Naming the greatest technologies ever invented is quite easy. The electric bulb, printing press, airplanes, computers, vaccination, or the Internet, the list is endless. But where there is success, there is also failure. Some technologies were believed to be incredible innovations, changing the way we live. Unfortunately, they turned out to be much less useful than expected.
MIT created a list of the worst innovations in the past two decades. Let’s take a look.
Segway was one of the most hyped inventions ever. The two-wheeled, self-balancing transport device, created by Dean Kamen, was expected to change the way people traveled. Kamen had once said that the Segway would be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy. However, it turned out nothing more than a glorified scooter. The Segway brand has not stopped production.
2. Google Glass
Google Glass is a voice as well as motion-controlled Android device that looks like a pair of eyeglasses. One of the main reasons why Google Glass did not work was because the creators could not come to a consensus about its core uses. Some felt it was a fashionable device that could be worn all day, while others thought it should be worn for specific functions. MIT calls Google Glass a failed product and not a failed technology.
3. Electronic voting
Electronic voting refers to a form of computer-mediated voting, where voters make their selection using a computer. It leaves no auditable paper trail like paper ballots, making electronic voting more susceptible to hacking.
4. One laptop per child
One laptop per child was established with the goal of transforming education for children worldwide. The aim was to create and distribute educational devices for children in developing countries, and by creating software and content for these devices. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops are already doing that job.
5. CRISPR babies
CRISPR is a gene-editing tool that could theoretically make the birth of genetically modified humans possible. Tools as these could prove vital in curing many diseases, but it is not clear if their use is safe in humans.
6. Data trafficking
Data trafficking refers to sharing or remixing of personal data without the awareness of people. It could seriously impact personal liberty and democracy.
According to MIT, blockchain technology, the basis for cryptocurrency, could be transformative. However, cryptocurrency is a way for some people to get richer while others become poorer.
An electronic cigarette simulates tobacco smoking and emits a vaporized solution for users to inhale. However, the solution contains nicotine, and so this product has no redeeming qualities.
9. Plastic coffee pods
Plastic coffee pods may help you save time during a busy morning. However, it generates a lot of plastic waste that our environment does not need.
10. Selfie sticks
A selfie stick is practically a phone camera on a pole. Or as some people call it, an alternative for longer limbs. According to MIT, it does not serve any real purpose and finds its way on the list of worst technologies of all times.