1. 1. Sony Trinitron - 1968
1. Sony Trinitron - 1968
Sony introduced the full power of colour TV into living rooms with an innovative new brand of CRT tech, promising best-ever picture quality, 25 per cent brighter than the leading 'shadow mask' sets of the time. The Trinitron brand lived for forty years, shifting 280m sets.
Did you know? Sony combined the three existing CRT designs into one, hence Trinitron.
2. 2. Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera - 1972
2. Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera - 1972
Polaroid founder Edwin Land invented instant cameras back in the forties, but it was 1972's SX-70 that truly defined point and shoot photography for a generation. The SX-70 was the first instant SLR camera and the first to house Polaroid's iconic self-developing film that rendered without manipulation. Its iconic fold-away design (another SLR first) has never been bettered.
Did you know? Land claimed the SX-70 had made 20,000 innovat
3. 3. Pulsar LED watch - 1972
3. Pulsar LED watch - 1972
After the Hamilton Watch Co. was commissioned to create a digital clock for 2001: A Space Odyssey, it was inspired to create a solid-state time computer for your wrist. This 18 carat gold timepiece, which displayed time with a red LED light when pushing the side button, sold for a whopping $2,100. Everyone wanted one and once other companies caught on, everyone would have one.
Did you know: In 1975 Pulsar created the first digital calculator watch.
4. 4. Atari 2600 - 1977
4. Atari 2600 - 1977
Games consoles did exist before the Atari 2600 (the Magnavox Odyssey was the first), but its arrival inspired everything that would follow, right up to today. Previously, home systems bore a single game (like Atari's own PONG). Now Atari was bringing multiple arcade classics like Space Invaders and Pac-Man into the home in cartridge form. If video game consoles had a hall of fame, the 2600, and its tiny 1.19MHz CPU, would have its own wing.
Did you know: As successful as the 2600 was, the infamous failure of the E.T. title temporarily sunk the gaming industry in 1983.
5. 5. VHS Video Recorder - 1977
5. VHS Video Recorder - 1977
After winning a long format war with Sony's Betamax standard (which retro videophiles still say is the better format), the VHS player set about changing home entertainment forever. It lowered the price of watching films at home and, with its recording capabilities, facilitated the first iteration of on-demand TV. It wasn't until Sky+ came along in 2001 that the VHS became non-essential.
Did you know? Cheap black market movies, porn and its presence in the rental market helped VHS see off Betamax. It was Radio Rentals wot won it.
6. 6. Sony Walkman - 1979
6. Sony Walkman - 1979
Sony's most iconic gadget, created the personal electronics market and sparked a musical revolution in the process. The pocket-sized player saw cassette sales overtake vinyl for the first time, as parents around the world lamented "those damn headphones." The Walkman naturally spawned countless copycats from rivals and the iPod owes it an endless debt of gratitude.
Did you know? Worried about the anti-social nature of its personal music player Sony gave the first Walkmans two headphone jacks.
7. 7. Super Mario Bros (Nes) - 1985
7. Super Mario Bros (Nes) - 1985
The video game industry was kaput until this portly pair of plumbers waddled on to the scene. Little was expected of the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System until gamers encountered Shigeru Miyamoto's story-driven platformer, that came with the console. Mario may have saved his princess, but more importantly, by influencing every platform game for a generation, he saved the games industry as a whole.
Did you know? In an early guise, Mario was named Jumpman and made his living as a carpenter.
8. 8. Windows 3.1 - 1992
8. Windows 3.1 - 1992
The official commencement of Microsoft's global dominance, Windows 3.1 offered a significant enhancement on 1990's 3.0 (better support for DOS apps, improved network connectivity, redesigned file manager, improved stability), shifting 3m copies in the first two months. It proved crucial to establishing the Windows-based PC monopoly that still exists today and also brought the curtain down on the Macintosh's reign.
Did you know? Windows 3.1 was the world's best selling OS until 1997, when Windows 95 took over.
9. 9. Sony first DV video camera - 1995
9. Sony first DV video camera - 1995
Sony's VX1000 Handycam was the first to incorporate DV technology and house the MiniDV cassettes that would dominate for the next decade. Its revolutionary 3CCD lens system (which users three separate sensors to measure red, green and blue levels for each pixel) offered unrivaled image quality and with its front-loaded microphone, the lightweight VX1000 soon became the industry standard for broadcasters and budding movie-makers alike.
Did you know? The DCR-VX100 was the first camera to offer seamless transfer to Mac or PC via Firewire cable, simplifying the editing process hugely.
10. 10. Sky + - 2001
10. Sky + - 2001
Even after 10 years on the market, Sky+ is still a concept that takes some comprehending. Think about it, you can actually pause and rewind live television at your leisure? Sky's all-conquering PVR was a UK first and was the first real replacement for the trusty VHS.
Did you know? Sky was so chuffed with its creation, it decided to charge users a tenner to use Sky+.
