The Amazon Kindle
The Amazon Kindle is an electronic reader created to replace paper-
books with digital files. It was first sold at the end of 2007, amongst a culture
of digitizing conventionally physical objects, and making all aspects of the
American life condensed and portable.
The Kindle service is structured to allow and necessitate the secure
purchase of books online, which are then downloaded onto the Kindle and
read like a conventional book. The book files are encrypted to put all
control of the file’s distribution in the hands of Kindle, rather than the user.
Newspapers, internet browsers and PDFs can be accessed and read
through the Kindle as well. This is in response to other technology popular at
the time, which had many different functions, often unrelated to the original
A webcam is a video capture device connected to a computer or computer network (often via USB or ethernet/Wi-Fi). It typically
includes a lens, an image sensor, and some other support electronics. The main function of the webcam was originally to offer the
sense of a video camera connected to a public web page, but have since become more commonly used as a videophone or video
conference station. Webcams allow for inexpensive, real-time video chatting in messenger programs (such as skype, yahoo, ichat,
oovoo, etc.), making it a great device to “call” your friends and family with. Another common use of the webcam is the recording of
video files or still images. This allows you to record a video or capture a snapshot of yourself. This is found in many social
networking sites, such as YouTube and Facebook, where people post videos of themselves singing a song or pictures of them riding a
virtual roller coaster or posing with their faces in a swirl. Webcams have a built-in LED light to prevent hackers, and interestingly
enough, have also been used as security cameras to record and save captured movement and sounds onto their computers. Webcams
have also been used to assist sign language communication by providing Video Relay Services, where an interpreter relays
information between the caller and the deaf receiver. Webcams have been used in both amateur and professional levels, from online
dating to YouTube videos to news broadcasts to gaming to even class lectures, making it one of the most popular computer
accessories/functions in today’s society.
Daguerreotype: Birth of Photography
Developed by Louis Daguerre and available to the world on August 19th, 1839, the daguerreotype was a photographic process
that built upon previous photographic techniques such as experimentation with silver nitrate and silver / chalk mixtures in the
13th century. In the early 18th century, Louis Daguerre partnered up with Nicéphore Niépce to expand upon those technologies.
After Niépce’s death, Daguerre continued to explore possibilities of creating a still image, eventually focusing on recording
images on a copper plate treated with iodized silver. The plate had to be used within an hour and the exposure time was from
10-20 minutes. After the picture was taken, the plate was developed with Mercury heated to seventy-five degrees Celsius. The
image was then fixed to the plate in a warm solution of salts, and then rinsed in hot water. The standard size of a
daguerreotype print was 8 ! by 6 !. The image on the plate has a milky white appearance and is incredibly detailed, which
lead to the title of ‘the self operating process of fine art’. There were many drawbacks to the daguerreotype. First, the nature
of the process was such that each picture could not be replicated and was, therefore, unique. Also, the image was extremely
sensitive to touch, light and air and if not handled properly would disintegrate; daguerreotypes had to be mounted in an air-
tight glass frame immediately. Other drawbacks to this technology include the highly toxic nature of the chemicals used, as
well as the reversing of the image (could be corrected with a mirror). These factors made the daguerreotype almost impossible
for non-science types to create, expensive and a hazard to human health. Thus, the transition to ambrotype and tintypes was a
quick one, regardless of the beautiful, unique look the daguerreotype was able produce. Today, for a pretty penny, you can get
a daguerreotype printed by a daguerreotype enthusiast. There are many online communities that advocate the technology. But
don’t try it at home!
The original Sony Walkman was marketed by Sony in Japan in the year 1979. The idea was to bring to people the new idea of
carrying music around with you where ever you went. The engineer on the project was Nobutoshi Kihara, who originally
never liked the name “walkman” but was forced to stick to it because a marketing campaign for the walkman had already
started. The walkman opened doors for Sony to continue marketing portable music devices such as the “Discman,” which was
the name for CD players.
The turntable was developed after the original phonograph, a device used to play and record sound as early as the 1870’s. The modern
table did not gain popularity until the early 1990’s where DJ’s began using the device to mix and match songs and beats. With this
new manipulation of sound with the use of phonographs and a mixer came the term “turntablism”. The turntable has the ability to
control the speed at which record is played, controlling pitch and beat count, allowing multiple songs to be played together and the
same beat rate. The turntable was monumental in the progression of hip-hop and electronic culture.
The Gameboy was developed by the Research and Development 1 group (lead by Gunpei Yokoi) from Nintendo and launched
in Japan in 1989. It is a portable 8-bit game machine designed to provide entertainment. Some musicians also used Gameboys to
create chiptune music. Since the debut of the Gameboy, this technology had “contributed to the decline of sales of LCD machines
[portable single games].” Portable video game devices (such as the Gameboy) have raised parental concerns because there have been
studies that suggested that portable video games caused children’s lack of concentration in school (and life).
