Let’s take it back a few years to salute the ancestors of our modern day must-have devices. Here are some of the best upgrades in the history of modern technology.
The Car: As far as technology upgrades go, cars are the OGs. Honestly, the horse and buggy option is a mess and, oh, walking? Ew. Thankfully, in 1885 Karl Benz engineered the Benz Patent Motor Car—the first automobile with a stationary petrol engine. Ford may have delivered cars to the masses, but Benz had the patent 20 years prior.
The TV: The Vudus, Hulus, and Rokus would not have been possible without the development of the first television in 1928. It was created by 21-year-old Philo Taylor Farnsworth, who lived without electricity for most of his life.
The Personal Computer: The Programma 101 was the first commercial personal computer, invented in 1962. NASA used it for calculations in the moon landing and ABC used it to predict the presidential election in 1969. Nothing fancy by today’s standards, but it got the job done and didn’t take up the entire room.
The Gaming Console: Years before Pong was a glimmer in Atari’s eye, German engineer Ralph Baer created The Brown Box, the first interactive TV console. It came with the game Chase, in which two dots pursued each other around the screen. For 1968, that was quality entertainment.
The Digital Camera: Steve Sasson and his team at Kodak brought us the first digital camera in 1975. The 8-pound cam with no moving parts is credited as taking the first digital image at a whopping 100x100 pixel resolution. Remember you had to like, drive to the drugstore to pick up film and prints? Ugh, what a drag.
The Portable Music Player: While lugging a BoomBox on your shoulder may look super cool, nothing beat the convenience and portability of the Sony Walkman. The device first debuted in 1979 after Sony revamped their tape recorder (cleverly named Pressman) by replacing the recording circuitry with sound amplifiers.
The Cell Phone: Motorola’s DynaTAC is the first mobile phone on record and it was a beast. It boasted 30 minutes of talk time, 8 hours of standby, and enough memory to store 30 numbers. In 1984, it set you back about six times what a brand new iPhone 6 would today ($3,995)!
The Laptop: Technology trends are constantly fluctuating between “bigger is better” and “smaller is better”. One thing is certain, a laptop is definitely more travel friendly. Portable designs were popping up everywhere, but the 1991 Macintosh PowerBook is the start of laptops as we know them today.
The Tablet: In 2002 Microsoft unveiled the Tablet PC, heralding a new generation of personal computing. The tablet included Windows XP software and a stylus in a more mobile design than the notebooks that came before. Since then, the tablet market has exploded into an entirely new category with some amazing technology.