11. 11. GameBoy - 1990
11. GameBoy - 1990
The GameBoy has shaped Nintendo's philosophy to this very day. The device wasn't pretty, show-off powerful, or expensive, but boy was it fun to play. Evolved from Nintendo's hugely popular Watch & Game devices, the green-screened titan kick-started a portable games revolution that continues today with the 3DS. The GameBoy did for gaming what the Walkman did for music. How else do you think Tetris made it to your iPhone? .
Did you know? The green-tinted screen only came after the original design was scaled down to keep the GameBoy affordable.
12. 12. IBM ThinkPad 700 - 1992
12. IBM ThinkPad 700 - 1992
A massive landmark in the history of the laptop, the ThinkPad bore the first 10.4-inch colour screen and gave a debut to the iconic centre-keyboard pointer. The ThinkPad 700 set the standard for all that followed. The legacy of this sturdy, well-built and powerful notebook - the winner of over 300 design awards - lives on today through Lenovo's range of ThinkPads.
Did you know? In 1993, the ThinkPad was used by NASA on the Space Shuttle Endeavor and the ISS.
13. 13. Motorola StarTac - 1996
13. Motorola StarTac - 1996
The Moto StarTac was the first ever flip-phone and probably the first to offer any real style. Weighing in at just 3.1-ounces, it was the smallest and lightest handset ever, and incorporated vibrating alerts for the first time. A massive favourite among businessmen, it established Moto as a fashion phone kingpin long before the Razr flaunted its fancy wares.
Did you know? The StarTac was popular at that time for mimicking the futuristic communicators used in Star Trek.
14. 14. Napster - 1999
14. Napster - 1999
The moment the world realised Metallica were no longer gods of metal, but whiny, spoiled crybabies, was also the moment the music industry changed forever. The birth of online peer-2-peer music sharing through Napster ushered in the MP3 age way before iTunes took over. However, as Naptster by-passed the checkout, record companies and artists alike weren't pleased and campaigned to have it shut down.
Did you know? Napster is now owned by Best Buy and totally legit.
15. 15. PS2 - 2000
15. PS2 - 2000
How many decade-old consoles remain so popular that developers continue to crank out games on a weekly basis? The PS2's built-in DVD player went a long way to establishing the VHS-killing format, but it was the endless supply of top-notch games like the first Guitar Hero, Gran Turismo 4 and GTAIII that really gave it a place in history.
Did you know? The PS2 is the best-selling console of all-time, and reached 150m units sold in 2011.
16. 16. Apple iPod - 2001
16. Apple iPod - 2001
Placing an entire music collection in your pocket was a bonafide quantum leap that defined a decade. The iconic iPod wasn't the first, but Jony Ive's digital music player was slimmer, lighter, sexier and more intuitive than anything that pre-dated it. With iTunes at its side, the iPod has proved a cultural phenomenon and by the end of 2010 it had sold 275m units. The headphones are still crap though.
Did you know? In an act of tech apartheid, the first generation iPod excluded Windows users.
17. 17. Xbox - 2001
17. Xbox - 2001
Although the underrated Sega Dreamcast was the first console to offer internet services, Microsoft's first venture into the console industry showed everyone the way forward. The gigantic black brick known as the Xbox may not have had the same success as the PS2, but Xbox Live multi-player on titles like Halo 2 changed console gaming forever.
Did you know? Microsoft became interested in building a games console after working with Sega to bring Windows CE to the Dreamcast.
18. 18. Hawkeye - 2001
18. Hawkeye - 2001
Undoubtedly technology's biggest gift to modern sport, the British-born innovation, which uses cameras around the stadium to track the trajectory of a ball and judges its most likely destination, was initially used as a means of analysing umpiring decisions during TV coverage. Tennis and cricket adopted the tech as a means of adjudication, immediately clearing up contentious decisions and removing excuses for losers.
Did you know? Hawkeye is accurate to 3.6mm, which in tennis, is the equivalent of the fluff of the ball.
19. 19. Facebook - 2004
19. Facebook - 2004
Privacy's mortal enemy or a tool for total social liberation? However you perceive Mark Zuckerberg's creation, there's no denying its reach and influence. Created in a Harvard College dorm-room as an inter-college networking tool, it has now invaded the personal space of 750 million people worldwide. There's the internet, and then there's Facebook.
Did you know? Zuckerberg has an estimated personal wealth of $13.5bn .
20. 20. Virgin Galactic - 2004
20. Virgin Galactic - 2004
Richard Branson's plan to take transport space tourists 361,000ft into zero-gravity space is rapidly approaching fruition. With NASA now limited to funding missions rather than pioneering them, private companies like Virgin hold the key to continued space exploration and humanity's post-Earth salvation.
Did you know? The VSS Enterprise's unique 'feathered' re-entry system, successfully tested early this year, will allow the shuttle to naturally glide back into the Earth's atmosphere.
21. 21. TomTom ONE - 2005
21. TomTom ONE - 2005
TomTom's wallet-sized, wallet-friendly satnav solution was a watershed moment for in-car mapping tech, providing the most slim, light and affordable device to date. At the time the sat-nav was still considered a huge luxury, but the ONE's £279 RRP lowered the boundaries considerably.
