Technology has advanced greatly in the past few years. To realize how far we have come, here is a look at the most popular gadgets of each year for the past 40 years. The demands get simpler as we go back in time.
Google Glass (2013)
A wearable computer. Google Glass gave birth to a whole new kind of technology where people could actually wear the gadgets they used. Fashion and technology finally came together.
3D Printer (2012)
The future of manufacturing, this printer has allowed the impossible to become possible. 3D printing is revolutionizing many modern day fields and although it faces some controversy, the technology is taking us forward.
Go Pro Camera (2011)
Allowed people to record their wildest adventures, this camera could be attached anywhere and could be taken into any situation. Whether you are skydiving or exploring the depths of the ocean, this camera will record it.
A fresh new take on the tablet computer. The iPad gave the tablet market a boost, and now faces competitors from almost every tech company on the planet. But it’s hard to beat the original.
Nintendo Wii (2009)
Video games that provided exercise. The Nintendo Wii is still popular with moms today. A video game that didn’t let kids sit around the house all day and do nothing. This was the most fun you could have while doing physical activity.
iPod Nano (2008)
Although the original iPod made people’s music collections portable, it was this slimmer version that allowed people to fit the music into their own pockets.
The smartphone that started it all. Before the iPhone, mobile phones were used simply for calling or texting. The iPhone gave people the freedom to do more with their phones than what was possible before.
Playstation 3 (2006)
One of the most popular gaming consoles of our day, the Playstation 3 took gaming to a whole new level with next gen graphics and greater online gaming capabilities.
Xbox 360 (2005)
The PS3’s natural enemy, it’s hard to imagine that the 360 is this old. One of the most popular gaming consoles of the decade, the Xbox 360 was Microsoft’s answer to affordable gaming consoles.
Razr Phones (2004)
When phones were used for calling and texting only, these were the most popular devices. Motorola was as popular then, as Apple is today. These phones made a statement that none of their competitors could.
People no longer have to ask for directions thanks to these simple devices that allowed people to never be lost again. These could be attached on the car’s dashboard or on a bicycle, wherever it was needed.
Watch TV shows whenever you want. The Tivo meant that people didn’t have to worry about missing their favorite shows and could focus on their work (or just watch re-runs and procrastinate).
WiFi Hotspots (2001)
A great find if you got reception, any place that offered free WiFi became the most popular place in town. Nowadays even McDonald’s has free WiFi.
Thumb Drives (2000)
Back then, 32 MB was enough. These thumb drives were used for carrying around one’s documents, as compared to present day versions that have far greater capacities and are used to store everything from our music to our documents (sometimes).
DSLR Cameras (1999)
Professional photography for the digital age. The DSLR camera took a while to catch on, but it allowed people to have high quality photos that they could transfer to their computers without scanning.
Rio Diamond MP3 Player (1998)
Before most people knew what mp3 was, the Rio Diamond MP3 Player made digital music portable. Although it had a few setbacks, it was the iPod of the 90’s.
DVD Players (1997)
These were bulky when they first came out, and anyone who had them at home, found their living rooms transformed into a home theater with its own crowd.
Palm Pilot 1000 (1996)
The iPhone of the 90’s, the Palm Pilot was the most popular personal organizer for business people and allowed them to store all their contacts’ data in one simple device.
Iomega Zip Drive (1995)
A lot more useful than floppy disks, the Iomega Zip Drive was a medium capacity removable floppy disk that made portable storage a lot simpler and easier.
Sony’s first attempt to join the console wars that took them to a leading position for years to come. The Playstation’s successors were each releases at the top of the market and have their own loyal following.
Allowed you to listen to CD’s on the go, the discman was the walkman’s successor but was deemed greatly inefficient with the release of mp3 players.
Super Soaker (1992)
The ultimate water gun, the Super Soaker was and still is the most popular toy for the summer. With different versions coming out each year to this day, without losing any of the fun.
Sega Game Gear (1991)
The Game Boy’s replacement, the Game Gear was Sega’s attempt at portable gaming after seeing the great success of Nintendo’s Game Boy. These are a collector’s item today.
Digital Cameras (1990)
Not many people know they existed back then, but those who did had to have them. The digital camera meant that people no longer had to replace the film in their cameras or get the photos developed.
Game Boy (1989)
The most popular portable gaming device, the Game Boy was created by Nintendo and is considered the pioneer of portable gaming. The original device was built to last, with working examples found to this day.
Sega Genesis (1988)
Play Sonic the Hedgehog on TV or any other Sega game. The Genesis was a great hit and made Sega popular for many years to come. Although not the first gaming console, it is still one of the most popular.
Motorola DynaTac Cell Phone (1987)
Mobile phones were a little less mobile back then, but this phone is what made Motorola the company it is today. The DynaTac was the world’s first look at mobile technology. The ancestor of the one you have in your pocket right now.
Lazer Tag (1986)
The future of tag, Lazer Tag is still popular in today’s arcades. An amazing evolution of a simple game that we all used to play on the playground, Lazer Tag has been heard by every generation since it first came out.
VHS Camcorders (1985)
The camera that gave birth to home movies. These “portable” cameras were so popular that they changed the way people record their memories and greatest moments. With pictures taking a backseat in the world of capturing memories.
Laser Jet Printer (1984)
Printing got a lot faster and simpler thanks to the laser jet printer. People didn’t have to wait as long for the prints of their documents and got faster, clearer results with a device that was relatively easy to maintain.
Nintendo Entertainment System (1983)
One of the earliest consoles and one that made Nintendo an immortal name in the world of video games. The NES gave children of the 80’s memories that they still cherish.
Sony CD Player (1982)
People probably didn’t use CD’s that often in the 80’s but Sony had created this CD player. Anyone who had this at home was a somebody, and it was a luxury item at the time.
IBM PC 5150 (1981)
The first computer you could use at home, the 5150 is the earliest in personal computers. There was still some time to go before Bill Gates and Steve Jobs became popular, but this PC made computers popular.
Rubik’s Cube (1980)
Still popular today, this amazing puzzle toy has become a symbol of intelligence and provides more intellectual stimulation than a Game Boy. There have been many versions that came after, but the original is still the most popular today.
Sony Walkman (1979)
The birth of portable music, the Walkman meant that you could listen to music outside of your room. It also meant that many teenagers at the time kept it plugged into their ears and rarely heard anything outside of them.
Speak and Spell (1978)
One of the greatest spelling teachers out there, the original Speak & Spell was made by Texas Instruments and was one of the first handheld electronic devices that came with a display.
The console that started it all, Atari made video games playable at home. People didn’t have to go to arcades and waste coins thanks to this device, which brought arcade fun into your living room with no need for extra coins.
Back then it was a giant, now you can play it on a card-sized device. Many arcade games of the time are still popular today. Although these machines were bulky, they were still just as popular as today’s handy devices.
People could finally watch movies at home and whenever they wanted. The age of Blockbuster was born thanks to the VHS that soon found its way into every home.
Magna Doodle (1974)
The best thing available in 1974. There wasn’t much technology involved in making this device, but it still provided people with portable fun (although many of these people were toddlers).