Skip to main content
  1. Tech
  2. Gadgets & Tech
  3. Tech Gear

Five major technology failures

See also

For every iPad there is a Blackberry Playbook. For every iPod, there is a MiniDisc recorder/player. For every technological breakthrough, there are tons of technological failures. You don't hear of the failures as much because--well--people just don't care. But we do!

Over the next couple of months, we are going to highlight many technological failures. This first list includes one of the biggest technological disasters of all time, the Blackberry Playbook, which was the big star at the 2011 CES show. Unfortunately, it only delivered to retail in beta form and was practically useless. The beautiful screen was nice to look at, however.

Another failed product was Web TV. Not only was the product practically useless, but spending $20 a month for a service you could use for free on your computer didn't cut it with consumers. Web TV soon went where it deserved to go--into oblivion.

Here is our first list of five technological failures. The products aren't in any particular order; they have all failed equally!

Twitter: @ddeino

Blackberry Playbook
Blackberry Playbook Photo courtesy of LA Gadgets Examiner, used with permission.

Blackberry Playbook

The Blackberry Playbook was the star of the 2011 CES show in Las Vegas. However, when eventually released, there were no operating programs. There wasn't even email. RIM screwed up a project that could have been huge.

Sonyh MiniDisc Player
Sonyh MiniDisc Player Photo courtesy of LA Gadgets Examiner, used with permission

Sonyh MiniDisc Player

The Sony MiniDisc Player had its relevance in the early 1990s--recordable CDs weren't available (thanks, RIAA!) and fast forwarding or rewinding tapes became too inconvenient. Still, the technology never really caught on. It was starting to gain relevance in the mid 1990s, but computers soon came with recordable disc drives. The effort was amazing, however!

The Video Phone
The Video Phone Photo courtesy of LA Gadgets Examiner, used with permission.

The Video Phone

Back on the 1980s, the excitement over seeing the face of the person you are talking to on the phone was a grand concept. The only problem: It appears that people cared more about privacy than showing off their faces after spending a night drinking and waking up early in the morning.

Web TV
Web TV Photo courtesy of LA Gadgets Examiner, used with permission.

Web TV

For "only" $20 a month, Web TV was set to fail before it even began. The main problem was that the experience was very limiting and computers were taking over as main devices in the first place. Web TV soon became MSN TV and then went into oblivion.

Windows Ultra-Mobile PC
Windows Ultra-Mobile PC Photo courtesy of LA Gadgets Examiner, used with permission.

Windows Ultra-Mobile PC

In 2007, the Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) sounded like a great idea. Full-powered computers that could easily fit into a purse or small backpack seemed tempting. Unfortunately, the battery life only lasted--at most--two hours on the UMPC units. You are hardly mobile when you need to constantly be by a plug.


Don't Miss

  • Fable
    'Fable Legends' hands-on: A new breed of 'Fable' is here, you should be excited, we are
    Games Preview
  • Microsoft
    Microsoft shuts down entertainment studios on the heels of massive layoffs news
    Tech Buzz
  • Destiny
    The 'Destiny' beta: 7 things we absolutely love about Bungie's new franchise
    Games Feature
  • GoTenna
    GoTenna allows you to send text messages when you have no service
  • Far Cry
    'Far Cry 4' exclusive: Animals, avalanches, oxygen, side content and much more
    Games Interview
  • Facebook
    Facebook releases a mobile app designed for famous people to interact with their fans