Did you know? Despite its low price-point, the ONE retained core functionality like Bluetooth integration, and plug and play software, adding to its allure.
22. 22. YouTube - 2005
22. YouTube - 2005
Forget Simon Cowell, YouTube is now the world's most prevalent star maker. Founded by three PayPal employees who just wanted to share clips with each other, the site has grown exponentially to the third most popular in the world (behind Google and Facebook). It has given a voice to the voiceless, but will we every forgive it for spawning Justin Bieber?
Did you know? YouTube's first ever video was called "Me at the zoo" featuring co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo.
23. 23. Nintendo Wii - 2006
23. Nintendo Wii - 2006
In terms of sheer vision and ingenuity, the Wii is the gaming industry's finest hour. Nintendo's revolutionary motion-sensing creation tore up the play-book with the most fun and inclusive gaming device ever made. The family-friendly console is comfortably the most sought after gadget of all time and sparked an unprecedented 18-month scrum to grab one following launch.
Did you know? The Wii, initially called the Revolution, was conceived as far back as 2001.
24. 24. Twitter - 2006
24. Twitter - 2006
What began as just another means of sharing self-indulgent nonsense, has spawned the most important shift in how we consume and share information, since the internet's inception. Created on a whim from the ruins of failing podcast company Odeo (which was being demolished by iTunes), Twitter has made news coverage truly instant, sparked revolutions and escalated riots. All in 140 characters.
Did you know? According to OK Cupid, Twitter regulars have shorter relationships than non-tweeters and are more likely to masturbate today.
25. 25. Amazon Kindle - 2007
25. Amazon Kindle - 2007
The biggest paper-saver since email (or single-ply bog roll), the Kindle was pre-dated by Sony's Reader range, but the one-stop download ecosystem, free mobile data and infinite usability was key. Aesthetically, the Kindle and e-ink looked about 20 years-old, but by allowing people to read exactly what they wanted, when they wanted it, wherever they were, it became the epitome of what a modern gadget should be.
Did you know: The first Kindle sold out in 5.5 hours and remained out of stock for five months .
26. 26. iPhone - 2007
26. iPhone - 2007
Steve Jobs claimed the first iPhone was five-years ahead and it's difficult to say he wasn't wrong. Here was a miracle touchscreen device that looked great and actually worked. The first real smartphone boasted 200 new patents, never-seen-before browsing and multimedia capabilities along with full Mac/PC syncing. It stunned a stagnant industry. Competitors scrambled for years with half-arsed imitations and almost died out, until Android dragged them up by the bootstraps. The scale of the iPhone's influence isn't up for discussion; revolution just isn't a strong enough word.
Did you know? Apple's original plans were for an iPad-like device until Steve Jobs shifted the focus to a mobile phone.
27. 27. Angry Birds - 2009
27. Angry Birds - 2009
The art of pig-slaying, spawned from a tiny studio in Finland, proved crucial to the mainstream adoption of mobile apps and games. The sheer joy in its addictive simplicity and intelligent engine made it accessible for 3-year-olds and pensioners alike and sparked a gold rush among developers to find the next Angry Birds. Meanwhile, Rovio has transcended its market to become a pop-culture icon. Console versions, cartoons, movies and board games are all on the way.
Did you know? Around the world, Angry Birds is played for 200 million hours a day.
28. 28. Olympus E-P1 Pen - 2009
28. Olympus E-P1 Pen - 2009
The innovative Micro Four-Thirds technology pioneered by Olympus and Panasonic made big cameras sexy for the first time in years. The mirror-less tech allowed snappers to have smaller chassis, while retaining DSLR sensor-size and subsequent image-quality. With the added ability to switch lenses, MFT cameras likes the fabulously retro-cool EP-1 have created an entirely new 'hybrid' digital imaging sector and produced the best-looking cameras on the block.
Did you know? MFT cameras are smaller because the sensor tech doesn't require room for a mirror box.
29. 29. iPad - 2010
29. iPad - 2010
"Just a big iPod touch," the critics quipped. "What's it actually for?" the skeptics asked. Tablet computers had failed in the past, but this time it was different. Apple had poured its entire ergonomic brilliance into a 9.7-inch device which matched looks with performance. The App Store soon gave the iPad the raison d'etre detractors claimed it lacked and just like the iPhone and iPod, Apple's would-be rivals were left with another mouthful of dust.
Did you know? Apple first launched a tablet in 1993, with the Newton MessagePad PDA. It wasn't quite as popular.
30. 30. 3D - 2010
30. 3D - 2010
James Cameron's 3D masterpiece Avatar gave tech companies the excuse to assert that everything would now be better in 3D. 2010 saw televisions, games, Blu-rays, TV channels, cameras and smartphones take-on the third dimension. The problem was that no-one had ever really asked for it and Hollywood hasn't held up its end. The jury is still out on whether this 3D will stick this time around.
Did you know? Although glasses-free 3D phones and the Nintendo 3DS are already available, auto-stereoscopic 3D tellies won't be available for at lease another decade.