Yep nothing is really new in the world of bikes, they were on early Fishers.
The real issue with BB’s is the industry standard of the BB shell size, make that bigger and house the bearings back inside. Been done on BMX’s quite succesfully, although they have gone samllerthan the original USA size, although that was originally to accomodate 1 piece cranks. Raleigh used a larger size in the eighties and nineties which seemed very relable given the fact they were budget ball bearing races inside.
Modern cranks are also much stiffer and put more load on bearings.