90’s – The Milestone Decade for Technologies – Year 1997

The last 2 blogs of the series listed the best gadgets of the year 1996 that revolutionized the way we saw the technology. In this blog, we would take a look at the best gadgets from the year 1997 and how it changed our outlook about present-day technology. It even changed the way scientists saw the future of technology.

Let’s take a tour of best gadgets of the year 1997.

1. Namco GunCon –namco guncon

The GunCon often abbreviated as G-Con is a PlayStation controller and also became popular as official Time Crisis controller, made by Namco. The GunCon controller uses the cathode ray timing method to determine where the barrel is aimed at on the screen when the trigger is pulled. Namco revolutionized arcade gaming by introducing this handheld light gun.

The GunCon was only compatible with particular PlayStation gun titles and made the gaming more exciting and intense. The controller is compatible with some PlayStation 2 GunCon titles, but is not compatible with PlayStation 3 due to its lack of controller ports.

2. Apple eMate 300 –Apple eMate 300

The Apple eMate 300, designed for the education market which comprises of 25 MHz ARM 710a processor, 8MB of ROM, 3MB of RAM, a PCMCIA slot, IrDA-beaming capabilities, and a Newton InterConnect port of multiple connectivity options. It comes packed in a translucent aquamarine and black clamshell portable case and has a 480×320 16-shade grayscale backlit LCD display. People can work on them either with a stylus or a built-in keyboard.

It is a personal digital assistant designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer. Apple marketed it as a low-cost laptop running the Newton Operating System and only one with the built-in keyboard. The e-Mate receives the power from built-in rechargeable batteries which has a backup of 28 hours. It also features an internal memory expansion slot which is located next to the ROM card.

3. Garmin GPSCOM 170 –Garmin GPSCOM_170

Garmin is the first to put the power of GPS navigation and marine VHF communication in the palm of your hand. The GPSCOM 170 is a new Marine GPS+RADIO communications unit in a single case.

The radio unit of it functions similar to marine radios. A line-of-sight calculator gives the operator operating range information depending on antenna height above the water. A Weather Alert mode is supported. The Radio can be turned ON/OFF independently of the GPS.

The GPS incorporated into the GPSCOM-170 is essentially a Garmin GPS-12XL. A built-in patch type GPS antenna is provided along with a MCX connector for an amplified external GPS antenna. It is an excellent 12 channel parallel GPS receiver with a conventional 1.5-watt VHF Marine Band Communications Radio. It also features moving map plotting and user-selectable steering guidance to make navigation easy.

4. Siemens S10 Cell –Siemens S10Cell

Siemens is one of the largest engineering companies in Europe, specializing in medical equipment, industrial hardware, home appliances and many other electrical equipment. This German company introduced more than 100 different mobile models to the world.

Siemens S10 was the first mobile phone of the world with a color display. The phone’s screen is capable of displaying only four colors red, green, blue and white. S10 was able to display up to 6 colored lines of information and also featured a 20-second voice memo, SMS, phone book, and alarm.

Siemens also launched the first outdoor phone in the same year. The model was called as S10 Active which had some extra features in comparison to S10 like, enhanced shock, dust and splash protection.

5. Sony MDR-G61 Headphones –Sony MDR-G61 headphones

In 1997, Sony completely changed the concept headphones from being the bulky to a light neckband. MDR-G61 was the first neckband headphones that wraps around behind one’s neck.

Whether the people had CD Player, Walkman or iPad everyone fell instantly in love with these headphones. This wrap-around design was considered very genius, sturdy, and more comfortable than any over-ear headphone of that time.

6. Toshiba SD-3000 DVD Player –Toshiba SD3000

Toshiba introduced the world’s first DVD player, the SD-3000. This DVD player portrayed the state-of-art expertise of Toshiba in DVD related technologies, including advanced LSIs, optical disc technology, MPEG2 video decoding and other digital information processing technology.

The SD-3000 complies fully with the unified DVD standard, and provides the full advantage of the rich functionality of DVD Software. It can also play back music CDs as it is equipped with a highly-reliable, switchable dual-lens pick-up. It comes with a remote controller which can help in controlling many functions on the screen.

There is a 2X- and 8X- speed playback functions are also available among many other functions like frame-by-frame playback, slow motion playback and last memory playback to start playback from desired title, chapter, track or portion.

7. Sony Mavica MVC-FD5 –Sony Mavica MVC-FD5

Though digital cameras didn’t become mainstream until the early 2000s, but companies did start experimenting them in 90’s decade. Mavica, short for Magnetic Video Camera, was a brand of Sony Cameras which used removable disks as the only medium of recording the pictures.

Sony Digital Mavica MVC-FD5 was launched in the year 1997 and it was the first digital camera to use a floppy disc. The pictures taken with this camera has a resolution of 640×480 pixel and are compatible with the power point presentations.

Beside the good resolution, it did offer an optional 10X Zoom lens something unique for the digital camera of that time.

Though the camera offered only one shutter speed but the photos clicked in autofocus mode were usually very clear. Masses didn’t accept the digital cameras because of many hurdles like high prices and inability to share the photos. Sony addressed the sharing problem by giving a feature of storing the photographs to a 3.5-inch floppy disk.

With this we come to the end of the list of the best gadgets of year 1997. Siemens introduced the first colored LCD display in the phone screen this year. 1997 saw a rise in digital camera technology and DVD player technology.

Let’s find out which gadget and technology of 1998 paved way for the technological evolution in the 21st century in the next blog. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive the next blog in your inbox.

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