While those of us gadget geeks want to believe that every new technology will magically end hunger and cure cancer, some innovations don’t live up to the hype. In 2014, we experienced several technology fails. My favorites are detailed below.
Sadly, I got sucked into the hype regarding Google Glass. After a few months, I hit the limits of its usefulness and functionality. Still waiting to see if it holds water, but the latest crop of wearables from Apple, Samsung and Motorola may prove to be more popular and practical than the Glass. That combined with privacy concerns and the Glasshole stories may mean that Glass may be a niche product at best.
The mighty have fallen and fallen hard. With the latest devices from Blackberry, users found a lackluster experience, poor browsing capabilities and non-intuitive software. Cue the death march and begin the digging….it’s time.
With a lot of hype, but not enough titles or players, the allure of 3D TV at home has just never hit its stride. While many TVs still promote it and come with the glasses, no one is really using it to any degree.
Coin promised to be a single card that, when paired with your smartphone, could “store” up to eight different credit or loyalty cards for use as a payment device. I am in the beta program and have been for about a year. Yet another launch delay means the earliest we’ll see the device is now Spring 2015. Sadly, things like Apple Pay and others may have already dealt the death blow to Coin.
A watered down version of Windows for the original Surface tablet; this was supposed to be the “household” version of Windows for tablets. Thankfully, Microsoft put this operating system out of its misery before too many users revolted against it.
Amazon Fire Phone
Amazon’s first foray into the phone market was a big hit…for its first hour. It is now selling at just $1 (down from $200 at lunch). In a crowded marketplace, even the Amazon brand couldn’t pull this phone above the fray. With a closed app ecosystem, a “blah” user experience, and gimmicky cameras providing a 3D-like experience, there just wasn’t enough for consumers to take a chance on something outside of the Apple, Samsung, HTC, Motorola, and LG circles. For a company with many hits under its belt (think Kindle), this was a huge fail.
There is no harm in calling out these technology fails, because today’s bad idea could emerge as tomorrow’s shiniest new toy. Consider, for example, that CNN is reporting that Ford Motor Company is dumping Microsoft OS for Blackberry’s QNX OS in the Sync 3 infotainment consoles in their 2016 model cars.
Stay tuned to Perspectives blog to find out what other 2014 flops will show up in the winners’ circle in 2015.