In the last blog, we took a tour of some of the best gadgets in the year 1995. It has seen some major advancements in terms of technology. This blog is dedicated to the major milestone year of the 90’s decade in which we experienced the first digital camera. With that we even saw some major developments in the music technology and computing technology.
Let’s take a look at the best gadgets of the year 1996.
1. Kodak DC25 Camera –
Kodak is an early pioneer in the development of digital cameras released in the year 1996. The DC Series of Kodak was one of the budget digital camera of consumer grade. It had a fixed focus lens of range 0.5m to infinity. The photos captured from it were of resolution 320×240 pixel or a higher resolution 493×373 pixels.
The Kodak Camera comes with a 2MB internal storage which can hold up to 29 standard photos or 14 high resolution photos. It also had a slot for removable storage Compact Flash card, in fact it was the first camera to use Compact Flash Cards. The photos could even be transferred to the Compact Flash Card.
The built-in flash is of the range 0.5m to 4m and has different flash modes like auto, fill and off. There is a color LCD display for displaying photos in single or quad mode. The camera could even be attached with the computer using the 9-pin serial connector.
2. Tickle Me Elmo –
The daytime talk time show host Rosie O’Donnell received a Tickle Me Elmo doll in July, 1996 by Tyco Marketing for the 1 year old son of the Host. Tickle Me Elmo is children’s plush toy inspired by the character of Elmo in the Sesame Street Muppet Television Show.
On squeezing the stomach of the toy, Elmo chortles and vibrates and says “That Tickles!”. Tickle Me Elmo was the hottest toy of the year 1996 and even the hardest toy of the year.
On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the “official” start of the Christmas shopping season, this toy broke all records as it went out of stock in all store in just 2 hours.
3. Bop It –
Bop It was the most annoying yet addicting game of the 90’s decade. This toy was of the line of audio games consisting of a series of commands issued by the speaker of the toy. This baton shaped toy was more of the kind to test your cognitive skills by making you follow the directions at faster pace.
It has multiple inputs like pull it, twist it, spin it, flick it and off course “Bop It”. It became more like a game which friends used to compete among themselves or you even play it in a way to challenge yourself to score higher.
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4.Cambridge SoundWorks MicroWorks Speakers –
Cambridge shipped this MicroWorks Speakers in 3-piece. This second set of multimedia was specifically aimed to have a speaker system for the PC users. The set also consists of small satellites, developed by the company for compact home audio systems.
It gave the best sound quality and effects that anyone ever heard from the PC speakers. After this many more companies started to build speakers for PC and hence, the capabilities of audio with PC expanded. MicroWorks Speaker were also compatible with other high performance audio system, CD Player and Television.
5. Tamagotchi Pet –
I would say that it was the first popular virtual pet, which need to be take care of or it could die in less than a day. Tamagotchi Pet is handheld digital pet which housed in a small egg-shaped computer with an interface consisting of 3 buttons.
It was released on November 23, 1996 in Japan, and quickly becoming one of the biggest toy fads of the decade. The egg-shaped toy simulates the life-cycle of a pet, letting kids experience the fun and responsibility of feeding, tending to and caring for their individual virtual pet.
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6. Motorola PageWriter 2000 –
Three years before the launch of first BlackBerry, Motorola launched the device that could send and receive messages, emails and faxes. Though it wasn’t the first one of the type and that honor belongs to the Motorola Tango, launched in 1995 but this one became more popular.
The PageWriter 2000 Smart Pager is small enough to be worn on belt yet it has the 47-Key QWERTY keyboard. It has the storage capacity to store your address book. It is a customizable, personal messaging device that transmits messages wirelessly. It has a large screen and graphical interface making it simple to use. Other features are that it has multiple inboxes with messaging filters and customizable alerts to handle incoming messages non-intrusively.
7. Palm Pilot 1000 –
Palm Pilot could be referred to as the precursor to today’s all-in-one smartphones. It helped you organized your life as you can sync your calendar and contacts with your computer. The Palm Pilot uses a Motorola 68328 processor at 16MHz, and had 128KB or 512 KB of built in RAM.
The Pilot has a 160×160 pixel monochrome LCD tactile panel. Underneath the screen, it has a green on/off button, four application buttons namely Date Book, Address Book, To Do List, and Memo Pad and two scroll buttons. There is a contrast control at the Left and a stylus slot at the right top. On the back of the device there is a memory Slot door, Reset Button, battery compartment and Serial Port.
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8. Motorola Star TAC –
Motorola released this phone in 1996 which was the first flip phone and the smallest phone of that time. Hence, the Star TAC was also one of the first cell phones which received wide consumer adoption and sold tens of millions of units.
The launch of this mobile phone redefined the concept of how the phone should look like. It’s neat, clam shell design gave the people the taste of what to expect in the future. It was the first phone to offer discrete vibrate mode instead of just ringer.
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There are more gadgets which became quite famous in the year 1996. In the next blog, we will continue the list of best gadgets of year 1996.
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