High tech hot air: 10 technologies that failed to set the world on fire

Google TV

In 2010, Google asked a question: "what if we helped people experience the best of TV and the best of the web in one seamless experience?" It's a very good question, but the first generation of Google TV wasn't the answer. Everything that was wrong with Google TV was summed up in one bit of kit, the remote control Sony seriously thought people would want to use (pictured): we've seen spaceships with fewer controls. Google's refined the idea since and the new Chromecast is rather nifty, but the first generation of Google TV was a flop.

More after the break...

Internet fridges

We've been hearing about internet fridges since the late 1990s, when Frigidaire announced a fridge with an internet connection and a barcode reader to scan your shopping and Electrolux hyped the Screenfridge. We've seen new internet fridges at pretty much every consumer electronics show ever since. There's just one problem: internet fridges are a terrible idea that doesn't make any sense. As humorist Dave Barry put it in 2005: "I frankly wonder whether the appliance manufacturers, with all due respect, have been smoking crack."


If you think there's a lot of marketing bollocks around an iPhone launch, you should have seen the stuff around the Segway: the then-secret device known as "it" and "ginger" would "be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy". Cities would be built around it. Transport would be revolutionised. Humanity would be transformed. We were all very excited... until we discovered that "it" was a scooter. A clever scooter, yes, but still a scooter. Segway's chief executive died when he drove one off a cliff.