The Record Player
Influenced by Thomas Edison’s invention of the
phonograph, the record player stands as one of the most
popular sources of entertainment. A record is placed on
the player’s motor-driven turntable. Rotating at a
constant speed, the tone arm is picked up at one end of
the player and placed onto the record. The tone arm then
touches the groove of the record with its needle (also
know as its stylus). As the record revolves on the player,
the variations in its groove causes the stylus to vibrate.
the stimulus also acts as a converter of the mechanical
vibrations into electrical signals, which are increased in
size by an amplifier. As the vibrations leave the amplifier,
they are passed through a loudspeaker which translates the
vibrations into sound. The record player proves to be one
of the most influential inventions in history, it being the
center of entertainment in restaurants, speakeasies, formal
events, and even everyday households.
Nintendo Virtual Boy
The Nintendo Virtual boy, released in 1997, was the first 3d video game system to hit the market, and it took the form of a
headset/goggles. The unit achieved its 3 dimensional graphics by borrowing from existing parallax technology, which uses one image
for each eye, creating the illusion of three dimensions by slightly offsetting the point of view on the images. The system was
incredibly innovative, and spawned series such as Mario Tennis and Warioland, but for several reasons, the system ended up as
Nintendo’s only game console ever to be seen as a failure. Many people complained about the red screen, which was known to cause
headaches after a mere half hour of play, and 3rd party support for the system was dismal. Ultimately Nintendo only shipped 800,000
Virtual boy system. A vintage Parallax image viewer. Mario tennis, on the systems red and black display.
Amplifiers are an integral part of almost all electronic systems – they increase the amplitude of a
voltage, current, or power of the input. The most common are Class D amplifiers, or audio
amplifiers. Lee De Forest invented the first amplification device, the triode, in 1908. The triode is
a vaccum tube with three elements: the filament, the grid, and the plate. Triodes are largely
obsolete in modern consumer electronics, being replaced by the transistor, but they are still used in
microphone preamplifiers and electric guitar amplifiers. Power capabilities of audio amplifiers
vary, since they are used in headphones, televisions, stereos, and even commercial sound systems.
The first sound amplifier that resembles what most think of when they think “amplifier” (the big
black guitar amps made famous by Fender and Marshall) was invented in 1916 by Bernhard
Fritzsch, interestingly enough, it seems as though his invention was completely ignored by the
public as Clarence “Leo” Fender is commonly credited with inventing the guitar amp. The social
impact of the amp is obvious: it revolutionized sound and music capabilities. Without amplifiers,
guitars could not be heard in concerts or in music tracks that also have drums and other, louder
instruments. Without amplifiers, things could only be heard as they are—headphones, stereos and
all devices we rely on to listen to tunes would be obsolete.! !"#$"%&'()*+%&+,-.&/0(%*"12&03&3"#$"%4/0,&
Trade cards originated five centuries ago. Derived from the calling cards
of Chinese and later European elite, businesses began using cards to
advertise their particular trades, hence the name trade cards. Before street
addresses, these cards often depicted directions to the location, images of
the actual building or maps. Later on they came to include addresses and
attractive images. Eventually tobacco companies created cigarette cards
to stiffen packs which came to feature baseball players. Color printing,
along with the popularity of baseball led to the creation of baseball cards
and other types of trading cards, with an emphasis on the actual trading of
the object. Over time, trade cards have led to the modern use of business
cards and trading cards.
Liquid Crystal Display
The concept of the LCD TV was first envisioned by David Sarnoff in 1956 as a thin “TV-on-a-
wall.” RCA did the initial research into LCD technology, but didn’t find it promising. Liquid crystal
displays are based on crystalline liquids that align in such a way that they pass light through
polarized materials, this phenomenon is known as the twisted nematic effect. When an energy field is
applied the crystals scatter and block light. Liquid crystals were first seen by an Austrian botanist,
and incidentally the plaque that will one day fill your arteries is made of naturally occurring liquid
crystals. The twisted nematic effect was first discovered in 1911 by a French physicist. LCD
technology was limited to digital clocks and simple monochromatic screens until the thin-film
transistor (TFT ) technology was developed. TFT allowed precise and rapid control of LCD and
ultimately allowed applications in phones, televisions, and portable video games.
The Moog Synthesizer was one of the ﬁrst electronic instruments to gain rapid popular acceptance and
eventually became the standard for synthesized music. Invented by Dr. Robert Moog in the 1960’s, the ﬁrst
Moog synthesizer capitalized on transistor semiconductors instead of vacuum tubes to create more compact
and efﬁcient ampliﬁcation system. Dr. Moog patented his device on October 10th 1966 but it wasn’t until
three years later that the patent was issued. In this time the synthesizer was growing in popularity due to its
wide range of synthetic sounds, size, accessibility, and use in soundtracks. In 1967 it was demonstrated at
the Monterey International Pop Music Festival and garnered the attention of rock musicians. However, it
wasn’t until Walter Carlos released Switched on Bach in the same year that synthesizers became known as a
stand alone instrument. The Moog Synthesizer altered the music world by offering a device which could
recreate a variety of sounds and frequencies using a familiar keyboard medium and to this day it remains a
viable and highly utilized instrument across many genres.
