Laughing at your reference to Borgs and Star-Trek!But, I'm surprised BT headsets are include in the list;I considered them a short-lived success, altho' now clearly obsolete since BT links to Car Audio.I remember when BT was being developed by IEEE in the late 90's and the concept of the earbud was THE killer App. (yes, readers, there was a time when all APPS were not only Software APPs....)A few years later, evolving the earbud so the CAR IS the Headset! It was a natural advancement in hindsight; but much harder to foresee.
That was definately an enjoyable anecdote @Tekochip. You had also mentioned a very large and successful company making a flop amidst other great successes. It kind of reminds me not only of the aforementioned Zune, but also of the OS Windows ME from Microsoft. I'm sorry to all those that had endured that OS program. Hopefully, all have relieved their systems of this poor example of an OS for something that performs better or at the very least left the old PC behind in favor of a new system and OS.
One last invention of ridicule from me. So bad was this invention, that it received the greatest recognition of it's failure on the silver screen through the cult classic movie, Wayne's World. Enter, stage right, The *chortle* revolutionary, Flowbee! TahDah!
Ahh, the gaming industry. There's a topic that deserves a whole new list of failures and is a great way to learn what it takes to have a successful product. You need a good product, of course, but you also need a good price, and a hungry marketplace. I think Vectrex was an excellent game console for its time, and it even had "Ripoff", the first game that demonstrated real artificial intelligence, but it was released just prior to the computer crash of`83. I couldn't find how many units were sold, but even today the machine has a strong fan base for nostalgia buffs. It was just the wrong time to release a console.
Few people remember that Apple attempted to enter the game industry with Pippin in `95, but there was no way to compete against Playstation or Nintendo and they sold 42,000 units. I think if Apple had released a strong title like "Halo", they could have made a good entry into the marketplace, but the machine debuted with soft, entry-level titles . Of course, having a loyal fan base doesn't guarantee success either. Nintendo released the 64DD in 2000 and sold (get ready for it) 15,000 units worldwide. I don't know how you would rank failures, but when you look at the numbers, that has to be the worst failure, and yet it came from a company that also had the greatest success.
I have a small anecdote about the gaming industry. I was involved for a few years and would attend the conventions to see the latest from the competition as well as displaying my wares. I passed by the Nintendo booth and saw three Japanese businessmen, complete with sharp, black suits, and impeccably tailored shirts. The three men were each sitting behind arcade sized driving simulators to demonstrate the latest version of "Mario Kart". The three executives exemplified the well-disciplined posture of boarding school students as they sat rigid behind their consoles, and next to them was an empty fourth console.
OK, I dropped my nation sack and sat at the fourth console. Without even a glance in my direction the three executives instantly snapped to life and quickly logged into the system with their characters. I fumbled through the menu, logged in, and the race was on. I was no novice to "Mario Kart" as I had a standing promise with my two boys that I would race with them every night for half an hour before bed, but these guys were good, real good. They teamed up on me, which I should have expected, and they were really hammering me with shell after shell. That's when I realized I wasn't just racing for myself, but I was racing for all of America.
I was dead last in the final lap of an unfamiliar course, but somehow I managed to catch up with my competitors and then just before the finish line I was gifted a lightning bolt. I slipped across the finish line as the other three racers spun off the course, bringing victory to my family, and country. Beside me the three executives collapsed, still facing forward, but now looking down, with arms hanging limp from their stooped shoulders. The men sat slumped in their seats, no longer posing the rigid posture they had three minutes ago, but more like someone had let all the air out of them. I gently retrieved my bag and left the men in silence; happy to have won, but sad to have shamed visitors from afar.
Yes, I came across the Sega Dreamcast as I was compiling this list, ck_02, but decided not to add it, as I already had a console on here. And new Coke is probably one of the all-time greatest invention flops in history, but I stuck to the theme of technology-oriented inventions to narrow the field. But if food were included, that would most definitely be on here at the top of the list.
I had to laugh at your comment, GTOlover, imagining someone swearing at their iPhone or iPad! But this is the way of technology today. At least Siri eventually gets it right, but you point out the inadequacies that continue to plague voice-recognition technology.
Does anyone remember the Sega Dreamcast? It was highly innovative for its time and was better than most other systems IMHO, but alas, it was not to be and it aided, if not single-handedly responsible, in driving Sega's console division into the ground. *a moment of silence for the fallen*
And perhaps a couple more pieces of food...er drink for thought, New Coke and Crystal Clear Pepsi. Whoopsie-doodle.
What should be the perception of a productís real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.