Technological innovation involves taking many risks, and it is possible to gain a lot or, on the contrary, fail miserably.
No one knows an infallible formula to create successful products, and on many occasions, and for different reasons, they are doomed to failure from their very conception.
In the technological field, a large number of products are launched on the market every year, and logically, not all of them are equally successful.
Brands like Apple, Google, Samsung, Tesla, and LG, to name a few, tend to have great acceptance with many of their technological products or services, but even the most successful brands have some failures in their history.
Apple’s iPhones, Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, Tesla’s electric cars, and LG’s OLED televisions are always in the highest positions in terms of sales in their respective segments.
But here we are not going to focus on successful products, but on some of the biggest failures in the field of technology.
Throughout history, there have been many projects that promised to revolutionize the world but ended up being a fiasco. These are some of the most remembered.
1. Google Glass
Google launched these smart glasses in 2013, and it was one of the first attempts to bring Augmented Reality technology to the general public.
Among its functions were the possibility of accessing information, communicating, and taking photos with gestures or voice commands.
Some of the reasons for its failure were its high price, poor battery life, and people’s concern about loss of privacy.
It can also be considered that it was a product ahead of its time. The project was canceled in 2015.
2. Sega Dreamcast
The Japanese company’s video game console came onto the market in 1998 to compete with Sony’s PlayStation 2.
Despite being a console technologically superior to those of the competition and introducing online gaming, it still needed to achieve the expected success, and Sega announced the end of its production in 2001.
The lack of third-party support and the great success of Sony’s PlayStation 2 were some of the reasons that explain its commercial failure.
Despite everything, many video game fans continue to consider it one of the best video game consoles in history.
3. Nintendo Virtual Boy
Without leaving the field of video games, Nintendo achieved a resounding failure with these Virtual Reality glasses.
Among their drawbacks, we can say that they were very cumbersome and uncomfortable to use, they were expensive, and they only allowed you to play the few video games available on a monochrome red screen with a black background.
Another Nintendo console that also did not achieve the expected results was the Wii U, the successor to the successful Wii.
The confusion caused by its name among users and the lack of support from other companies partly explains its lack of commercial success.
4. Windows Vista
It is one of the versions of the Microsoft operating system that has received the most criticism, mainly due to its performance problems and its incompatibility with many programs.
Another of its problems was that it replaced Windows XP, one of the most beloved versions of Windows.
Another big fiasco for the American company was Windows Phone, which was born as an alternative to iPhones and Android mobiles.
Despite its smooth functioning and intuitive user interface, it could not stand up to the strong competition.
5. Sony Betamax
The war in the home video market raged during the 1970s and 1980s, primarily between Sony Betamax and VHS, supported by JVC.
In the end, VHS won, although for many, Sony’s Betamax system was superior in many ways.
But VHS was much cheaper, and its players allowed you to record more hours (although with lower image quality).
We must also remember in this war, the System 2000 promoted by Philips was also defeated and fell into oblivion.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 7
This mobile phone had to be withdrawn from the market due to serious problems with its battery, as some devices caught fire, causing some units to explode.
The seriousness of the situation meant that this model of mobile phone was not allowed on planes due to its danger.
7. Nokia N-Gage
The Finnish company Nokia was a world leader in the mobile phone sector for many years.
In 2003, it launched the Nokia N-Gage, which was a hybrid between a portable console and a mobile phone.
It intended to gain a foothold in the portable console market and stand up to Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance.
However, it had little success, mainly because this strange combination did not work well since it did not offer the convenience of a telephone or the full functionality of a console.
It is a two-wheeled vehicle presented in 2001 with the intention of revolutionizing transportation in cities.
Among its problems were the short battery life, an excessive price, its difficulty in manoeuvring, and the limitations when travelling on the streets.
Although one is still seen from time to time, it stopped being manufactured in 2020.
It has been replaced by electric scooters, which are currently experiencing a significant boom in the main cities.
These are some of the biggest technological failures in history, but the list is much longer.
For example, we can also mention 3D televisions, Microsoft Zune (which wanted to compete with Apple’s iPod), LaserDisc, the Amazon Fire Phone or the Google Plus social network.
Despite their failure in commercial terms, all of these technologies have served to open new yet unexplored markets, and they have certainly contributed ideas that other later products have perfected and used successfully.