Google bet big on their high-tech glasses in 2013, but this was another loss for the company. If you thought being glued to your phone all the time was bad, just imagine having a computer literally tethered to your head.
When Google Glass was released to the public, users found the technology to be less-than-stellar. When you couple that with the privacy concerns that some had with the product, it's no wonder this tech innovation flopped. They are technically still available, but now they're marketed to businesses as a productivity tool.
Did the world need a wi-fi connected juicer? The creators of Juicero sure thought so, but they had trouble convincing others.
Juicero's first problem was that the premise was just entirely silly--of course the world doesn't need a wi-fi juicer! But the real issue was that their creation was completely pointless within its own world. The juice packs the company provided could be squeezed by hand, rendering the Juicero useless.
Amazon Fire Phone
Amazon has pretty much taken over the world at this point, but their plans for dominating the smartphone market didn't quite go as planned. They had high hopes for the Fire Phone, but they just couldn't deliver.
There were lots of reasons why the Amazon Fire Phone failed. It came with a $650 price tag, which was a high cost for 2014, and the only carrier available was AT&T, which severely limited their potential buyers. Some people also accused the company of creating the product simply to make purchasing more stuff from Amazon even easier. Because of all this, Amazon ceased production on the phone less than a year after they started selling it.
DVDs were an ancient form of technology that early humans used before the advent of streaming. And at its inception, DVDs were the bread and butter of Netflix. In 2011, as their streaming service was really beginning to take off, Netflix decided to split their operations--one site for streaming, one site for DVDs. And thus, Qwikster was born...
...and promptly died. By October of the same year, Netflix had already canned the plans for Qwikster, instead opting to keep DVD rentals under the Netflix brand. This might be one of the quickest fails of all time.
Let's get one thing straight--Vine was not a failure in and of itself. The video-creating app forced users to get creative because clips were limited to six seconds, and users did not disappoint. Numerous gags, memes, and cultural references got their start on Vine.
However, it all began to go downhill when it was acquired by Twitter in 2012. They were at a complete loss about how to monetize it (which has never been a strong suit for Twitter), and by 2016 it was gone for good.
In 2012, Kansas City residents got excited when Google announced that they were going to bring high-speed internet access to the area. Others also got their hopes up because of Google's promises to expand the service to new cities in the future. But this internet experiment turned out to be a swing and a miss for the tech giant.
While they did expand this high-speed internet to a few other cities, further expansion was halted in 2016. It was apparently just not bringing in enough money for the company to justify all the effort.
The 2010s were simultaneously a great and terrible time for Google. They expanded to massive proportions, but they also put out a lot of services that never took off with the public--like Google+.
Google+ was billed as a social media site where users could communicate with one another and integration with other Google products (like Youtube) would be seamless and easy. However, when it was released in 2011, we already had a deluge of social media sites to choose from, which made it hard for Google+ to stand out. It was officially discontinued in 2019...but not before exposing the private information of over 500,000 profiles.
The Kinect was a motion-sensor device that was originally used for gameplay for the Xbox 360, but it eventually expanded to include Windows computers and the Xbox One as well. While the idea of using your body as a game controller sounds cool on paper, the actual product left a lot to be desired.
Problems with recognizing player gestures plagued the product during its lifetime, but worse than that, the Kinect just didn't sell well among consumers. It was released in 2010, but by 2017, Microsoft had discontinued production of them.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Just ask MoviePass, the service that allowed users to see a movie a day in theaters for just $10 per month.
If you're wondering how a company could make money off of such an amazing deal, wonder no longer--they didn't make money. While that price point was a dream come true for consumers, MoviePass struggled to stay above water, and they didn't win any fans when they reduced the number of movies from one a day to three a month. They officially closed in 2019 with only a one-day notice period for users.
The PlayStation Vita wasn't a bad gaming system--it was just ahead of its time. But just because it was good, doesn't mean it wasn't a flop.
