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Worst Gadgets and Technology of 2010

Posted January 13, 2011 12:00 AM by Kaplin

Last week saw us take a look at some of the Best Technology and Gadgets for 2010, now let's take a look at some of the worst:

3D Television
Many speculated that 2010 would be the year of 3D after a big push from electronics companies. The popularity of Avatar 3D caused a rush of products to market, but it seems consumers haven't been biting. Television sales have been very disappointing, partially because of the lack of 3D content and also due to the current requirement to wear special glasses. The one movie that had the hype, Avatar, didn't see the 3D version released on Blu-ray until over 6 months after the non-3D version, killing any hope of an Avatar 3D sales boost. Even now, Avatar is only available in 3D with the purchase of a Panasonic 3D television and not available separately.

Apple TV
Apple has been trying to push their Apple TV set-top box product that lets consumers view iTunes video content on their television. It's a very good concept, but failed in its execution due to Apple's strict DRM and copy protection schemes and the inability to play the most common high-definition video format. Many other devices have no trouble playing MKV and a myriad of other formats including the Popcorn Hour, Asus O!Play, Iomega ScreenPlay, and WD TV Live. Any of those products would be a much better choice than the Apple TV.

Sony Move
The Sony Move is a direct response to the success of the Nintedo Wii and Microsoft Kinect. While the Kinect uses a camera and sensors to detect movement, the Sony Move uses a wand controller very similar to the Wii. Reported sales numbers for Sony Move seem to show Sony twisting the truth. Sony announced that they sold 4.1 million Move devices, but failed to mention these numbers are sold to stores, not to consumers. It was also later revealed that Sony counted each Move controller as 1 unit, effectively doubling their sales total since most users bought at least 2 controllers. When boiling the numbers down further, most analysts determined that Kinect has been outselling Move by a 4:1 ratio.

iPhone 4
After years of Apple's iPhone dominating the smartphone marketplace, it was only a matter of time before Apple made a misstep -- and that happened with the release of the iPhone 4. In what became known as Antennagate, the newly redesigned iPhone antenna that was built into the edge of the phone had reception issues depending on how the phone was held. It was shown that Apple engineers knew about the antenna problem before launch, but Apple decided to push ahead with the release anyway. After reports all over the internet about reception issues, Apple was forced to offer a free case to all iPhone 4 users to alleviate the issue. Although this cost Apple millions of dollars, the case fix saved them from having to issue a complete recall.

Microsoft Kin Phones
Sure, I just posted a good review of the modified version of the Kin Two phone, but that doesn't stop it from being a huge failure for Microsoft and Verizon. Millions of dollars were spent designing and marketing these phones to young adults that needed a constant connection to their favorite social networks. However, disappointing sales led to the devices being pulled from shelves after 6 weeks on the market. Although sales of the modified versions seem to be doing well, Verizon must not be too happy about the lack of a data plan (less profit) on the modified versions and Microsoft recently announced they will be closing the Kin Studio, which includes online backup for the original Kins.

Apple iPad
Apple's iPad is the only device to make both the best and worst list. Feature-wise, it can't compare with full tablet PCs that run regular computer applications, but it does have many more features than most e-readers. For my full take on the iPad, see my Apple iPad review.

What are some of your picks for the biggest technology failures of 2010? Check back next week for a look at what 2011 holds in store for us technogeeks.

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Join Date: Jun 2010
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#1

Re: Worst Gadgets and Technology of 2010

01/13/2011 2:09 PM

It's honestly no surprise to me that Microsoft's Kinect is outselling Sony's Move. As an avid endorser of Sony products, this comment is going against my typical bias. I've had the pleasure of actively using both products and here's what I've noticed:

Sony's Move:

This is essential a Nintendo Wii controller with a what felt like a higher sensitivity. With that said, the Move faced a lot of the same problems the Wii have been contending with. Primarily that the game only really knows where your hand(s) are and only if held in the proper orientation. To be honest, the current game pool for the Move is shallow and the games it does have are out there for the Wii with comparable gameplay.

Microsoft's Kinect:

First impression: $149.99 is a lot of money. What I didn't realize is that it's a one time cost, no additional controllers or accessories are necessary. I thought it was going to do all sorts of crazy things trying to find my body, but it instantly clued in on me and off I went. I played a street fighting game, and a dancing game (with hilarious results). Both were very receptive of my every action, from my head bobs to my leg kicks. In the dance game, it shows a shadowed version of yourself on the side, and as new people walk past or in front of you, it detects they are not you and they appear as faint outlines during the game. It was a truly immersive experience and it blew the Playstation Move out of the water in my opinion.

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Join Date: Dec 2010
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#2

Re: Worst Gadgets and Technology of 2010

01/14/2011 4:01 PM

Not much about worst technology, in fact none, comparisons found on any retail site, rename the thread "which tech is best." Poor title.

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