The Netpliance I-Opener was one of the pioneers in a class of Web-surfing gadgets known as Internet appliances.
Though most such devices survived less than a year on the market, the vision of providing simpler and more specialized on-ramps to the Internet has largely been realized, albeit a decade later.
Perhaps the most stylish of the bunch, 3Com's Audrey came in trendy muted colors like Linen, Sunshine, and Meadow. However, like the others, it was discontinued in 2001, just six months after its introduction.
Gateway AOL Touch Pad
Gateway's entry into the Net appliance segment was done in conjunction with Internet service provider AOL. The Touch Pad was built around a 10-inch flat-screen display and tied to AOL's service.
First shown in November 2000, it was officially discontinued in October 2001, but had been written off for dead months earlier.
New Internet Computer Co.
Larry Ellison's New Internet Computer (NIC)
Larry Ellison created the New Internet Computer Co. to sell an Internet appliance modeled on his vision of a network computer. What emerged was this Linux-based device, some 40,000 of which were sold before the company closed its doors in 2003.
Also sold by 3Com, the Kerbango Internet radio was more single-purpose than the other early Internet appliances, but was discontinued in March 2001, along with the Audrey.
The Evilla holds several distinctions among Internet appliances. It was one of few shipping devices that ran the cult classic Be operating system, was built around a Sony Trinitron rather than a flat screen, and was also pulled after less than two months, with Sony buying back all of the units that had sold.