Tech and Gadgets
Top 10 inventions of the last decade
by Aaron Yip
Gadgets come and go, but a select handful leave the world irrevocably altered. The list below includes mobile phones to home entertainment tech that wasn't merely just good, it changed our lives for the better.
1. Sony PlayStation 2 (2000)
Sony's PS2 kicked off the decade, launching in March of 2000 in Japan. From then on, it proceeded to flatten the competition, selling more than 140 million units in the last decade. The PS2 didn’t just provide an awesome gaming experience; it served as many people's first DVD player and has remained a pop culture icon since.
2. Nikon D1 (2000)
The Nikon D1 was the first Digital SLR to really replicate film; destroyed Kodak’s then-undisputed reign over the professional market and got us all fixated with mega-pixels for a while. With the advent of the DSLR, and the popularity of point and shoot digital cameras, the days of print film are just about over—except maybe for hobbyists and the nostalgic-types. Yes, the D1 was the game changer for both photography professionals and enthusiasts.
3. USB thumb drives (2000)
The flash (or USB) drive is undoubtedly, one of the most underrated technologies of the past decade. It ended the dominion of the floppies and recordable CDs and found a way to the pocket of most students and business professionals. Suddenly, storing and saving your projects and research work quickly was no longer a cause for concern.
4. Apple iPod (2001)
There probably aren’t any other gadgets in the past decade that has changed the technology and music industries as drastically as the venerable iPod. It also dealt a huge blow to the music industry, made music even more portable and changed the way the world listened to music.
5. Research in Motion Blackberry (2002)
The original Blackberry was stylish and elegant even back then, and with it, you could send or receive email, chat with your clients or friends, open and check the attachments and surf the net at a good speed. The Blackberry set the benchmark for future smartphones, including the iPhone many years later, on how we multi-task and connect while on the go.
6. Motorola Razr V3 (2004)
The ultra-slim MotoRazr came with a flip-open lid and became a rage overnight. It made big guys and girls go weak in the knees. It was also a dream phone for kids and teenagers. Sure, it may not be fully loaded with features but it set the trend for how phones should look.
7. High-Definition LCD Televisions (2005)
Forget about 3D and LED technology. Without the birth of high-definition (HD) LCD, 3D and LED technology wouldn’t even have caught on. HD Technology provides a crisp, clear picture for viewers. It’s sometimes difficult to tell how we will ever get along without it. Try watching a show on an HD set, and then watch the same programme on standard definition (SD) television. The difference is astounding. It also opened the floodgates for Blu-ray and high-def videogame content.
8. Nintendo Wii (2005)
When everyone else was digging deeper with elaborate games and sharp high-definition graphics, Nintendo decided to go with game play. Smart move. The Wii has sold more than 57 million units as of end 2010. Of equal importance, it sent rivals Microsoft and Sony scrambling to come up with motion based gaming systems of their own. Without the Wii, the Kinect and the PS Move may not even have surfaced at all.
9. Rock Band (2007)
The return of the karaoke craze into our living rooms is surely attributed to the insane success of the videogame Rock Band, where players use guitar-shaped controllers, drums and microphone and play out a full band. The impact of Rock Band (and its rival Guitar Hero) on the music industry has caused music publishers to re-evaluate their approach to music licensing and their relationship with the video game industry. It also brought about a different perception to how mainstream consumers view videogames these days.
10. Apple iPhone (2007)
Last but not least, the iPhone makes this list because it's so much more than a mobile phone. When it debuted in 2007, it revolutionised the notion of a web-enabled phone and launched several thousand of apps. It's done the most so far of any gadget to fulfill a gadget-lover's dream of a full-fledged computer in your pocket and as such, it defined a new category.
A self-professed geek, Aaron Yip started out as one of the pioneer editorial staff of Hardware Zone during its early days in 2001, before founding the gaming arm of the media company - GameAxis. He later joined the Microsoft Xbox 360 team as its regional associate product manager. He recently set up a gaming media company that works with secondary schools and polytechnics to educate and promote the media industry using video games and gadgets as a platform.
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