2016: The year of tech products nobody wanted

These products—from some of the biggest products in the world—are just plain terrible

tech flops 2016 1
Credit: Thinkstock
7 tech products we didn't need—and 1 we need but never arrived

2016 has been a rather odd year in many ways. Not least of which has been the onslaught of technology gizmos and doodads produced by some of the biggest companies in the world—that just outright stink. What follows are some of the most interesting stinkers I could think of—stuff that nobody in their right mind would want. That statement, along with the rest of this list, is sure to annoy many. And I stand by it.

tech flops 2016 macbook pro
Credit: Apple
New MacBook Pro

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first: Apple’s brand-new MacBook Pro. It has no discernibly worthwhile upgrades. You get some weird little touch bar crammed in there right at the top of the keyboard—because taking your eyes of the screen to look down at the keyboard (and touch a tiny little bar) to use your computer is a good idea. It almost seems as though Apple has waged a war on touch-typing. Being productive with your computer is a no-no I guess?

tech flops 2016 google daydream view
Credit: Google
Cell phone face harness

You know what I want? I want some sort of a harness—like Google’s Daydream View (pictured)—that allows me to strap my cell phone right to my eyeballs. It’ll be great because I could use it to play games that cause my cell phone to get super hot—it’ll help keep my eyes nice and toasty. They always feel cold, so this should fix it. Also, it’ll definitely improve my eyesight. My momma always said, “You better sit as close to the TV as you can. Just shove your nose against it for hours at a time without looking away. That’s the best!"

Project Ara
Credit: Wikimedia
Project Ara

A modular phone where you can easily swap out pieces and parts just like a built-yourself desktop PC. Want a newer camera lens but happy are with the rest of your phone? No problem! Pull off the old one and snap in a new one. Replaceable batteries? Yes, please! So glad Google finally released in 2016 the most sought-after, revolutionary new product line to come along in many years. By doing so they helped improve the environment (less waste), saved consumers money (only buy the parts you need), and generally made the world a more wonderful place.

What’s that you say? They didn’t ship? They scrapped the project entirely?

tech flops 2016 iPhone 7
Credit: Apple
iPhone 7

This is a phone—aka “a device who’s primary purpose is audio”—without an audio jack. Much has been written about this. Many teeth have been gnashed. We all agree. It’s stupid.

tech flops 2016 Amazon dash button
Credit: Wikipedia
Amazon Dash Button

I know. I’m supposed to be writing about things that shipped in 2016, and the Amazon Dash shipped first in 2015. I can’t help it. This thing is just too ridiculous for words. I’ll probably be writing about the stupidity of this little gizmo in 2017, as well. How it works: You buy a button that lets you buy a bottle of bleach. When you push the button—there’s just a single button here—a bottle of bleach is ordered from Amazon.

tech flops 2016 Google Pixel XL
Credit: Google
Google Pixel XL phone

Remember just the other day when you and I were talking with about how we’d really like to spend about $900 on a new cell phone? Yeah. I don’t remember that conversation either. But Google was pretty confident that conversation took place, so they worked super hard and managed to come up with a phone (the Pixel XL) that would cost us nearly a full thousand smackers—and that, just as we’d dreamed, doesn’t make our lives better than having almost any other cell phone on the market today. I also really appreciate the lack of removable/replaceable battery! Thanks, Google!

tech flops 2016 Vivaldi web browser
Credit: Wikipedia
Vivaldi web browser

It’s 2016. Time for a new web browser. Let’s make it’s closed source—that always works out well.

tech flops 2016 google home
Credit: Google
Things shaped like cans that listen to you

Amazon made the Echo. And Google made the Home (pictured). It seems the major companies of the world really, really want you to have a small object, shaped like a can, in your house—listening to you and telling you the weather. Just what’s been missing from my life. I tell my wife every day, “If only there were a can in the house listening to me when I’m wondering about the weather, then my life would have meaning.”