(Tech) Tech transformations that happened in your lifetime!
One of the amazing things about Imgur is how you all have formed a cohesive community of folks bonded by their love of the interwebs and technology, despite having a vast variety of livelihoods, native countries, and ages.
For example, some are old enough to have had flip phones in the early 90s, while others stared at their parents’ phones in envy. For some, that kind of technology remained financially out of reach.
Today, technology is affordable and commonplace. In fact, in 2014 the number of active cell phones actually overtook the number of people on the planet! What a difference a couple of decades can make. Join us for a stroll down digital memory lane and appreciate the major tech transformations that happened during our lifetime.
Video credit to Harvard Innovation Lab. Photography credit to Dougthomsen.tv & engineering by Anton Georgiev
Fun fact: The desk scene was set with real vintage items, many of which were sourced on eBay.
Recognized as the best-selling gaming console of its time, the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System hit the market in 1985 with pioneering titles like "Super Mario Bros." and "Duck Hunt." Now chunky game cartridges, pixelated graphics, and tangled controller wires have given way to downloadable content, realistic gameplay, and wireless controls on systems like the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Wii. (Of course, the PC has also become a premium device for gaming, but we’re not going to open that PC Master Race can of worms!)
Portable Music Players
Back in 1979, the Sony Walkman was the picture of innovation. Suddenly, music was so portable! Well, not all of it, since your average cassette could only hold 60 minutes of music. (But it was enough for your favorite Awesome Mix; just ask Star Lord!)
Compare that to today's MP3 players, such as the iPod Touch, which has transformed these bulky devices into slim and sleek media hubs that hold thousands of tunes for seamless song switching. Not to mention the addition of features like photos, videos, games and email. Baby Groot would never run out of fresh tunes to dance to!
Ask any kid under the age of 10 what a floppy disk is, and chances are they'll have no idea. In case you need a refresher: from the 1970s into the 2000s, floppy disks were the universal choice for transferring and storing data. With the adoption of USB flash drives, storage capacity increased from 1.44 MB to over 2 TB! Plus, we now get to carry around USB sticks in the shape of sushi, rubber duckies, or R2-D2. (There are a lot of weird and awesome designs out there!)
The 1970s era suitcase-style boombox is iconic in pop culture, from early hip hop music videos to films like "Say Anything". Today, we have the Jawbone Mini Jambox, which at 6 inches long fits in the palm of your hand. While it does lack a certain cultural flair, it's amazing how much easier it is to bust a move without 20 lbs of extra weight resting on your shoulder.
Televisions have come a long way since 1971, when electric tuners replaced dials and color TVs outsold black-and-white models for the first time. Gone are the days of small sets with bulbous, discolored screens. Modern televisions boast LCD, LED, OLED, and Plasma screens in flat or curved designs, with ultra high-definition displays and crisp color matching that puts you right into the action.
TVs are truly a perfect example of how time marches on with technology; the newest generation will look upon 2D TV with the same disdain their parents looked upon black-and-white!
Digital cameras swiftly replaced disposables in the 1990s, but devices like the Sony Digital Mavica came equipped with sensor resolutions of less than 1 megapixel and minimal storage on floppy disks. Today's digital cameras not only come in lightweight designs, but devices like the Nikon D750 and Sony Alpha 77 II boast 24-megapixel image sensors and 1080p video recording resolutions.
Most early computers, such as the Apple Macintosh II or IBM 5100, were capable of executing only the most basic programs on small screens with chunky keyboards. (The IBM 5100, the first ever laptop, weighed a delightfully portable 23.8 pounds!) Compare that to today's personal computers which are all about powerful processors and thin bodies. Take, for example, the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5k display, which has a crisper screen than most HDTVs, or the portable Microsoft Surface Pro, which doubles as a tablet.
Technology has come so far in such a short time! It’s amazing to think where we’ll be another couple of decades from now. Thank you for joining us on this little journey. See you in the future.