Consumer tech time capsule: Where are they now?

In the ever-evolving landscape of the tech industry, some companies become household names, shaping the way we live and work. However, as time marches on, the fate of these once-innovative firms takes unexpected turns. Today, let’s take a nostalgic journey through the trajectories of three tech companies that once captured our imaginations: Withings, NEEO and BlackBerry.

Withings: A Pioneer in Connected Health

Once at the forefront of the digital health revolution, Withings emerged as a pioneer in the connected health space. Known for its innovative products like smart scales, blood pressure monitors, and fitness trackers, Withings aimed to empower individuals to take control of their health through data-driven insights.

Fast forward to today, and Withings has not only survived but thrived in the competitive tech market. Having sold the company to Nokia for a cool $191 million in 2026, Withings co-founder Éric Carreel successfully bought back its health division from Nokia in 2018, rekindling its original vision. Withings has continued to innovate, introducing new products such as the ScanWatch, a hybrid smartwatch with ECG and sleep apnea detection.

The company’s success can be attributed to its commitment to user-centric design and a focus on health and wellness. Withings has adapted to the evolving needs of consumers, aligning its products with the growing interest in holistic health tracking.

NEEO: Reinventing the Smart Home Experience

NEEO entered the scene with a bold vision: to revolutionize the smart home landscape with a universal remote control and automation system. Touting an innovative combination of hardware and software, NEEO aimed to simplify the increasingly complex world of smart home devices.

The journey for this Switzerland based startup went from successfully raising over $1.5 million on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter in 2015 to shipping units worldwide. In 2019, NEEO was acquired by Control4, a leading provider of smart home solutions. The integration of NEEO’s technology into Control4’s ecosystem marked a strategic move to enhance the user experience and expand the company’s reach.

NEEO’s legacy lives on in the form of Control4’s streamlined smart home solutions. The integration of NEEO’s technology, and team, has contributed to the creation of more seamless and user-friendly smart home experiences, showcasing how the tech industry often evolves through collaboration and consolidation.

BlackBerry: From Phones to Cybersecurity

Once synonymous with business smartphones and known for its iconic physical keyboards, BlackBerry faced a turbulent period as the smartphone market shifted towards touchscreens. The decline of its handset business led many to predict the end of BlackBerry’s relevance.

However, the company underwent a significant transformation, pivoting towards software and services, particularly in the realm of cybersecurity. Leveraging its expertise in secure communication, BlackBerry evolved into a key player in the enterprise security space.

In 2022, BlackBerry remains a prominent force in cybersecurity, providing solutions for endpoint security, secure communication, and threat detection. The company’s focus on security and privacy has positioned it as a trusted partner for organizations navigating the complexities of the digital age.

The stories of Withings, NEEO, and BlackBerry exemplify the dynamic nature of the tech industry. While some companies fade into obscurity, others adapt and evolve, finding new avenues for growth and innovation. Withings continues to empower individuals on their health journeys, NEEO’s legacy lives on in the smart home solutions of Control4, and BlackBerry has reinvented itself as a cybersecurity powerhouse.

As we look back at these tech time capsules, it becomes evident that success in the tech industry is not solely determined by initial breakthroughs but by the ability to adapt, innovate, and meet the evolving needs of users in a rapidly changing world.

Heather Delaney
Heather Delaney
I run things