With technology constantly striving to get better there are many new innovations around every corner. Some of these innovations have changed our lives for the better. Others fell out of the bus on their road trip to glory. There are many examples of such technological fails over the years, but let’s jump into 5 worst tech fails in history.
#5 CueCat barcode reader
The CueCat barcode reader launched in 1999 had its hopes up of becoming an item people really desired. The premise of this device was based on the ability to scan unique barcodes from magazines and then be directed towards a specific website. This is not something new to us in the modern day as there are many QR codes that we can scan with our mobile devices that does this these days. So why then did the CueCat reader fail?
Well the issue with the reader was the process involved in getting to the website. You had to use the little doodad to scan the barcode that you were presented wit. After which, you then had to plug the device into your PC and only after scanning and plugging in the device you would be directed to the website. This left people why they would bother with the device rather than just typing in the URL provided alongside these codes in the magazine. What made it worse, was the fact that they even shipped a lot of these for free to try and sway people to use their device. It cost them money and the people weren’t interested, at all.
#4 Nintendo Virtual boy
If you are not familiar with this console that was released by the well known Nintendo, then you are in for an eye opener. In 1995 virtual reality was all the rage (sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?) and Nintendo believed that they had the answer. They released the virtual boy with their eye set on capitalizing on the current craze and possibly making a console that would stick in the history books. Well it they did make a console and it did land up in history, but not for what they intended.
The fact is that it is still debatable today if the virtual reality systems we have are any good or not, this remains to be seen. The thing is back then the technology wasn’t even close to ready for such an ambitious step in the world and it resulted in a marvelous fiasco. The gaming system displayed everything in an eye scorching red on a black background and the display wasn’t a headset like we find these days, but rather a tabletop ornament. After what is considered to be a massive failure Nintendo themselves pulled the plug on the project and has long swept it under the rug to be forgotten about. If only people like myself wouldn’t constantly bring it back up. You can view an in depth analysis of the system over here.
Yes that is what you had to look at, with your eyes pretty much kissing the display, ouch!
#3 Apple Pippin
Did you know that Apple even had a console system? Well, they didn’t own it on their own completely since Bandai were also involved in the project. It was also an ambitious product that tried to be a gaming system, educational tool as well as a web browser all-in-one. With its release in 1996 it went off the rails in a such a way that many people don’t even know about its existence.
One of the major factors in its downfall wasn’t that it was an absolutely bad system, it was its hefty price tag. The system went for a wallet destructing amount of $599. This together with marketing that didn’t really hit its target right, meant that the product just didn’t sell. An estimated amount of 42,000 – 100,000 units were sold after the launch and vanished completely from the markets not long after.
Oh, look a product in more recent years! Hoverboards, back in 2015 these were all the rage and set the world on fire. Turns out that they would, well, literally set the world on fire, because they started catching on fire (looking at you Note 7). These hoverboards were less “hovery” and more “rolly” than I would like my Back to the future board to look, thank you very much. In any case, these things were taking over like wild fire (just had to, sorry) for about 6 months before videos of the issues started hitting the web.
Amazon soon cracked down on certain brands of these hoverboards. This later escalated into the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate the product. In February 2016 they were declared unsafe by the organization and thus we don’t see them anymore. Add in the fact that most people can’t balance and the product caused millions of views for the unfortunate parties involved when making their YouTube videos then you have a brilliant example of how not to do it.
#1 Google glass
I actually pondered if I should include the Google glasses in the list, but alas the product itself gave me no choice. The Google glass is by far one of the coolest sounding things that I have heard of in a while. They have a whole load of functionality and fulfilled tech fans dreams when the hype train arrived. The product was everything you could dream of, but the public didn’t like it one single bit.
With a price tag that came in at $1,500 it made it nearly impossible for the general public to acquire a pair of these glasses and that was by no means the only nail that was driven into the coffin of this product. Soon after they hit the market an uproar began from people questioning the invasion of privacy. With features that allowed people to photograph and film on the fly, bars, restaurants and other places started banning the technology at their establishments. This lead to a slow and painful death to the glasses and even though they have been out of reach for a while. Google is still working on the product and will hopefully bring out a version of it that would be accepted by everyone.
There are numerous instances from over the years where technology strove towards the great and got all the glory in their failures, some of them, because they were simply ahead of their time, others, because they just outright were bad ideas. Do you have a tech fail you would put on the list? Let us know!
Written by: NinjaClicks