C1600 Napiers bones
1620 Slide Ruler
1622 Circular Slide Ruler
1623 First Mechanical Calc.
1642 Blaise Pascal Mech. Calc.
1673 Stepped Reckoner
1820 Charle Xavier Arithmometer
1851 Key Driven Machine
1853 The Scheutz Difference Engine:
1872 Printing Wheel Calculator
1874 Pinwheel (Odhner) Calculator
1891 Burroughs’ commercial adding
1893 Millionaire Calc.
1900 Steady development of Mechanical
Calc. The Electronic Calculator
1948 Curta miniature handheld me
chanical Calc. The electronic calculator is one of the most important technological innovations
1961 first electronic desktop calculators
1962 1964 Development and commer invented. Compared to older calculating devices, such as mechanical calculators, the
cialization of transistorized desktop calc.
1965 development of handheld elec
evolution of the electronic calculator has become a small compact device. The elec
tronic calc. tronic calculator allows complicated mathematical problems to be rapidly calculated.
1969 first battery powered handheld
electronic calc. Mass production allowed calculators to become inexpensive compared to its expen
1970 Commercial handheld calc.
1972 development of cheaper calc. sive predecessor. The accessibility and the simplicity of an electronic calculator have
1973 Sharp COS Calc.
1974 Texas Instrument miniature calc.
broadened its market allowing a small child to accomplish simple arithmetic to an
1975 Mechanical Calc. production adult figuring out his taxes.
C am recorder
The first cam recorders were used for television. Television show producers used large quad decks to record video onto 2inch
wide videotape, as time went by these enormous machines evolved into smaller suitcase sized machines that used one inch or
¾ inch videotape to record video. When someone wanted to do film they had to drive a truck with the equipment, the decks,
cameras, switching devices, tripods, cables, etc. To the location and set it up. As time went by the cam recorders evolved and
were released to the public and not only to big networks and corporations. The cam recorder has had a major impact in society;
with it people from all around the world are able to record important happenings. At schools we are able to watch videos of
important historic occurrences; we are able to see what goes on around the world. Families are able to record their most
treasured moments and filmmakers are able to transcend their ideologies to the world.
Today, the musical pick-up is primarily used in string musical instruments in order to further amplify it's sound. It can be seen in
guitars and violins and even harps. Credit for the invention of it is given to both Leo Fender and Les Paul, who both claim its
invention in the early 1950’s. Socially, the electric pick-up has dominated the music industry since the 1950's appearing in both rock
and roll and R&B. Particularly in the 1960's and 1970's, with musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, the electric pick up has allowed
musicians to further explore the wide region of music and sound. Along with the electrical amplification of a sound signal, guitar
pedals and pedals have appeared to further modulate the sound “picked up” from the guitar. Today, the pick-up is still in wide use,
more so than ever with the mass production of electric guitars.
iPod is a portable media player made and released by Apple Inc. on October 23, 2001. Apple first saw that all the other similar products
are either too large and heavy or too small and hard to use because of its unfriendly user interface. Thus, Apple decided to make its own
product that revolutionizes the market. Although iPod's first existence receives numerous critiques, Apple still sold well. Its intuitive user
interface, large capacity of storage, and association with iTunes, Apple's online music store, revolutionizes the way people enjoy the
music. It can also be used as a hard drive. It later becomes an educational tool and military communication tool. Since iPod's existence,
other companies in the same business also start to design similar devices. Apple later on released many new updated generations of iPod.
A short paragraph describing what your subject is and some highlights in its use, history, social significance, economic impact, or other
The floppy disk (aka “floppy disc” or “floppy diskette”) is a familiar form of magnetic data storage media for computers. Today, the 3.5”
floppy disk, first introduced on Apple Macintosh computers in the early 1980’s, is still sometimes used but the larger 5.25” (1978) disk is
generally considered to be obsolete; both evolved from a cumbersome-looking 8” disk introduced in 1971. Really an intermediate form of
magnetic storage, the floppy was preceded by the reel-to-reel tape associated with early computers and is now succeeded by the hard disk,
both of which operate on the same basic principle. In general, the magnetic media have a surface coated with a magnetic substance which
can be polarized in discrete units along the length of its tracks. One state of polarization represents a 1 and the opposite state a 0,
comprising a means for recording binary computer data. This data can then be re-read by the transducer or head. By arranging the tracks
radially, (as opposed to lengthwise along a linear reel of tape), data can be read in a random-access manner by moving the head in or out
from the center of the disc as it rotates. In comparison to tape or hard disks, the floppy disk is a more portable format. Modern portable
media are the optical discs – CD’s and DVD’s – and flash drives, a circuit-based medium. These two media types have almost fully
replaced floppy disks due to their small size and huge storage capacity ranging from hundreds to thousands of times greater than the
standard 1.44 MB 3.5” floppy. Floppy disks made home-computing possible in the 1980’s by miniaturizing data storage. The term “drive”,
as in flash drive, originates with the disk drive, the computer peripheral which contains the rotating mechanism and heads for reading and
writing to the disk.
