10 Unbelievable Technologies that Exist Now
Just before the turn of the millennium, portable gaming was booming. Most people that had a portable gaming device sported a Gameboy, and the really lucky ones had a Gameboy Color. Graphics and sound quality that Sony was notorious for could now be enjoyed, portably, on a beautiful 4.3" screen.
#9. Hybrid Cars
Electric cars have been on the tongues and minds of consumers for decades, and the conspiracies and facts behind their obvious exclusion in the automotive world have raised a lot of questions and frustrations. Electric cars were silent and gave off virtually no pollution, but had to be recharged every 50-100 miles. The hybrid was the perfect answer. They're an obvious "next step" in technological evolution.
#8. Solid State Data Storage
In 1999, if you had an 8 gigabyte (gb) hard drive, you were the cool kid on the block. Computer games you bought at the store fit on a single CD-ROM, and everyone knew that you had to wait for your hard drive to spin up before each level. Oh, and it's far cheaper, too. You know that 8gb hard drive you just spent $150 on? You can get one that fits in your coin pocket for $15, down the street.
#7. Broadband Internet
Remember ISDN? Integrated Service Digital Network? Although it's possible that you do, it's far more likely that you don't. It was the closest thing to broadband in 1999. The internet was a much simpler place. Animated GIF's were the future, and Flash showed some serious potential.
#6. The iPhone
Almost anyone can admit that when they first heard of the iPhone, they thought it was a hoax. Criticize it, love it, boycott it; it's undeniably one of the most influential changes to the consumer electronics world in the last 10 years. The iPhone did what everyone wanted, but no one had yet accomplished.
#5. The Nintendo Wii
The Nintendo Wii has been criticized for its hype, but any way you look at it, it's a revolutionary system. It's motion-capture technology, among the multitude of other unique interfaces have set it above the rest. In 1999, the best system on the market was the Dreamcast. Along with the dreamcast was the Playstation and Nintendo 64.
#4. HD TV
As with most technological advancements, we don't know how good it can be until we see it. The visual differentiation between DVD and VHS was negligible and live TV was the highest quality it had ever been before. Of course, the reason why it looked so much clearer was that it was higher resolution. HD television is still not quite as common as standard definition, but if the other advancements on this list are any indication - that is about to change.
The iPod isn't the only MP3 player on the market, but given the fact that it was the first MP3 player to end up in the average person's pocket is enough clout to put it on this list. The iPod played a pivotal role in the MP3 format. These days, an album of MP3's is far more common than the CD, and more people are listening to music now on a daily basis than ever.
Wireless technology was still relatively immature in 1999. Cell phones were relatively common, but still a luxury. Beyond that, the only other common access to wireless technology was the radio stations we would play in our car. What is really strange about the WiFi phenomenon is that it could be considered a nearly silent infiltration of consumer electronics.
#1. The WikiReader
That concept alone (even in 2002) was pretty remarkable. To have a single source, with an easy-to-use interface, for access to all the recorded knowledge that humans have ever achieved was a concept of wonder and awe that the average person could only dream about. Until now. The WikiReader boasts a full year of power off of two AAA batteries and no data access requirements of any kind. It's Wikipedia in your pocket, no strings attached. That concept alone, as amazing as it is, would likely be believable.
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