The Biggest Flops in Technology in 2015

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

December 29, 2015, 12:52 AM

— -- The road to success includes plenty of stumbles.

While we're hesitant to call the items on this list failures, here's a look at some of the most buzz-worthy ideas and products in tech this year that ultimately fell flat, met their demise or prompted their founders to go back to the drawing board.

Google Glass

The first edition of Google Glass was officially laid to rest in January.

The once sought after wearable computer has turned into a piece of technology fraught with privacy concerns that have led to it being banned in certain public locations. The $1,500 product also spawned a not-so-complimentary name for its tech savvy wearers: glassholes.

Aside from the perceived "dorkiness" of the product, it was perhaps the camera that caused the most concern in a public setting.

Google said in a blog post that it was a graduation of sorts for the device and vowed that the public will see a next generation of Glass.


Peeple, the app that lets humans rate each other, made waves when it was in beta for its plan to unleash a five-star reviewing system on humans. Perhaps the most unnerving part of it all for some people: Anyone can add a new user and you can't remove your profile from the app.

Some cheered the idea. Others expressed concern.

Peeple's founders have since taken the app, which is still in beta, down a much more positive path, letting users opt-in to the service and decide which reviews of themselves they'll allow to be shown. Essentially: What was an app celebrating raw honesty has now morphed into something people can use as a personal billboard promoting themselves.


Tidal, a high fidelity music streaming service, hasn't made quite the splash that had been expected since it was taken over by a star-studded list of owners, including Jay-Z and Beyonce. Formerly known as Aspiro, the music streaming service relaunched earlier this year but hasn't made as big of a mark as some have expected. Tidal's competition got even more fierce when Apple entered the music streaming realm in June with Apple Music.


Sometimes bad things happen to good robots.

A hitchhiking Canadian robot named hitchBOT had its journey cut short in Philadelphia after its arms were ripped off and it was left on the ground.

The child-sized hitchBOT had been snapping photos of its journey and was able to carry on limited conversations. Created as a social experiment by Canadian researchers, the robot had previously hitchhiked across Canada and parts of Europe with its owners tracking it via GPS.

The robot was two weeks into its journey to hitchhike from the East Coast to San Francisco when it met its demise in the City of Brotherly Love.

During its American road trip, hitchBOT took in a Boston Red Sox game, briefly went to sea and enjoyed the sights in Boston.

Solar Impulse

Two pilots who dream of circumnavigating the globe in a solar-powered plane announced in July they would suspend their journey after the aircraft sustained irreversible battery damage during its record-breaking flight over the Pacific Ocean.

Solar Impulse 2 is on a layover in Hawaii as the team assesses the issue with the goal of continuing the journey as early as April of next year, according to a statement on Solar Impulse's website.