British YouTube channel TechMoan has an interesting beat: The host takes an in-depth look at unusual, vintage tech gadgets that did not survive evolution. It's fascinating for multiple reasons: One is to see what physical interfaces the designers came up with to handle previously unimaginable functions; two is to deduce why these objects failed, i.e. did they demand too much of the user or provide a service that no one asked for? Three is to revel in the vintage aesthetics; and four is to try to imagine what the designers were trying to achieve in the first place.
This first one is a Japanese gadget from the 1970s that you've never heard of, and which clearly bears the influence of Braun's 1960s and '70s design language. I won't spoil the surprise of what the thing actually does, but I will say that the designers were trying to provide users with a new sort of experience--and that the experience itself actually has persisted to the present day, only nowadays we typically gather within dedicated facilities, and get drunk together, to engage in it:
This second one is from 1967, a time when long-distance phone calls were far more expensive than local calls. This pair of gadgets sought to allow patient folks to communicate with each other while skirting the cost:
This third one, a 1972 desktop "iPod," as they're referring to it, presciently tried to bring the idea of playlists into the home:
One thing I appreciate about all of these gadgets is the tactility, the need to manipulate physical metallic buttons and switches in order to get the objects to operate.
TechMoan has covered tons more of these gadgets, some of which you've heard of, many of which you haven't. Check 'em out here.