Technology has advanced at a rapid rate in the past decade or so, even if I am still waiting for a hover board that was promised in the movie ‘Back to the Future’.
Aside from the great void in my life where my hover board should be, there are some real life inventions that we all had, or wanted, growing up that were pivotal to the development of some of the gizmos and gadgets available today.
Here are a few of my favourites. A lot of you loved this, too!
It was a breakthrough moment when the Sony Walkman was invented. This pocket sized gadget kept millions of people happy by bringing them music anytime, anywhere. Head phones attached, you could listen to your favourite cassette tape or radio station while on the go. Some versions of the Walkman even had two plugs for headphones so your bestie could listen along with you. It also stopped many of the oldies complaining about music on public transport.
With a built in cassette tape deck, this talking teddy was the first of its kind when it was released in the mid-80s. With the ability to move its mouth and eyes, this teddy helped little kids all around the world go to sleep when it ‘read’ them bedtime stories. Can you believe my husband still has one from his childhood in working order?
The first virtual pet on the market, the Tamagotchi became a huge hit in the 90s. These virtual pets on handheld devices required all the same ‘virtual’ care as a real life pet and could ‘live’ long healthy lives when cared for correctly. If not, they died just as the trend did when schools starting banning them.
Before the age of Bluray or even the DVD, we had videos. Remember them? Many people still have a VCR player in their home along with a stack of 80s movies on video to watch at their viewing pleasure. The picture and sound quality is nowhere near as good as what it is available now and heaven forbid you forget to rewind a hired tape. You used to get fined for that.
Kodak Fling Disposable Camera
A disposable camera with film all in one, the Kodak Fling Camera became hugely popular in the late 80s because it was affordable and convenient. You pointed, took your photo and simply wound the wheel on the front of the camera to advance the film inside. Once you had taken your photos and all the film had been used, it was a case of the waiting game. You would drop off the disposable camera to a local film processing shop for them to develop the photos before you could see the outcome of your photography efforts which were often less than desirable.
Released in 1982, the Atari 5200 was a favourite in our household of five children. Connected to our television, we’d patiently take turns (not) to insert a game cartridge into the Atari console after the mandatory dust blowing. Some of the top selling games for the Atari 5200 Super System included Pac Man, Mario Bros and Pitfall. I remember playing Meteorites regularly because I was hopeless at Pitfall. Here’s a shout out to my Mum – I still remember the day she completed the entire Pitfall game! My avatar always got gobbled up by the crocodiles, hence my preference to play Meteorites.
What were your favourite gizmos and gadgets growing up?