Top 10 Tech Embarrassments

These are the 10 biggest tech disappointments of 2023 that didn’t meet their expectations.

Technology is amazing until it isn’t. Sometimes, the most hyped and innovative products become the biggest flops and failures. Whether due to poor design, faulty features, unrealistic expectations, or unforeseen circumstances, tech fails can happen to anyone and any company. In this article, we’ll take a look at the top 10 tech embarrassments of 2023 and what lessons can be learned from them.

Top 10 tech embarrassments 2023

Top 10 Tech Embarrassments in 2023

Technology can be a blessing or a curse, depending on how well it works and how wisely it is used. Unfortunately, the year 2023 was full of examples of tech failures, resulting in embarrassments, frustration, and even danger for millions of users. No matter the cause all of them had one thing in common: they made us lose faith in technology and question its reliability and security. Below is the list of the top 10 embarrassing tech mishaps of 2023.

1. Displace’s Wireless TV: The Ultimate Wall Fail

Displace’s Wireless TV: The Ultimate Wall Fail
Picture Credit: Displace

Displace Wireless TV is one of the most embarrassing tech fails of CES 2023. Displace claimed to have the world’s first truly wireless TV, a 55-inch OLED screen that could run on batteries, stick to any flat surface, and be controlled by gestures and voice. It also boasted that it could link with other Displace TVs to form bigger and better displays. But at the event, the wireless TV proved to be a flop, as one of the units fell off the wall and broke, due to the faulty active-loop vacuum technology. Displace promised to fix the issue before launching the product. But many people were skeptical about its quality and value, especially with its steep price range of $4499 to $13499.

Reason for Failure:

  • A faulty design and engineering did not account for the weight and size of the TV, as well as the variations and conditions of the walls.

Lessons to be Learned:

  • Wireless technology might seem like an interesting perk but a standless suction technology might not be the way to proceed yet.
  • Design and engineering should consider the user’s environment and needs, and ensure the stability and durability of the product.

2. Cruise’s Self-Driving Car Nightmare

Cruise is a company that makes and operates self-driving cars, using sensors, cameras, radar, lidar, and AI. It has a fleet of Chevrolet Bolts that can drive themselves in San Francisco, where it also offers a robotaxi service that users can book with an app. But in 2023, Cruise faced a huge setback, when a woman was hit by a human-driven car and thrown in front of a Cruise robotaxi, which ran over her and dragged her for 20 feet. The California DMV banned Cruise from using its driverless cars on the state’s roads. The incident can be considered as one of the most embarrassing tech mishaps of 2023 and it certainly raised doubts about the safety and readiness of self-driving cars, which are not widely used yet.

Reasons for Failure:

  • A human error and a software glitch resulted in a tragic accident.
  • The robotaxi’s software misidentified the location of the initial impact and decided to pull over, instead of staying still and calling for help.

Lessons to be Learned:

  • Self-driving cars are not infallible, and users should be alert and cautious when sharing the road with them.
  • Safety and ethics are important in developing and deploying autonomous vehicles, and companies and regulators should ensure the protection and well-being of the public.

Also Read: What Cool Things Can Apple CarPlay Do?

3. How Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro/Pro Max Failed to Deliver on Its Durability Promise

Be gentle with Apples new Titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max ... Yikes!

Next on the list of most embarrassing tech mishaps are iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max. These were supposed to be Apple’s most durable smartphone ever, with a grade 5 titanium frame and a matte back glass made of Ceramic Shield. The Ceramic Shield is a material that is claimed to be more resistant to scratches and cracks than any other glass. However, the iPhone 15 Pro Max turned out to be a disappointment for many users, when a YouTuber called JerryRigEverthing found out that the back glass was easily shattered by even minor impacts or pressures. Later, several reports and videos emerged of the back glass breaking or shattering with minimal force, causing damage and dissatisfaction to the users and its customers.

Reason for Failure:

  • A thinner glass was used compared to the older models which made the back glass more susceptible to cracks.

