We continue with our list of best gadgets from the year 1998. Till now you all would have got a clear picture that 90’s decade was a milestone decade for technological growth. As 1998 is the second last year of the decade it is bound to be full of many great developments.
Let’s take a look at some of the best gadgets of the year 1998.
1. Sega Dreamcast –
The Dreamcast is a home video game console released by Sega on November, 1998. It was the first 128-bit console on the market at that time which debuted as the final home console from Sega.
Sega worked with many different companies to produce the Dreamcast gadget including Microsoft, Hitachi, NEC, Video Logic and Yamaha. The Sega Dreamcast is compatible to Windows CE and can run the internet with its built-in 56K modem to play online games.
The controller is excellent with its two trigger buttons and compatibility with Sega VMU. Sega did not include the DVD drive to keep its price low. Its library was full of many creative and innovative games like Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio and Shenmue, as well as high-quality ports from Sega’s NAOMI arcade system board.
2. Lego Mindstorm RIS –
The Lego Mindstorms series of kits contain software and hardware to create customizable, programmable robots. Since its introduction in 1998, it has become the best-selling product in the LEGO Group’s History. The hardware and software roots of the Mindstorms Robotics Invention System kit go back to the programmable brick created at the MIT Media Lab.
The original Mindstorms Robotics Invention System kit comprised of 2 motors, 2 touch sensors, and one light sensor. The NXT version of it contained 3 servo motors and one light, sound, and distance as well as 1 touch sensor.
3. Iridium Satellite Phone –
The Iridium Satellite Constellation provides voice and data coverage to satellite phones, pagers and integrated transceivers over the Earth’s entire surface. Iridium Communications owns and operates the constellation and sells equipment and access to its services.
The constellation consists of 66 active satellites in orbit required for global coverage, and additional spare satellites to serve in case of failure. The Iridium Satellite Communication network became operational and commercially available in November, 1998.
Iridium Devices were the first satellite devices to offer the global coverage. Though it was an innovative concept but it never gained that much publicity. The reasons for that were the phones were not light weight, affordable and could not be used inside buildings. Iridium was not able to over come these challenges.
4. Panasonic DVD-L10Portable DVD Player –
Panasonic introduces the world’s first portable DVD player with a built-in LCD monitor. The people more of it termed it as a Palm Theatre packed with the leading-edge DVD technology into the world’s smallest unit measuring 6-5/16-inch square and 1 21/32 inch thin.
The 5.8 inch of LCD screen has 280,000 pixels to show crisp detail with wide screen images and comes with a pair of stereo speakers. Though it is hefty in comparison to what we have today but for that time it was a pretty much great deal as it gave you the freedom to carry your DVD collection wherever you wanted.
5. Diamond Multimedia Rio –
Rio was the brand name of a line of digital audio players, best known for producing the “Diamond Rio” model. Rio PMP3000 is one of the first portable consumer MP3 digital audio players, and the first commercially successful one.
The dimension of the Player is like the deck of cards in the black color. It features an LCD screen and a circular pad with control buttons. There are controls for skipping the tracks forwards or backwards, repeat, random play and four preset equalizer settings.
The LCD screen display the filename of the track being played. It is compatible with both MP2 and MP3 format audio files.
6. Nokia 5110 –
Nokia introduced the most iconic mobile phone of the century Nokia 5110, in March 1998. Nokia 5110 was and still is the favorite mobile for many people which stood the test of time and earned a spot as one of manufacturer’s top five phone ever created.
Nokia 5110 was rugged, had excellent battery life, and featured an 84 by 48-pixel monochrome LCD with four LED back lights which had the Philips Display controller.
Well, it began a unique feature to entice the young adult market was the phone had a replaceable faceplate. This feature was later including in many other phones. And we can never ever forget the Snake game which was introduced to us through the Nokia phone.
7. Blackberry 850 Wireless Handset –
CrackBerry era began when BlackBerry unveiled the RIM 850 model wireless handheld device. The RIM 850 had a 6 or 8-line display and people send and receive messages.
Other than messages, it was the first wireless device which had the feature of sending and receiving emails and hence keeps you connected to their corporate email and contacts. The other in-built applications include calendars, address books, task lists, a calculator and an alarm.
The device had a QWERTY keyboard, 4MB memory and was powered by 1 AA battery.
8. Apple iMac G3 –
In 1998, Steve Jobs took the stage and announced the Apple’s brightly colored translucent iMac G3 for purchase by rabid audience. iMac G3 is a line of personal computers developed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer from 1998 to 2003.
iMac G3 personal computers were dramatically different from any previous mainstream computer. Unlike the plane black and white color these systems were manufactured with colored plastics and were egg-shaped with a 15-inch CRT display. The outer case included a handle, and the peripheral connectors were hidden behind a door on the right-hand side of the machine.
It offered a dual headphone jack in the front to complement the built-in stereo speakers. It was among the first computers to exclusively offer USB ports as standard, including as the connector for its new keyboard and mouse.
9. Apple PowerBook G3 WallStreet –
The PowerBook G3 commonly referred by its codename “Wall street” and is formally a member of the PowerBook G3 Series as dubbed by Apple. It features a 233 MHz PowerPC 740 processor, 32 MB of RAM, 2MB or 4MB of SGRAM for video, a 2.0 GB hard drive and a 20X tray-loading CD-ROM drive.
It has a curvaceous black portable case which comes in 3 screen sizes as 12.1” STN, 13.3” TFT or 14.1” TFT color display. It was the redesigned version with a new case that was lighter and more rounded than the previous PowerBook G3. The other unique feature was it gave 3 options for CPU speed as 233MHz, 250MHz and 292 MHz.
Hence, we come to the end of the best gadgets list of 1998. Our next blog would tell you about the best gadgets of 1999, the last year of the decade in the form of the infographic.
But that will not be the last blog of the series “90’s – The Milestone Decade for Technologies”. We have lot more in store for you to enlighten you.
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