy to think that the addition of a color display could separate one handheld game system from another. Enter Game Gear. Sega probably remembers them for their cutting-edge graphics; we just remember the eight AA batteries that they needed to work.
7. Sharp Calculator
$345. That's how much a calculator used to cost. Now we get them for free on the side of the road from desperate banks.
6. Radio Shack Mobile Phone
Whoa! How great. You're saying I can make a phone call to anyone I want and all I have to do is carry around this oppressively gigantic briefcase-sized phone? Sign me up, Radio Shack.
In the days of long-distance calls and outrageous phone bills, this service (which we still can't figure out how it works) would cut our phone calls in half by... doing something? Hey, if Tony Danza tells us to push numbers, you bet your balls we're going to push those numbers.
4. IBM Voice Recognition
We love IBM. They're true innovators and have been around since 1911 — but there is no way that this voice-recognizing computer would've ever worked back in 1986. Siri was only released two years ago and still puts up a fight whenever we try to make her say "penis."
3. Microsoft Zune
Sigh... not even the indie stylings of The Shins could save the Zune from destruction. You hear that, Zach Braff? Where's your messiah now?!
2. GTE Flip Phone
It's funny tracking America's bloodlust for flip phones. Now, as we press our streamline glass iPhones against our faces, you've got to ask yourself why we ever cared so much about a phone that could be folded in half. Jeez, get over it, America.
1. Power Glove
It's an absolute travesty that this thing never caught on. It even had "power" right in the title! But it was clunky, expensive, slow and made you look like a total wad. Just don't tell that to the guy who wrote The Wizard
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and legitimately owned a Zune once.