3D Film is a filming technique that has become more prevalent in modern cinema. Through the use of special motion picture cameras
influenced from previous stereoscopic photographic forms, 3D Film can effectively enhance the illusion of depth perception to the
viewing audience. 3D Film is not a modern phenomenon, but rather has become significantly cheaper to produce over the last decade.
It is for this reason that James Cameron was capable of making his Academy Award Nominated film “Avatar” which has also become
the highest grossing film of all time (if we disregard inflation etc). The more frequent use of 3D could be cause for the film industry
having its most profitable year, as 7 films released in 2009 found themselves on the top 50 list of highest grossing films. Many modern
filmmakers are taking advantage of this IMAX 3D technology. Tim Burton is among them. His next film Alice in Wonderland, like
Avatar, was produced to provide unique viewing experience for those who saw it specifically in IMAX 3D. This technology is even
being utilized in television. ESPN announced that coming this summer a variety of sporting events are going to be broadcast in 3D.
Other networks are following suit. There is without a doubt a new fascination with 3D media and with the great success of James
Cameron’s Avatar, companies are more willing to invest in a newer form of media that is getting progressively cheaper to produce.
Roland TB-303 Bass Line Synthesizer
The Roland TB-303 was released in 1982, marketed as a bass line sequencer to be used by guitarists looking to practice, but
lacking a live bassist, or as a tool for creating rough-cut tracks which could later be performed by live musicians. Due to the device’s
complicated interface, which made programming realistic sounding bass lines difficult, sales were poor, and Roland ceased production
of the TB-303 in 1985. That same year, Earl “Spanky” Smith and Nathaniel Jones (who would later be known as DJ Pierre) began
experimenting with a unit purchased from a second-hand shop, recording repetitive melodies while tweaking the various parameter
knobs to their extremes, creating squealing and tweeting sounds. These sounds, combined with other, more conventional sounds,
came to form the foundation of acid house music, and later became adopted into the mainstream musical consciousness.
The history of sound film is long and complicated. There was not just one machine which eventually allowed for the
synchronization of sound and moving images. The quest to unite audio with motion pictures in the late 19th and early 20th century
included three different types of sound recording—the mechanical, magnetic and the photographic. These processes also included
alternative methods such as sound effects and ‘talker films’ which fooled the audience into thinking they were watching sound films
when really they were sound tricks backstage.
This ultimate transition from silent film to sound film had its advantages and its disadvantages. On the one hand, people could
actually understand what characters were saying to one another and the music soundtracks added extra effects. On the other hand,
however, the dialogue left little to the imagination and it may be argued that because of the new popularity of the sound, directors
focused less on the art and special effects that the camera brought to the table.
The Kinetescope The Vitaphone
T he Computer Mouse
• Practical Use:
– The purpose of the computer mouse is to provide a human to computer track and
point interaction. It’s mainly defined as a control device for computers with a
graphical user interface (GUI). The mouse today has advanced to other purposes
besides pointing and tracking.
– The first computer mouse prototype was invented by Doug Engelbart, an American
inventor at the Stanford Research Institute in 1963. The mouse patent #3,541,541 was
issued on 11/17/1970 for a X-Y position indicator for display systems or computer
monitors. Later on came the “ball” mouse in 1972 evolving from the “track wheel”
mouse invented by Engelbart’s associate Bill English.
• Social Significance:
– With the invention of the mouse, more sophisticated computer games began to (F irst Engelbart Mouse)
emerge, advocating entertainment within the household instead of traditional child
play out in the playground. As computer programs begin to advance, more intensive
mouse movements are required which may affect upon muscular or skeletal injuries
within the hand.
• Economic Impact:
– The first commercial mouse was included in the first commercial Xerox computer
and wasn’t sold separately. Apparently, the grip and appearance of the mouse became
a demand for customers as well. Companies took advantage of this, and started a
whole new market selling mouse as separate accessories. Without the invention of the
mouse, the computer market may not be as nourished as it is because of its lack of
simplistic control techniques.
