TIME has put together a list of 50 of the most influential gadgets that have changed our lives and without which the world might’ve been a completely different place.
Some of the influential gadgets that made the list were the first of their kind to have commercial success like Sony’s Walkman, Nintendo’s Gameboy or Apple’s iPod. More recently gadgets like Oculus Rift and Google Glass have also become prominent products. These gadgets have shaped the way we do work, perform tasks and have generally become companions in our daily lives. TIME explains:
Rather than rank technologies—writing, electricity, and so on—we chose to rank gadgets, the devices by with consumers let the future creep into their present. The list—which is ordered by influence—was assembled and deliberated on at (extreme) length by TIME’s technology and business editors, writers and reporters.
Here are the top 10 most influential gadgets of all-time as decided by TIME:
10. Magic Wand
After featuring on an episode of Sex and the City, Hitachi’s Magic Wand electric neck massager has become a household name.
9. Apple iPod
Although the iPod wasn’t the first MP3 to come into existence, it was the first MP3 to crush it commercially. The device was a way for music-lovers to move away from bulky CDs and allowed them to carry their music library in their pockets. It made music more mobile and also easier to pirate.
8. Kodak Brownie Camera
This affordable little leather camera-in-a-box was first introduced back in February 1900. The Kodak Brownie camera was one of the first camera that allowed people to carry cameras around. This camera allowed users to snap instant shots without the need of bulky photography equipment like a tripod.
7. Regency TR-1 Transistor Radio
This little pocket radio moved tech and gadget consumers into a miniaturization period where every piece of new tech had to be as small as possible. It was also the first consumer product powered by transistors.
6. Victrola Record Player
It was hardly the first of its kind, but its sleek design and unique way of storing was very appealing to the consumer. This record player was responsible for moving record players into homes.
5. IBM Model 5150
The 5150 was first introduced back in 1981 and has been one of the most influential gadgets of all-time ever since.
4. Sony Walkman
Before the iPod we had the Sony Walkman. You weren’t a cool kid in the 80s without you own Sony Walkman. It was one of the first gadgets to make music mobile and, running on AA batteries meant that you were now able to take your music with you everywhere you go.
3. Apple Macintosh
It’s one of the most iconic Apple products of all time. The Apple Macintosh went on to change Apple’s future and the way consumers use computers.
2. Sony Trinitron
This set launched back in the late 1960s when colour TVs were just taking off. What makes this such an influential piece of technology is the fact that it made the colour TV more accessible to the consumer thanks to its portability and affordability.
1. Apple iPhone
The iPhone is crowned by TIME as one of the most influential gadgets of all-time. It was released back in 2007 and has paved the way to making mobile phones as smart and powerful as possible.
Do you agree with the list? Drop us a comment and let us know if you think other influential gadgets should’ve made the list.