Released in 2011, the Vita had to compete with the titan of handheld gaming--Nintendo. And it simply didn't have the game list or fan base to compete. Sony officially ceased production of the Vita in 2018.
The Wii U was the follow up to Nintendo's wildly successful gaming console, the Wii. It seemed poised for success, but it just couldn't cut it.
While the system good generally good reviews when it debuted in 2012, there were very few games available at launch, which meant sales were slow. The Wii U held on until 2017 when it was supplanted by the Nintendo Switch--a system which was much more successful on the market.
From around 2013 to 2016, hoverboards were a big deal. No, they didn't actually hover, but the design was fun enough that people didn't seem to care. This was the transportation of the future, right?
Well, not quite. Reports of hoverboards catching fire began to pop up in 2015, and by 2016, many had been recalled and banned in several countries.
If you've never heard of Ouya, you're not alone. This Kickstarter-funded gaming system tried to take on the big dogs like Nintendo and Sony in 2013, but failed to deliver big time.
The system suffered from technological issues like connectivity and a bad game controller, and very few high-quality games were released, which caused sales to suffer. Ouya held on until 2019, but just couldn't make it any further.
"What if we take everything that people love about the Windows user interface and throw it in the garbage?" I'm pretty sure that's how the pitch meeting for Windows 8 went.
When Windows 8 was released in 2012, users were not happy. The start button was out and a confusing array of small tiles were in. Reception to the operating system was so bad that Windows allowed users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free when it was released.
Including Facebook on a list of tech fails almost feels too easy. In the past decade they've had all sorts of problems--including both a fake news and data privacy scandal. But for their entry, we'll go with a fail you might have forgotten: Facebook Home.
In 2013, Facebook wasn't looking to create a phone, they simply wanted to take over your existing phone. By downloading the Facebook Home app, your smartphone would be inundated with photos, notifications, and more from the social media site. It got a poor reception when it launched in 2013, and Facebook hasn't updated it since December of that year.
From smart light bulbs to smart cars, it seems like we're always trying to "smart"ify everything these days. While some items do genuinely benefit from a constant internet connection, there are tons of useless smart gadgets out there. Case in point: the Coolest Cooler.
In 2014 the Coolest Cooler was the most-funded Kickstarter project that the website had ever seen. It had a blender, it had speakers, it had USB chargers--it seemingly had everything except a good business model. By 2016, the company was out of money and struggling to fulfill their orders. But even if you did manage to get your hands on one, the finished project was filled with unnecessary gizmos and gadgets.
In the 2010s, it seemed like everyone was trying to design a phone. Windows wanted to hop on the bandwagon, but things didn't quite go as planned.
While the Windows Phone did have its supporters, it was a challenge to take on Apple and Android--the smartphone behemoths at the time. Thanks to fewer app choices and inferior features, Windows officially put their phone to rest in 2017.
Not everyone thinks that smart watches are a failure. The Apple Watch has had good sales, and a myriad of other companies have entered the market as well.
That being said, smart watches were promised as the next revolutionary tech gadget, and that most certainly has not come to pass. The biggest hurdle to getting people to adopt smart watches is convincing them that they should buy this product when their smartphone already does more and is easier to navigate and use.
In the 2000s, Myspace was a tech success story--it was the top dog of the social media world. People spent hours perfecting their profile page and agonized over who to put in their top 5 friends list. But that all changed in the 2010s.
With the advent of Facebook (and about a million other social media options), Myspace's power began to wane. They attempted a halfhearted revamp of the site in 2010, but it was too little too late. These days, Myspace still exists, but you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who still uses it.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
If you described the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 as the hot new phone of 2016, you wouldn't be lying. It was literally hot..to the point of exploding. Needless to say, consumers were not thrilled that their device came with the added benefit of spontaneous combustion.
While the phone (or "phablet" to be precise) got decent reviews, people just couldn't seem to get over the fact that faulty batteries in the device sometimes caused it to catch fire or explode. Needless to say, it was quickly recalled and pulled from shelves that same year.