(Apple Magic Mouse)
Video Games are common place today, and just considered another form of entertainment. Interestingly they
originally came out of missile defense systems and later shifted to a form of entertainment, which became popular
in the 1970s and 1980s. The first video games were simple games, like Pong and Pacman, which are primitive
compared to today’s games that range from the realistic lifelike graphics of the Playstation 3 to the fully interactive
games on Nintendo’s newest system, the Wii. Video games have sparked many controversies over violence and the
ideas that they perpetuate stereotypes and negative body images. They have also been implicated as a factor
relating to the problem of child obesity and the population of the United States becoming more sedentary in recent
years. Conversely the new craze of “Exergaming” through the use of such games as “Dance Dance Revolution” and
“Wii Sports” is helping the population of the USA, who are less inclined to take part in traditional exercise
incorporate most physical activity into their lives. The video game industry has also had important effects on the
economy, creating jobs in the technology industry, where competing video game companies, such as Sony and
Nintendo, pour millions of dollars into developing the next new innovative system and getting in out to retailers
first in order to dominate the market. Video games have impacted the environment as well, mostly negatively, as
many unsold and unwanted games end up in landfills. However, environmental regulations have caused some
companies, such as Sony after illegal levels of cadmium were found in its controllers, to adopt more
environmentally sustainable practices.
Video Arcade Games
Video arcade games have their roots in the early “arcade games” in the midways
of amusement parks and fairs that had games such as shooting galleries, ball toss
games, dart throwing, and early coin operated games that told fortunes or played music.
In the 1930’s mechanical pinball machines were added to the list of arcaded games.
Years down the road, the first coin operated video game was created at Stanford
University in 1971, and was called Galaxy Game. It was a coin-operated version of the
already existing game Spacewar. For years after that, video arcades began popping up
as stand-alone businesses and as parts of restaurant, bars, and other businesses. They
became social gathering places, where patrons could experience the latest and greatest
in video games while competing with other enthusiasts. However, as their popularity
wore off and console systems and home computers became more powerful, arcade
games saw a decline. To make up for it, modern day console games now focus more on
the skill and performance of the gamer, rather than game content. To compete with
online console gaming, they also continue to promote their use as socially-oriented
experiences, where gamers can meet and compete.
! A monitor
! Printed circuit boards (PCB) or arcade system boards
! A power supply
! A marquee
! A bezel
! A control panel
! Coin slots, coin returns and the coin box
V irtual Reality
Virtual reality, or VR, is a technology which allows users to
interact with a computer- simulated environment. Most virtual reality
environment are primarily sensory information such as visual
experiences, which either display on a computer screen or through
special stereoscopic, or sound through speakers or headphones.
Despite above, the experimental and advanced systems have
included limited force feedback, or tactile sensory information. Users
can interact with a virtual reality environment either through the use
of standard input devices, such as mouse and keyboard, or through
multimodal devices like electric wired gloved. VR is use for
simulated the real world environment for both military training, like
parachute training, and high technology games. In general, it is
currently difficult to create high-definition virtual reality experience
due to the technical limitations; however, those limitations are
expected to be overcome as processor, image and data
communication technology become more powerful over time.
VR can be traced back to 1950s where Morton Heilig wrote
in “Experience Theater” that could encompass all the senses in an
effective manner, thus drawing the viewers into the onscreen
activity. The first prototype of VR was built in 1962, along with
five short films to be displayed in it while engaging multiple
senses. As of now, VR has boosted the graphic displays to reach a
point of near realism. It changed the perceptions of new media,
such as movie, that will move into a new realm of three
dimensional sound and images. The most significant example of
experiencing VR is the movie, Avatar. It has revolute and improve
the movie industries to a new level of 3-D images and brought
$2,394,949,760 gross revenue to the economics of movie industry.
The Brownie Camera:
“You push the button we do the rest”
. Patent Number: 725,034
. Filed by Frank A. Brownell on July 25th, 1900 for the
. Originally the Brownie was marketed as a child’s toy,
with the camera being named after popular
fairytale characters of the era: Brownies. They
were Goblins or Fairies that could only be seen by
humans gifted with second sight.
. 150,000 cameras were shipped and sold in their first
year of production surpassing expectations
. Kodak had a Brownie Camera Club for children and
an aggressive marketing plan in popular
magazines rather than trade magazines to
promote the Brownie
. With the introduction of the Brownie camera anyone
could take pictures when previously it had been
designated to professionals
. There have been over 125 different Brownie models
since its first introduction in the market
. 1900-2010 The Brownie Camera is 110 years old!
. It was the first in home point and shoot affordable
camera. Previously cameras were upwards of
$20.00 and the Brownies $1.00 price made it
accessible to more people.
THE GRAPHICS TABLET
Originating from the Teleautograph (an apparatus, patented in 1888, that sends information via an attached pen, utilized to send an image or signature), the graphics
tablet is a popular item for computer graphics artists. There are various categories of graphics tablets, however, the passive tablet is notably the most commonly and
commercially utilized graphics tablet. The tablet functions through interaction between the pen and an electromagnetic field generated within the designated space of
the pad. The user can input into the tablet with the pen and pad, which is then translated onto the computer screen as a replication of what is drawn or written on the
tablet. Wacom typically manufactures the most widely distributed graphics tablets, ranging from small, three by five inch tablets, to large eighteen by twelve inch
tablets (there are also direct screen tablets, allowing the user to directly input upon the screen). This technology has greatly increased the capacity for creative
innovation in the field of computer graphics and graphic artistry, as the graphics tablet provides a much greater capacity of control in the form of pressure sensitivity,
angular recognition, and greater control through the pen apparatus than that of a mouse.
