In the previous blog, we saw some of the best gadgets of the year 1992 and 1993. We had the first touch screen mobile phone with a stylus, a waterproof watch, first laptops by Hewlett Packard and much more. In this blog, we would go through some amazing gadgets launched in the year of 1994 which paved the way for much more advanced developments spreading to all domains.
Let us have a look at the best gadgets of the year 1994.
1. Sennheiser HD-580 Headphones –
Sennheiser has made an unbeatable reputation for making some of the most comfortable and best-sounding headsets. The best thing about Sennheiser HD-580 besides sound quality is comfort. The ear pads apply very little pressure, the material is soft, and they do not slip.
These headphones have a 10 feet cord is a perfect source of endless music world. The diaphragm uses an advanced design to avoid resonant frequencies. The headphones use neodymium ferrous magnets in a system that ensures optimum sensitivity and high dynamic response with minimal harmonic and intermodal distortion.
2. Logitech WingMan Extreme Joystick –
Logitech started with sales of wingman Extreme Joystick near the Christmas in the year 1994. It’s heavy enough that it doesn’t walk around the desk but light enough for you to keep it in your lap and play your game.
This joystick has an aerodynamic design which is inspired by the pilot controller. And hence, it became very much fun playing the Microsoft Flight Simulator Series Fun. This controller has four buttons quite easy to operate with them.
3. Apple Newton Message Pad –
The Message Pad was one of the first series of Personal Digital Assistant Devices developed by Apple Computer for the Newton Platform. This Message Pad paved the way for future innovations in mobile technology, including the wildly successful iPhone and iPad.
It features a 20MHz ARM 610 processor, 4MB of ROM, 640K of SRAM and infrared beaming capabilities in a compact handheld case with a 336*240 pressure sensitive monochrome display for use with a provided stylus.
It was the first PDA to attempt to recognize natural handwriting and use Artificial Intelligence to connect relevant information together.
4. Apple Quicktake –
It is one of the first consumer digital camera lines. It was marketed for 3 years after Apple launched it in 1994. The camera had a resolution of 640×480 pixels maximum. Apple marketed 3 models of it 100, 150 and 200. While the former 2 were built by Kodak but the last one was built by Fujifilm.
This digital camera could be used with media card readers. The QuickTake 200 can be plugged directly into the computer running Apple Macintosh running System 7 up to Mac OS 9 with a serial port using the Camera Software.
5. Nerf Ballzooka –
Ballzooka is a Nerf ball blaster release in 1994 under the brand name Nerf Action. It can hold up to 15 balls and can shoot them all in just 6 seconds. It has five barrels each holding 3 ballistic balls on the blaster’s rotating turret.
The strange mechanism in this play gun is that it uses a pull-and-push pistol to fire instead of a trigger. Reloading the Ballzooka and using it is very easy. Just fill the barrels with the balls, pull the blaster’s handle back swiftly to fire a ball. And to fire the next ball push the handle in original state.
6. Bose Lifestyle 12 home Theatre System –
The Bose Lifestyle 12 consists of five satellites modules, a bass module that also contains the system’s amplifiers and surround decoder, a control center, and a remote control. Every satellite speaker comprises of two roughly cubical blocks about 3 inches square and 5 inches deep, each containing a 2.5 inch driver. The parts of the satellite could be rotated independently to target the output in desired directions.
Well, this compact, lightweight unit Theatre System comes packed in with more functions like AM/FM tuner, CD Player, and preamplifier stage. It has a miniature display panel and several buttons that control the system’s basic operation.
7. Apple Power Book 500 –
PowerBook 500 series is a range of Apple Macintosh Power Book portable computers. Apple Computer introduced their first computer model 540c on May 16, 1994. And it was the first portable computer with stereo speakers, a trackpad and Ethernet networking built-in.
The computer of this range was the first one to use Motorola 68LC040 CPU. This Power Book was introduced with the high-end active matrix LCD. Some other features are:
- 16-bit stereo sound @ 44.1 kHz
- Stereo speakers in the upper corners of screen
- Ethernet via AAUI
- PDS Connector for connecting many types of devices and for internal expansion
- CPU on a daughter card
8. SanDisk Compact Flash Card –
We all know SanDisk company very well, off course because of our memory cards. Well, one of the first Compact Flash Card created by SanDisk was for the Kodak’s new line of Cameras. And this was the beginning of digital storage cards in the storage industry. The faster, hassle free and portable way of storing information and compatible to many devices.
9. George Foreman Grill –
It is an electrically heated indoor grill which is also called as George Foreman Lean Mean Fat-Reducing Grilling Machine. Since its introduction, 100 Million units of it have been sold worldwide.
The original intention while creating this grill was to build something like an indoor grill with a benefit of cooking on both sides at once. The second important aim was to reduce the fat content of hamburgers and other meats by draining away the excess oil into a separate reservoir.
Hence, the grill was given a clamshell design, in which the top and bottom surface of the grill heats simultaneously and you do not need to flip the food. Each heating plate is covered in a non-stick coating. The lower plate is angled to allow melted fat and other fluids to drain away through the grooves into a removable drip tray.
10. Microsoft Natural Keyboard –
This ergonomic keyboard was introduced in 1994 for computers. Ziba Design designed it for Microsoft. In this keyboard design the traditional keyboard was split with each half of the keyboard separated and tilted upwards and down from the center of the keyboard.
The key arrangement was designed to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries associated with typing for long time.
Another great feature about this keyboard was an integrated wrist pad helping to ensure correct posture while sitting at the computer and further reducing strain on the neck, arms and wrists. Three new keys were introduced – two Windows Logo keys, and a Menu Key.
11. Connectix Quick Cam –
In the initial ranges of our computers, we didn’t have an integrated webcam and you had to purchase it separately and connect it with serial port. QuickCam is a line of Webcam video camera products by Logitech. The first QuickCam was developed by Connectix in 1994 and was also available for nationwide commercial sale. It evolved from an RS-422 connector to a parallel connector then eventually to a USB connection.
The initial model was compatible only with Apple Macintosh and can be connected using serial port. It produced 16 shades of gray at a resolution of 320×240 pixels. It had a recording speed of 15 frames per second.
So, this was a tour of the gadgets which surrounded us in the year 1994. And while going through the list you would have been able to relate howthe technology of that time has grown now.
We will take the tour of gadgets of the year 1995 in the next blog. To receive the next blog in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.