There were devices that simply did what they were for, without demanding attention. For their makers, they had some real problems. They had moving parts, which meant that they required more factory tooling and had more warranty returns. They were terrible for displaying advertisements. Without always-on internet connections, they were really bad for buying other things with.

From Glow by Tom MacWright.

Some of my favorite non-glowing devices that are still in use:

The LightPhone II An e-reader A digital watch