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Yesterday's Failed Ideas Are Today's Great Inventions

A look back at when today's technologies were way ahead of their time

1 min read

Photos: Left, Topical Press Agency/Getty Images; Right, Honda
The “Phrenometer” brain-wave detector dates to 1907. Now Japanese companies are developing less immobilizing versions to provide alternative controls for video games.

When a new idea comes along, people often don’t know what to make of it. That's why so many inventions begin as light diversions and reach the development stage only much later, when applications finally suggest themselves. In this view, though necessity is still the mother of invention, whimsy is just as assuredly its father.

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