I'm a tech connoisseur. Instead of watching TV or dining out, I read the manuals for Bluetooth gadgets and laptops. So you could say I keep a close eye on the goings on in the tech industry. Looking back over the past year, I can identify at least five advancements and innovations that seemed so important at the time... but they never really lived up to expectations. And now they risk fading into oblivion.
I don't know if Google+ is growing or not, but I do know one thing: No one ever talks about it anymore. Occasionally, I will click one of those Plus links like the one alongside this article. And I've heard a few tech luminaries have a presence on Google+. But I see signs of failure: Just about every article I've read in the past few months has a big fat "zero" next to the Plus link. That can't be a good sign, especially when the the number of Tweets and the Facebook likes are in the hundreds or thousands.
2. 3D Projectors
It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time. A 3D projector for business made sense because you could liven up a presentation, or entertain the crowd with clips to demonstrate a point. Besides, 3D seems like it is here to stay at the local Cineplex--why not in the office? But until 3D technology advances to the point where you can flip a switch at your next meeting, not hand out goggles, to show a bar graph in 3D, these products might be doomed for the bargain bin forever.
3. Klout Scores
I was into Klout scorekeeping for a while. The service, which looks at your Twitter activity and connections and analyzes your social networking behavior, seemed to catch on last year over the summer. I heard about companies that wanted potential employees to put a Klout score on their resume, and a few people even listed a link in their email signature. Then, nothing. I stopped hearing about the service, perhaps because there was something amiss with the metrics.
4. Bluetooth Watches
I'm not ready to say the Bluetooth watch is dead, especially since Pebble Watch has not even started shipping. The idea is brilliant: Turn the time-keeping device you wear all day into a smart reminder system, a music player, and even a navigational add-on. The problem: We already use phones that do all of those things, including showing us the time at a glance.
Put this in the "you can't be serious" category, I know. Dropbox is amazingly popular, and the simplicity of this sync-and-store service is great for personal use. But then last August, someone hacked Dropbox, which had more of a direct impact on me. (As a side note, so did the recent Nationwide breach.) At that point, Dropbox became a failure for business use for me. Dropbox added two-factor authentication in late summer, but by then the damage was done. Many businesses have told me they have stopped using the service.