Here are a bunch of products that came and went but deserve a second chance, in my opinion. In no particular order:
1. Clickwheel iPod. Right now the only iPod available is the Touch, but there are dozens of us still clinging to the old clickwheel models. I have a hunch that a clickwheel iPod will return in 2021 to mark the device’s 20th anniversary.
I remember Apple showing off a new line of iPods (5th Gen Nano I think), and I honestly thought the clickwheels were illuminated! I was wrong, of course. For the mockup above I included that feature. Bluetooth and wireless charging would also be welcome additions.
2. Neo Geo X. This was a portable handheld that plugged into a dock for TV gaming, essentially a Nintendo Switch that was ahead of its time (the X was released in 2012). This was a great idea that stumbled in just about every way, from poor hardware to lackluster emulation.
I’d like to see this hardware configuration return in some form, not just for the Neo Geo but other systems as well. The only thing I’d add is the ability to play original games, be it cartridges or discs.
3. R2-D2 Projector. This projector came out in 2008, and it featured a built-in DVD player and a Millennium Falcon remote. I can’t speak to its quality, but this was a brilliant idea!
I’d prefer a modern version that is just a projector, no built-in Blu-Ray player or anything like that; only a couple of HDMI inputs to add devices is needed. Even better this could be a “short throw” projector, meaning it could be placed near the wall it’s projecting on. The Falcon remote is a bit too busy for me, that could be nixed.
4. Zune Earbuds. Some of you may clamor for the return of the Zune media player, and that’s fine too. But I’d like to see these amazing earbuds return. They sounded great, were very comfortable, and had these built-in magnets. The magnets were very handy in combating tangled cords. I don’t miss the fabric-covered cords, they usually frayed over time.
5. That 90’s Table Lamp. You know the one. They were everywhere, even in libraries and offices. The above mockup would be a modern LED lamp (not halogen), with touch controls at the base instead of a knob.
6. Experia Play And PSP Go. The PSP Go came out in 2009, almost 10 years ago. The Experia debuted 2 years later in 2011. I still think these are pretty darn cool, even by modern standards. I prefer physical controls over using a touchscreen for gaming, which is why these devices appeal to me.
If there was a contemporary version (likely an Android phone), I would be all over that! Especially to play something like Fortnite or Minecraft.
That concludes the list! I promise listicles will not be a recurring thing here. If there is any gadget you’d like to see make a comeback let me know in the comments.