What ought to have had a bigger impact?

For me, holograms. I mean, there’s this way to make 3-D photographs of things. It’s been around for decades. And yet it’s never (as far as I can tell) been used as more than an occasional marketing gimmick. You can’t go down to the hologram studio and buy a nice full color hologram of your face to send to gramma. There CERTAINLY are not holographic monitors/TVs. If there have been big advancements recently in printing holograms cheaply or what have you, I certainly haven’t heard about them. It’s almost like holograms are still a jetpack-esque technology-we-dream-about… even though they actually exist.
(By the way, can anyone give a remotely comprehensible explanation for how they work? Is it at all related to the interesting interference phenomena you get when you have two grids at different distances and fake 3D artifacts show up?)

I’ll stay in that same vein and say Virtual Reality. Not those pointless medical uses, who cares? I mean video games. There were VR games around for a couple of years, right at the end of the arcade era, and they just faded into obscurity. :frowning:

What ought to have had a bigger impact: This Thread

That’s mine. It’s shocking that VR hasn’t been mainstreamed in some form - the implications for business (teleconferencing, telecommuting) are enormous, as well as for entertainment (video games, things like Second Life and MMORPG’s). The technology is here - where’s the application?

But isn’t VR’s failure based soley on the reason that the technology isn’t here yet?

Plus, even if the technology WERE there, is a teleconference in which everyone is wearing goggles and is immersed in a virtual board room really better than just a bunch of people talking on the phone or over email? Plus, full-3d-immersive VR has all sorts of practical issues… ie, I put on my goggles, start walking around in a 3D world… and stub the %$#@! out of my toe.
I mean, sure, it’s cool if some scientist can put on a glove and use it to manipulate molecules in 3D to make them fit… but he doesn’t need to be fully immersed in a 3D world for that… and it’s an amazing amount of extra effort over good old 3D graphics on a 2D screen.

What it comes down to, imho, is: There are LOTS of barriers before full-on VR becomes more than a gimmick. Lots. But it’s sexy as hell, so people are excited about it.