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.
Caption byIna Fried / Photo by Ildar Sagdejev/Wikimedia Commons
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.
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.
Caption byIna Fried / Photo by New Internet Computer Co.
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.