Lesson to be Learned:

  • Durability and quality are important factors for consumer products, and manufacturers should test and verify their claims before launching them.

4. Uncertainty of OpenAI’s Leadership Change

OpenAI was a prominent artificial intelligence company, co-founded and led by Sam Altman, a renowned technology entrepreneur and investor. However, in 2023, OpenAI faced a major crisis, when Altman was abruptly fired and then rehired as CEO, amid rumors of a conflict and pressure from Microsoft, one of the company’s shareholders. Also, it was one of the top tech embarrassments in 2023 due to its sudden and unclear leadership as this shook the trust and stability of OpenAI and damaged its image and culture.

Reasons for Failure:

  • The board did not like Sam Altman because he was bossy and tricky.
  • He had different ideas about what the company should do.
  • He did not get along well with some important people in the company, especially Ilya Sutskever, who is the main scientist.

Lessons to be Learned:

  • Communication and collaboration are essential for any organization, especially one that deals with complex and cutting-edge issues such as artificial intelligence.
  • Leadership and governance should be clear and consistent, and reflect the values and goals of the organization and its stakeholders.

5. TikTok Ban

TikTok is a short-video app with over a billion users, who make and share fun and creative content. However many countries have banned it since 2020, citing data privacy and security risks. In the US as of 2023, TikTok is banned on government and state devices, including the military, making it the most embarrassing tech fails or mishaps. Montana was the first state to ban TikTok from operating within its borders. New York City and Texas also banned TikTok from their devices, after finding it a threat to their networks and data. TikTok denies these claims and says it follows all laws. The bans have affected millions of TikTok users and creators. Montana’s ban will go into effect starting January 1, 2024.

Reasons for Failure:

  • This might be due to conflict between the app’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, and the governments of several countries, who accused the company of spying, propaganda, and misinformation.
  • Banned in several countries, including the US, India, and Australia, due to national security and censorship issues.

Lessons to be Learned:

  • Technology can be political and controversial, and users should be mindful and critical of the content and sources they consume and share.
  • Companies and governments should respect and balance the interests and values of different stakeholders and communities, and promote dialogue and cooperation.

Also Read: How to Get Your TikTok Account Unbanned

6. Huobi Token Flash Crash

On March 10, 2023, Huobi Token HT experienced a flash crash, dropping from $4.70 to $1.83 in just 25 minutes. This was around a 90% decline in value, which was quickly recovered to $3.70 after less than half an hour. Huobi advisor and TRON founder Justin Sun has clarified the reason for the Houbi token flash crash, he tweeted the exchange is SAFE and Huobi was establishing a $100 million fund to increase the exchange’s liquidity. The flash crash raised questions about the solvency and reliability of Huobi and other crypto exchanges and is considered one of the most embarrassing tech fails or mishaps.

Reason for Failure:

  • A chain reaction of forced sell-offs, caused by a rapid increase in demand to sell and a shortage of available buyers in the market.

Lessons to be Learned:

  • Crypto markets are highly volatile and risky, and leverage can amplify both gains and losses.
  • Risk management and diversification are key to protect and grow one’s portfolio.

7. Mixin Network Hack

On September 25, 2023, Mixin made a Twitter post regarding a major cyberattack that occurred on September 23, 2023, resulting in the loss of about $200 million worth of cryptocurrency assets from the Mixin Network. The hack was caused by the compromise of the database of Mixin Network’s cloud service provider and the funds were transferred to their addresses. The hacker also swapped some of the stolen Tether (USDT) for Dai (DAI) to avoid being frozen by the issuer.

The Mixin Network suspended all deposits and withdrawals and contacted Google and blockchain security company SlowMist to investigate the incident. This hack was one of the largest in the history of cryptocurrency and made us doubt the security and reliability of the Mixin Network and its cloud service provider. Also, it is one of the most embarrassing tech fails or mishaps.

Reasons for Failure:

  • A vulnerability in the cloud service provider that Mixin Network used to store its private keys allowed the hacker to access and transfer the funds.
  • Dependence on a centralized database made them vulnerable to a single point of high-risk failure.