TEAC Portastudio 144
The TEAC Portastudio was the ﬁrst inexpensive four-track cassette
tape recording device. It was released in 1979. The Portastudio was
priced so that the hobbyist musician could afford it. It allowed
amateur musicians the ability to experiment with multi-track
recording and create music by themselves that they previously could
not produce. This helped start the home recording phenomenon.
The Portastudio led to a rise in affordable recording equipment. It
was one of the factors that changed the dynamics of the music
industry. Musicians no longer have to depend on a label to make an
album because self-production is an affordable and viable option.
This has led to an increase in the quantity and variety of recorded
Digital Versatile Disk/Digital Video Disk
The DVD was developed to replace both the compact disc (CD-ROMS) and the VHS. It was created to store five to ten times the data
as a CD, improve audio and visual quality, and increase convenience by allowing a person to simply put a DVD into a player and press
play. In 1995, two competing DVD standards had been designed- Philips and Sony had created the Multimedia disk just as Toshiba,
Time Warner, and many other companies had introduced the Super Density disk (SD). In order to avoid a repeat of the VHS/Beta debacle
(in which the JCV VHS eventually became the standard VCR format, making Sony’s BETA format obsolete), many organizations, like
the Computer Industry Technical Working group and the Hollywood Video Disc Advisory Group grouped together and came up with a
compromise. They would not indorse either of the competing formats and created a new single standard in 1996, the DVD-ROM, that
was a combination of both formats (however, more was taken from SD). Japan marketed the first DVD discs and players in 1996 and the
U.S. followed in 1997. Below is a patent created by Reiji Fujikawa of the NEC Corporation in Tokyo, for a Digital Versatile Disk. In his
abstract he states that his goal was to create an optical disk that would reproduce video disks without the need to be plugged into a
computer. It included a computer connection signal line, a DVD drive to pull information from the disk, and DVD controller to control
the DVD even when it is not connected with the computer..
During the 1990s and the early 2000s, pager devices were increasingly demanded by consumers. Pagers played a significant
role in society’s developments in mobile communication and in transmitting information instantaneously, The pager is a noteworthy
invention that preceded the cell phone. The pager is the foundation and framework that today’s cell phones evolved from. The typical
beeper contains an FM receiver, a tone-decoding device, and an audio amplifier. More complex beepers have alphanumeric capability
and are able to display names of and messages from callers. During its period of popularity, firms constantly searched for new
capabilities that could be added to the pager such as entertainment and news updates. Pagers are still used in hospitals.
ATARI Company logo ^
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!Atari VCS, later released as 2600.
iPhone Apple iPhone first generation
Form factor Candybar
Dimension (H x W x D) 115 x 61 x 12 mm
Display 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen
Display resolution 480-by-320-pixel resolution at 163
Available Colours Black
Audio format supported AAC, Protected AAC, Mp3 VBR,
Audible (formats 2,3, and 4)
Video formats supported H.264 video, MPEG-4 video
Memory expansion No
The first generation of iPhone was released on June 29, 2007 Headphone Stereo earphone with built-inch
Camera 2 mega pixels
GSM frequencies 850,900, 1800,1900
It’s a revolutionary phone and a device that is changing our 3G No
behavior and the expectations we have of mobile devices. Its beauty is in Voice recording Yes
its details. There are no buttons on the face of the device -- dialing, typing, Video recording No
and all user interface is controlled through the touchscreen. A lot of FM radio No
Headphone socket 3.5mm
customers are attracted its all-in-one: a camera, iPod, DS and phone. Messaging SMS, e-mail
Battery life is supposedly 8 hours of talk and 24 hours of music playback. It Browser Safari
has many interesting facts such as sensors to adjust the light of the screen Viewable document, image types JPEG, word, excel, and pdf
based on the light of the surroundings. Ever since its release, every new External button controls Sleep/wake
mobile data device is evaluated against the iPhone's specs. Since Apple Ring/silent
signed a contract with Cingular, other companies such as Verizon, Sprint Volume up/down
and Tmobile were dealing with meeting the intense demand for an Sensors Accelerometer
alternative product. Therefore, phone companies that produce media Proximity Sensor
phones and software developers are able to duplicate some of the iPhone’s Ambient light sensor
fuctions. With that said, the iPhone of Apple had set the bar in the phone Battery Lithium ion battery
industry. Other industry leaders such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and LG
Battery Life 8hours of talk time, 24 hours of
are going to spend years trying to create something that even comes close
music and 7 hours of video play
to competing with the functionality and design of the iPhone. back and 6 hours of internet usage
with a standby period of just over
Operating System Apple OS X
VIDEO HOME SYSTEM
The VHS is video tape recording standard developed during
the 1970s. It provided an extended playing time, faster rewinding and
fast‐forwarding time, and also had a substantially simpler design. It
battled against Sony’s Betamax and emerged victorious. It was a
staple in everyone’s living room and the music industry used it for
music video singles. Many companies and industries also used the VHS
to produce tutorial videos for purchasers and stores. People also used
it to record their own home videos. The system was dominant in the
1990s yet with new technologies being constantly developed, the
sales steadily dwindled with the gradual acceptance of the optical disc
format. Currently, the only VHS tapes being produced are blank ones.
