What are some major technological failures that have occurred this century?

I’m an engineering student, looking for a major technological failure or event to do a failure analysis on. I’m really interested in Therac-25 but it’s a bit too outdated to do the analysis on and I’m super interested in medical devices but I need something that is well know enough that has a lot of credible information on. I’m stumped with ideas and all the topics I can find don’t have enough information so I’ve come to you all in hopes that anybody has a really interesting case… It does not have to be a medical device.

Thanks so much!

think about looking into ESSURE but the evidence that it failed to deliver is scanty. There were unknown reported side-effects but is now under scruteny



I’m not exactly sure what it is you’re asking about, but it did bring to mind testing of nuclear weapons in the upper atmosphere, which, as I heard, caused a 3 day total radio communications blackout worldwide when the US did it a few decades ago. It had something to do with an EMP in the upper atmosphere disrupting radio waves. I don’t know if that would qualify as a “technological failure”, but it was definitely the unexpected result of what was at the time a new “technology”.

Internet Explorer 6

Friendster (a social media player that played out after a promising start)

Segways - meh

Microsoft Tablet PCs (initiated in 2001, failed)

Wearable DVD Player glasses (never became popular)

MySpace (virtually killed off by Facebook)


I’m not sure of any complete failures, but some things that just haven’t panned out (so far):

hybrid cars

private space travel

renewable energies


Internet Explorer 6

The Japanese have begun building flying cars, I heard. I hope that does not become a major tech fail. I was expecting a more Jetson type world by now, and it hasn’t happened. So keep your eyes on the skies if you visit Japan. You wouldn’t want the future to literally come crashing down on you.

Collectively ignoring the impact of concentrating greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.

Ignoring the cascading consequences we are actually factually witnessing and pretending they won’t be snowballing* into an avalanche these next years and decades.


{Yeah, yeah curious metaphor for a world where those avalanching snowballs are going to become a rarity.}

Google is always a fun ride,



and came up with the last decade.


A decade of failures

By Verge Staff Dec 20, 2019, 1:45pm ESTIllustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The world never changes quite the way you expect.

But at The Verge, we’ve had a front-row seat while technology has permeated every aspect of our lives over the past decade. Some of the resulting moments — and gadgets — arguably defined the decade and the world we live in now.

But others we ate up with popcorn in hand, marveling at just how incredibly hard they flopped. …


A Century of Spectacular Failure | WIRED www _ wired _ com › 1999/12 › a-century-of-spectacular-f...

Dec 29, 1999 - As the 20th century draws to a close, every news organization in the world is publishing its lists of the greatest this and the top thats during the past 100 years. … to draw up a list of the century’s most conspicuous technological failures. … architects have overlooked the fact that similar problems occur in much …

Hmmm, looks like our buddy gave Reddit a try - eight days has produced a lot of suggestions.

https : //www.reddit - com/r/tech/comments/ifl55t/what_are_some_major_technological_failures_that/

The Japanese have begun building flying cars, I heard. I hope that does not become a major tech fail. I was expecting a more Jetson type world by now, and it hasn’t happened. So keep your eyes on the skies if you visit Japan. You wouldn’t want the future to literally come crashing down on you.
I'm not falling for that one again! It was very early 1980s, maybe '81, '82 or so, when I saw a commercial on TV. There was a car, right there on the screen, floating in the air. The announcer proclaimed, "Stop dreaming of the car of the future" and my brain screamed "FINALLY!" And then the car fell down and some piece of crap with wheels drove onto the screen. "And drive it today!" I was, like, 12 at the time and I still remember that commercial (and the phone number for Empire flooring). I can't frigging remember what happened last Friday, but I remember that commercial and the crushing disappointment I felt.

That being said, people have been making flying cars for years. The last one I saw was probably over a decade ago and ran on used fryer oil. The problem is you need a pilot’s license to drive one. And then there’s the millions of dollars to have a SECOND prototype made. AND you have to be really, REALLY serious about maintenance. A few weeks ago I changed the thermostat in my wife’s car because it overheated on her on the way home from work. I suck at mechanical work, but it was an easy thing to change. Only took 3 hours and 2 attempts. And then it only worked for a single trip a couple of miles out of town before it overheated again. So I took it to a mechanic. The water pump was out. AND THEN she told me that it had been leaking for MONTHS. She had to put a little bit of coolant in it every couple of weeks. I also had them change the oil. It had been about 10,000…okay, I’m not going to lie. About 30,000 miles. You do NOT want my wife driving a flying car!

Did someone say flying cars?


How about this tech failure?:

When Facebook destroyed American democracy.

And I thought Facebook was simply the enabler?

If we take it back to origins, how about Hollywoodization of our expectations?

But of course, Americans had already made a reputation for chasing profits über alles, in complete disregard for, shall we say ‘externalities’ such as people’s lives and safety, appreciation for the importance of healthy environments and the like.





How about this tech failure?:

When Facebook destroyed American democracy.

They’re threatening to stop letting users share news in Australia if the Australian government goes through with a law to make them pay the news organizations for the content. What the hell kind of threat is that? “If you make us pay for news then we’re just going to remove the part that lets foreign governments and far-right weirdos make stupid people believe moronic things to screw up your government!” Oh no! Where will QAnon conspiracies spread then? Where will the poor Australians find “articles” that tell them to force their autistic kids to drink bleach as a cure, or that Covid can go right through a mask and get you, but somehow CO2, which is thousands of times smaller, gets trapped in the mask and suffocates your brain? Whatever will they do if the cesspool which is Facebook becomes smaller?

Full disclosure, though you probably didn’t pick up on it from the subtlety of my writing, I loath Facebook with a passion. I never use it and never have. I did make an account a long time ago, which is still active, but I don’t use it at all. And last night I begged my wife to stop telling me the stupid shit she sees on Facebook every single day. If you want to take a swim in that shit-filled water, have a good time. But stop pushing me in!

Yeah! Facebook should be pillaged in its Buttbook. Rabble, rabble, rabble. (That’s me rabble rousing.)