In the modern world, technology surrounds us. It is everywhere and for most of us, our jobs and lives depend on it. There are two surefire ways to have your name immortalized in history: succeed in your stride toward greatness or, fail miserably as each of the following tech did. When tech fails, the results can range from hilarious to horrific.
Several of the best-funded and most-publicized tech launches of the last century ended in failure. Here are a few of my top favorite epic technology fails caught on film (video). The list below is by no means exhaustive, so please share other tech flops you’ve witnessed over the years.
Hindenburg Disaster Caught on Video
When discussing epic failures of technology, the Hindenburg disaster has to be included on the list. The German, usually renowned for their engineering prowess, made the boneheaded mistake of substituting hydrogen for helium, essentially turning the giant zeppelin Hindenburg into a giant floating bomb. Amazingly, there were more survivors than casualties.
Bill Gates gets Blue Screen of Death
Bill Gates, the billionaire technology titan, proved that no one is immune to technology failure when his own Windows operating system failed and gave him the “blue screen of death” during a Comdex demo. Fortunately, for the recipients of billions of dollars of Gates’ charity dollars, Windows survived the incident and is still widely used (for better or worse).
Galaxy Nexus Facial Recognition Fail
Things did not really go according to plan when two Android developers tried to show off one of the cool new features of their Galaxy Nexus phone. Maybe they should have taken a tip from Apple and, you know, tried it out first before showing it to the world.
Ashley Simpson Lip-sync Fail
Ashley Simpson found out the hard way that being overly reliant on technology can really bite you in the butt. Ashley was left awkwardly trying to dance her way offstage after someone accidentally played the wrong vocal track and let everyone in on the fact that she was lip-syncing. It’s probably safe to say that this was the beginning of the end of her career, as her next album failed to chart and had dismal sales.
Explosion of NASA’s Delta II rocket [Video]
One of the most spectacular technology fails caught on video has to be the explosion of NASA’s Delta II rocket, which exploded in January of 1997 over Cape Canaveral Air Station. The rocket’s mission was to send a new Global Positioning satellite into orbit. Unfortunately, the entire multi-million dollar missile delivered was a shower of burning rocket fuel and poisonous gas to the Air Base.
Death Star Explosion
Last but not least, one of the biggest technology fails ever has to have been made by the Galactic Empire. While they were able to build a moon-sized space station capable of destroying entire planets, they were incapable of figuring out a way to shield their exhaust ports. This fortunate oversight allowed Luke Skywalker to drop a couple proton torpedoes down the target and the rest is history.
Guest Author: As writer for BuyStarWars.com, John Imsdahl felt that no list of technology fails caught on video would be complete without the original Death Star explosion. You can save the galaxy by dressing like Luke Skywalker, or by simply remembering to test your electronic devices before any major event.