The theremin, patented in 1928, was developed by Russian
scientist Léon Theremin, and is considered one of the earliest electronic
instruments. It is particularly significant in that it’s not played with
physical contact with the instrument, but through the air, giving it an
ethereal quality and challenging previously held notions about music
and the connection between human movement and sound manipulation.
The instrument, extremely difficult to master, is played by moving
one’s hands near two antennas, one controlling pitch and the other
volume. Its eerie sound made it popular for the soundtracks of many
early horror and science fiction films. People felt it sounded futuristic,
alien, mysterious, scary, exotic, and strange. It has been used in popular
music (e.g., Bee Gees), rock, classical, avant-garde, electronic, dance,
and psychedelic music, among others. As an essential part of electronic
music history, the theremin influenced the development of many
subsequent musical instruments, such as the Moog synthesizer.
Leon Theremin saw applications for his research and the
technology of the theremin—as a proximity sensor and
signaling apparatus—not only in music, but in electrical
science as well. He proposed similar technology for
hidden alarm systems. Also important, is the theremin’s
context within an increasingly electronic America, and
the role of electronics in the development of
communism in Russia.!
H E A DPH O N ES
The invention of the headphones is built upon the
critical innovations of Edison, de Forest, and
Armstrong. The audion tube and the amplifier
made it possible for the first loudspeakers to be
created. From here, it has been speculated that
Nathaniel Baldwin created the very first radio
headset in 1910. His invention only became famous
however when the U.S. Navy bought 100 sets
during World War I.
Today, headphones can be found in every aspect of
telecommunications, most prominently in the field
of aviation. They are also used in a wide breadth of
subjects, from classrooms, music production,
speech recognition activities, even in scientific
tests concerning schizophrenia. Its status as a
trendsetter in communication places headphones as
a critical link in today's technological
advancements. With the invention of the portable
music player, headphones have also became a
necessity for one’s personal entertainment.
Blu-ray or Blu-ray Disc is an optical storage medium, much
like CD and DVD. The major feature of Blu-
-ray is its enormous
storage capacity. Currently, the highest available storage on a Blu
disc is 200 GB. Due to its massive storage capabili
capabilities, the disc is used
for high-definition video as well as for video games for storing rich
media content. Blu-ray’s very existence came at quite a struggle. At
one point, Blu-ray was in direct competition with a competing format
called HD DVD. And that spurred a race to obtain support from major
Image source: http://blogofwishes.com/wp
The View-Master has its roots clear back to the Victorian Era. It was called
Stereovision: the art of viewing two nearly identical photographs simultane-
ously, one for each eye, creating the illusion of binocular depth perception
(3-D). Today’s View-Master is the product of William Gruber and Harold
Graves: Portland, Oregon, 1930’s. It was originally designed as an alternative
to a postcard, but was picked up by the US Military to help artillery and air-
craft ID during WW2. Gruber’s idea was to use the stereoscope, the camera
that took stereo-vision photographs, and the new Kodachrome color film to
make the postcards. He teamed up with Graves, the president of Sawyer’s
Photographic Services, and they presented their idea at the 1930 World’s Fair
in New York City. Tru-Vue became their major rival, and in 1951 they pur-
chased Tru-Vue gaining the rights to feature Disney characters on their reels.
This gave them the golden opportunity to sell reels at the then brand new Dis-
neyland amusement park in Los Angeles, as well as stills from Disney movies
and TV programs.
Apple TV is a streaming media device that allows its’ users to watch content
from a PC or Mac (via wirelessly or through ethernet) on an HDTV screen
(for maximum performance) by using the Apple Remote to scroll through
content. On its’ initial release on March 21, 2007, the services available
through Apple TV were the iTunes Store, Flickr, Youtube, and MobileMe.
HDMI, video-component, and audio inputs are found on the back of the
device, but the corresponding cables are not included (only the AC power
cord). The first models designated 40 GB of space, but an update on May 31,
2007 (dubbed “Take Two”) announced the shipment of the 160 GB (phasing
out the previous models) which allowed its’ users to save their purchases and
media on the device itself.
The preliminary appearance of Apple TV (nicknamed iTV at the time), was a
culmination and evolution of their newly released iMac G5 series desktop and
the Front Row media entertainment application that came along with the OS.
