6 Top Tech Disasters Of The Decade

Let’s face it, many of us can’t wait for the latest versions of our smartphone, apps or other gadgets to be released, but often, the pressure to rush out the newest innovations causes some to fail, and pretty spectacularly at that. Innovation comes with its fair share of failures, but sometimes these catastrophes were a little more public than their respective brands perhaps would have liked. As we embark on an exciting new decade which is bound to unveil even more futuristic creations , we take a look at some of the biggest and most embarrassing technology disasters which have occurred over the past ten years.

The Exploding Hoverboard

We can all remember when hoverboards were the latest craze and kids everywhere couldn’t wait to get their hands on them! Forget the likelihood for serious injuries to occur to adults and children alike who couldn’t get used to the shift in body weight needed, what proved perhaps more of a concern was the fact that some were catching fire! In 2016, it was reported that over half a million hoverboards were recalled due to concerns over fire risks, with over 100 instances in the US reported of hoverboards catching fire. Fast forward to Christmas 2019 and reports over exploding hoverboards continued to appear, with seven brands of boards being recalled during December 2019. It seems that Lithium batteries in general have a higher risk of catching fire, but sadly, the negative associations with this particular product have continued to linger.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Flight Ban

In what some would agree was a spectacular PR disaster, 2016 saw Samsung Galaxy Note 7’s banned from flights across the globe after reports of over 100 cases of the devices overheating and in some cases injuring people. This meant that those travelling could not take their phones with them, causing much disruption and anger by Samsung owners, particularly those who were unaware of the ban and were asked to surrender their devices at the airport! Samsung started to replace these defective devices, but reports of these replacements also overheating did not do much to quell the story. A year later, the ban remained on both cargo and passenger flights but there was no longer an FAA requirement to display this notice at airports.

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GoPro Karma Drones Plummet

Drones are becoming increasingly sophisticated and the market is rapidly growing, but it would be prudent to draw attention to the challenges faced by the GoPro Karma Drones in 2017, whose poor battery design led to many literally falling from the sky. The first drone to be released by GoPro had high expectations, but the sudden in-flight power failure and growing number of spectacular drone crash videos displaying its less than favorable characteristics left the brand licking its wounds and returning to the drawing board.

Goodbye Google Glass

Google Glass promised a futuristic experience, as a wearable computer with a head-mounted display in the form of eyeglasses. Sadly, the concept was perhaps ahead of its time and it failed to grasp mainstream interest. Many attributed poor marketing decisions to its poor performance, as availability was initially limited to early adopters who were expected to cough up around $1500 for the privilege of owning the futuristic product. Whilst many remember Google Glass as a spectacular failure, others believed it had potential in other areas, such as an aid for factory workers. The jury might still be out on this one, as we may well see this product resurface in the future.

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No Help for the HP Touchpad

Keen to break into the tablet market, HP launched its own Touchpad in 2011, yet just a month after its release, the company announced that it would be ending all support for webOS devices, of which Touchpad was included. This led to tablet prices crashing from around $499 down to as little as $99. Recently it was announced that the development of the Android 9 Pie ROM, which is compatible with the device, could bring the tablet back from the dead, although this was met with mixed reviews.

The Amazon Fire Phone Failed to Spark Interest

In 2014, Amazon proudly launched its Fire Phone as a competitor to the iPhone, but with a modest price point and less than spectacular functionalities, the phone failed to ignite the interest of the consumer market. Reports later that year revealed that the company was sitting on some $83 million worth of unsold stock and that the company suffered around $170 million in losses as a direct result of the Fire Phone launch. Despite failing to capture the market with the Fire phone, the kids Fire HD Tablets were a market win and continue to remain strong, as further enhancements such as Alexa voice-control continue to keep them aligned with ever-evolving technology.