Tech-spectacle: When good demos turn bad
Tech demonstration fails put the best of man’s ad-libbing prowess to the test.
Sometimes, it’s the presenter’s fault, sometimes it’s the products. Whatever the cause, the result is always entertaining and destined for our Hall of Name and Shame. Sorry for the fuzzy footage, but some of these videos had disappeared under the sands of time until we dug them out.
Rule number one - know your product. Archos CEO Loic Poirier didn’t, and as a result effectively drowned the brand new 5-in Quechua smartphone they were launching. The phone comes with an IP54 rating, which means it can handle water splatter, but not the watery grave he subjected it to. Doesn't he know waterboarding is banned under the Geneva Convention? Way to make a first impression.
Honda ASIMO (2006)
The helpful humanoid robot was foiled by a flight of steps during this presentation in Tokyo. Yes, just like ED-209. What ensues is hilarious, as assistants rush out to pull a screen around the struggling robot. What, like the screen’s going to wipe that unfortunate incident from our minds? It just made it all the more memorable.
Windows Vista (2006)
This voice recognition feature was demonstrated at a Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting, but the computer completely misinterpreted the presenter's words to hilarious results - "Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all". Watch the video to see which of those words were actually said. (hint: nearly none.)
Samsung's Galaxy Nexus (2011)
The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus also launched a wave of laughter when its lauded facial recognition feature failed to work properly. So a stranger can’t unlock your phone? That’s great, but what if it can’t recognise you, its real owner, either? Who’s your daddy now? Sorry, but technology wins everytime.
Apple iPhone 4 (2010)
Steve Jobs failed to show off the iPhone 4 to the best of its abilities when one of them stubbornly refused to load a webpage. The spotty Wi-Fi connection failed to work, not just once, but twice. Watch how Steve handles it with finesse though; we miss that man.