Lessons to be Learned:

  • Security is the highest priority in the crypto space, and relying on third-party services can expose users to potential breaches and losses.
  • Self-custody and encryption are recommended to safeguard one’s assets and data.

Also Read: Benefits of AI in Cyber Security: Use Cases and Examples

8. Dyson Zone: A Multi-Function Device that Fails to Impress

Dyson Zone | Most Embarrassing Tech Mishaps
Picture Credit: Dyson

Of all the failed innovations examples in consumer electronics, the Dyson Zone is a prominent one that claims to offer both noise-canceling headphones and an air purifier in one product. But it has many flaws that make it a poor choice for customers. The device drains its battery quickly when it purifies the air. It also costs a lot, around $549.99, which is much higher than other noise-canceling headphones on the market. The device requires frequent maintenance, such as replacing the filters every six months. It is one of the top tech embarrassments as it does not deliver its promises and is not worth the money compared to other products that have better quality, functionality, and value.

Reasons for Failure:

  • Using the air purifier attachment makes you look like you came straight out of a sci-fi movie which might not impress everyone.
  • A high price tag, a loud noise, and a bulky design make the device unappealing and impractical for most consumers.

Lessons to be Learned:

  • Simplicity and specialization are often preferable to complexity and generalization, especially when it comes to consumer products.
  • Value and convenience are important factors for customer satisfaction and loyalty.

9. Nothing Chats: The App that Promised iMessage on Android, but Delivered Nothing

Nothing Chats was a bold idea that aimed to make the Phone 2 and future Nothing products more attractive to iPhone switchers. They teamed up with Sunbird to create Nothing Chats, a chat app that allowed you to send iMessages and not show up as a green bubble to iOS users, but it has been plagued by security and ethical issues. The app only works on the Nothing Phone 2, and it requires users to log in with their Apple ID and password. Apple revealed its intention to support the Rich Communication Standard (RCS) soon after Nothing Chats was announced. But then the app was removed from the Play Store within a day of its launch, because of Sunbird’s security flaws, making it one of the top tech embarrassments in 2023.

Reason for Failure:

  • Sunbird’s message delivery method was not end-to-end encrypted and made messages easy for potential hacking and spying.

Lessons to be Learned:

  • Security and privacy are the most important things to keep in mind in the digital age, and we should be cautious about the apps and services we use and share our data with.
  • Trying to connect different messaging app users is commendable, but the rules and regulations of the original providers should be respected.

10. The Tragic End of Ocean Gate’s Titanic Adventure Ocean Gate

Ocean Gate was a company that offered crewed submersible services for various purposes, such as tourism, industry, research, and exploration. It launched a unique and ambitious project: taking paying tourists to the bottom of the ocean to see the Titanic wreck site. However, the project ended in disaster, when Titan imploded during one of its voyages, killing all five people on board, including the company’s founder and CEO, Stockton Rush. The accident halted Ocean Gate’s operations and it has taken down its website and all social media handles. So, this expedition is considered to be one of the top tech embarrassments in 2023.

Reason for Failure:

  • A technical error and a human mistake resulted in a fatal accident and the loss of several lives.

Lesson to be Learned:

  • Underwater exploration is a risky and challenging endeavor, and operators should ensure the safety and reliability of their submersibles and crew.
  • Life and the environment are precious and fragile, and explorers should respect and protect them.

Also Read: Google Maps Updates (2023) Brings In New Way to Search Places

To conclude, tech failures are unavoidable, but not impossible to overcome. We have witnessed how some of the most anticipated and innovative products of 2023 became the top tech embarrassments. From TVs that failed to mount to devices that failed to live up to their promises, these are the products that made us feel amused, cringed, or saddened this year. We also gained some valuable insights from these most embarrassing tech mishaps, such as the importance of design, quality, compatibility, privacy, and ethics. Whether you are a tech enthusiast, professional, or critic, we hope you liked this article and found it informative and entertaining.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *