Technology has developed so quickly that some of our favorite old tech is now laughably obsolete. Many discoveries have been overnight successes, but much of the incredible digital world we live in today was made possible through incremental invention. Year after year, decade after decade, the existing tech loses its cool factor to the new kids on the block.
Wonder which tech was all the rage when you were born? Find out with our new tool, “The Hottest Tech from the Year You Were Born.”
Surprised to see the tech people loved in your birth year? To be honest, some of these things we had never even heard of! It’s neat to see how our favorite technologies have developed in our lifetimes, though. Here are some of the most interesting developments:
Fantastic Features for Film
From World War II to the Cold War, the world became terrifyingly aware of the devastating power of technology but still hopeful of the advancements it could bring. All these possibilities were pure gold for Hollywood, and 1950 ushered in an era of sci-fi genre films. Then in 1953, widescreen movies took off, making trips to the cinema more awe-inspiring than ever. Home viewing made its own steps forward in 1957 with the dawn of the color TV. Thanks to that significant stepping stone, you can enjoy the most gorgeous uses of color in film from your own living room.
Advances in Analog Music
Whether you’re an audiophile with a massive record library or a high-tech Spotify DJ, you can respect the trail analog music blazed to bring us sweet tunes. The audio cassette started making noise in 1962, and in 1971 we could capture our own sound with the portable cassette tape recorder. The cassette went on to become ubiquitous with ‘80s culture, thanks to the 1980 release of the Sony Walkman Cassette Player. Sure, the cassette tape might now be considered among music’s worst formats, but even today it’s still fighting the good fight by helping niche bands get their names out.
Digital Music’s World Domination
Though the MP3 was first released in 1993, this digital audio format didn’t rise to popularity until 1997. The shooting star that was Napster took off in 2000, only to have a fiery end in 2001. Sure, Napster still exists in name, but it will never be quite the Wild West of a file-sharing app it used to be. Instead, iTunes Music Store was where many of us turned for tunes, especially after the 2004 takeoff of the iPod. File sharing came back to the forefront of the internet with Myspace in 2005, which was the same year Sony inadvertently exposed our computers to viruses with its “rootkit” copy-protection technology. Scandalous.
Victories for Video Games
If it weren’t for Pong in 1972, who knows how long it would have taken us to discover the joys of video games? In 1985, Microsoft Windows implemented the game Reversi to help users learn to operate a mouse―what great edutainment! Then in 1993, Myst triggered the popularity of CD-Rom PC games. Video game consoles continued to improve over the years—take special note of Xbox’s release in 2001. Virtual reality technology, the latest craze, had to jump a few hurdles before it was ready for consumer-facing markets. But now there are five popular headset models to choose from, including Sony PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift.
The Great Computing Contest
IBM introduced the first computer hard-disk file in 1956, but computers weren’t considered “mini” until 1965, when we could fit them in a rack cabinet (about the size of a filing cabinet). Nowadays when people think of computers, they think of Microsoft, founded in 1975, or Apple, which released its first computer in 1976. Both companies have a history of hot tech, a tribute to their long and heated rivalry.
What Was the Hottest Tech the Year You Were Born?
Surprised by your results? Found some tech you’d never heard of before? Let us know in the comments below. It’s incredible to see how far technology has come over the past seven decades―it gives us high hopes for the years to come!