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12 recent technologies that have yet to live up to their hype

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Nov. 5, 2013
How many times has 'the next big thing' in technology turned out to be the next big fail, either because tech companies couldn't explain the product or service or the marketing was premature? Here's a look at today's most overhyped technologies.

"There was a lot of hope that NFC would enable the mobile wallet and replace credit cards," adds Palermo. "But the lack of standards, shortage of compliant point of sale terminals and the fact that devices like the iPhone don't support NFC have caused this technology not too take off," he says.

"NFC was supposed to be the future of mobile payments," says Matthew Talbot, SAP senior vice president of mCommerce. "In June, however, Gartner reduced its NFC payment volume forecast by 40 percent, because of lackluster results from Google Wallet and ISIS. NFC isn't dead, but for all the attention it's received, it's only expected to comprise 2 percent of transactions by the end of 2013 and 5 percent by 2017."

8. Digital/Mobile Wallets. "[Mobile wallets, also known as digital wallets] have been hyped nonstop for the last two years but have not passed the tipping point because there is a real 'chicken-and-egg' problem," says Phillip Parker, CEO and president,

"Merchants must invest in new equipment to support the tech, but won't do so unless customers are demanding it," Parker says. "Customers are not adopting them because merchants do not support the tech. On top of this is fragmentation of services requiring the merchant and customer to have compatible accounts. It's too complicated at the moment."

9. Augmented Reality (AR). "The most recent advance in augmented reality (AR) was the release of Google Glass amidst great fanfare," says Phelan. "However, the device is cumbersome and has very limited functionality," he notes. The problem: "Augmented reality has not yet made it past the novelty stage. It also doesn't yet exist in a form that's practical and truly useful to consumers."

10. Wearable Tech. "In the consumer space, we're experiencing a lot of hype associated with wearable technology such as 'smart' watches and Google Glass," says Nicko van Someren, chief technology officer, Good Technology, a provider of secure mobility solutions.

"From an enterprise point of view, there's pretty limited scope for benefit from devices that have such minimal user interaction capability," he says. "In addition, user authentication is challenging with such a limited UI, but because these devices are easy to lose, it is more critical than ever... so there is a real risk to enterprise data."

11. Real-Time Marketing. "Most brands who are doing or trying [real-time marketing] come off as totally forced and unnatural -- and it's actually causing blowback on social [sites]," states Tom Siebert, vice president and Minister of Propaganda at digital agency Digitaria.

"Moreover, nobody gets a 'real-time marketing' bump out of the blue; you've got to spend months if not years developing a list of followers and fans," Siebert says. "By the time your opportunity to market in 'real time' hits, it's actually the product of years of development."


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