When you think of the gadgets or the gear that you can’t live without, what springs to mind? Is it your smartphone that you have with all of the time? Is it a camera that makes its way onto every trip with you? Is it your TV or a pair of headphones for your music? Whatever your favorite or most beloved gadgets are, they all started out as a much less high-tech version than you have now. So our favorite gadgets owe the influence that they have now to the original model that has changed so much.
But that being said, some of those originals are much more modern than others. Take the Apple iPhone or Apple iWatch; there was very little that sent the tone for them beforehand. Some classics and originals like a Walkman were the first of their kind, with iPods just moving the idea onto the next level. So with all of this in mind, what are some of the most influential gadgets that we have seen in the past decade or so? It would be great to hear what you think and if there is anything that you think has been missed off the list.
When the iPhone launched in 2007, it really was a one of a kind gadget, giving many people their own powerful computer right there in their hand or pocket. Phones weren’t a new thing back then, of course, and neither were smartphones. But what had already existed paled in comparison. It is something that has moved on, changed, and developed, but it has impacted how we use computers and how we shop, game, work, and communicate, with the mobile apps created for the phone.
Being able to combine a simple, affordable, and portable way to listen to music, without the need for a large boombox on your shoulder, really was revolutionary at the time. Being able to play small cassettes, and later CDs, on the go, and creating that private space of our own in a public space, was a big attraction. Using batteries meant you could be on the go and listening to your favorite tapes or CDs really easily.
The first Nintendo gaming or entertainment system released back in the day, came at just the right time. It set the way for Japanese to dominate the industry, and it showed just how established and well designed their games and systems can be. It has stayed that way ever since. Then when the Nintendo Gameboy was released around five years later, it was the first mobile gaming device. And from there, it has had an influence on a huge variety, from other handheld gaming devices, to things like the iPhone and being able to play games on apps.
We often talk how in this day and age we are all about instant gratification. But in fact, the Polaroid camera was the first taste of this kind of living. In fact, the ‘retro’ look of Polaroid snaps has influenced apps like Instagram, and even made way for printing out pictures straight from your phone, in small Polaroid style images.