Although Apple TV’s chief executive Tim Cook pronounced the device’s
income to be three times more than their first quarter release, the still-
brewing small audience that streams digital content has slowed down
experimentation and production; Steve Jobs confirming this still new venture
as a continuing “hobby” amongst their other product lineups. This said, the
current uses of TiVo/DVR and streaming applications like Netflix are still
fair levels of play in terms of being competition for Apple TV.
V irtual Reality Goggles/G lasses
Virtual reality goggles are typically goggles or glasses which are designed to be used in a virtual reality experience. Scenes are
displayed right there on the inside of the goggles so that the user feels as if they are actually there because everything appears so close
and they cannot see anything other than what is being displayed so there are no distractions. Many of the virtual reality goggles are
not actually goggles, but head mounted displays that wrap around the face. While the technology improves the goggles will probably
evolve into something that resembles regular glasses. The goggles are also usually worn with a headset for the purpose of isolating
sounds from the surrounding environment and providing a source of audio input. This is relatively new technology, so it does not
have much of a history. The products that are being released right now will most likely not last very long because they will be
outdated very quickly. It will take some time before this technology is near perfect to the point where every family will have a pair of
these glasses or possibly a pair for every person in a household.
Besides being used to simply watch videos, virtual reality goggles can be used for much more. They can be used for gamers to feel
like they are actually the person playing and other objects, such as gloves could also be used to make the game more realistic. The
goggles are also used for situations that may otherwise be unsafe. They are used in flight training so that there is no risk of the pilot in
training messing up and crashing a real plane and injuring or killing themselves. Virtual reality goggles are also used for medical
purposes, such as testing a person’s eyesight. The person being tested wears a different lens on each eye and then they use a mouse
and point to where the object is. One may also find a pair of virtual reality goggles at a dentist so that the patient can have a more
pleasant experience and escape from reality. This also makes it easier for the dentist to work. Virtual reality goggles have many uses,
but the technology is not quite complete and they are not really bought for household use yet.
Edwin Land is credited with inventing the Polaroid instant camera and film in
1947, ten years after he founded the Polaroid Corporation. He was given the idea to create
instant film after his daughter complained of how long it took to develop pictures. The
first instant camera required the photographer to lay the negative of the picture over the
positive in order for the image to develop. In later years, Land figured out a way to
condense the process down to a single sheet, making it even easier and faster to take
photographs. Professional photographers picked up the Polaroid cameras to take pictures
before shooting with 35 mm film in order to catch mistakes early. Polaroids are also
employed in different aspects of the modeling world. For example, modeling agencies
take quick polaroids of potential models, and even at runway shows, polaroids are used to
show how an outfit should look. In February 2008, the Polaroid company announced that
it would discontinue production of its iconic instant film due to significant drops in sales
since 2000. This cease in production resulted in the shutting down of three factories and
450 workers being laid off. However, a new company named “Impossible,” comprised of
former Polaroid workers are venturing to give Polaroid’s instant film a rebirth. They have
even bought all the machinery and equipment from Polaroid’s Dutch factory and
production will start sometime this year.
The fax machine is a device that sends and receives printed pages or images over telephone lines by digitizing the material
with an internal optical scanner and transmitting the information as electronic signals. Alexander Bain was the first to
patent the fax machine in 1843. He devised an apparatus comprised of two pens connected to two pendulums, which in turn
were joined to a wire, that was able to reproduce writing on an electrically conductive surface. In 1862, Giovanni Caselli
built a machine that he called the Palentelegraph and it was based on Bain’s invention. The Palentelegraph sent a fax from
Paris to London of a wanted man's picture which caused worldwide attention as the near instantaneous transmission of
information was now possible. The fax machine was very large, expensive, and difficult to operate at first and it was
mainly used by the government. By the 1980’s, fax machines were being designed to be much smaller, faster, and easier to
use. This greatly improved the use of the fax machine. It has been estimated that there were approximately fifty thousand
fax machines in the USA in 1970. By the end of the 1980’s there were over four million fax machines in use. Today, the fax
machine can be found in most offices and homes. There are expensive fax machines that have better resolution and speed
and there are inexpensive fax machines that don’t have great speed or resolution. It has become a significant part of the
workplace because it allows transmission of documents without having to do it in person.
The Nintendo Wii consol has been considered revolutionary in the gaming world. It
bridges body movement with a virtual environment. The game system, released No-
vember 2006, was the highest selling game system throughout the United States by
selling more in a single month than any other gaming system1. The Nintnedo Wii,
through engaging our bodies’ in a playful way, allows consumers to buy a sliver of
The Nintendo Wii is now seen in places once foreign to game systems. In retirement
homes and rehabilitation centers the Nintendo Wii has become very popular amount
the residents2. The “ease” of usablility brigns entertainment to a much broader audi-
ence and taps a new source of revenue.
The designers of this system promote “natural” and “intuitive” movement and
motion. By associateing movements with the body, and actions of the game on the
video screen, the notion how to play becomes easier to understand. Culturally we
know what a game of basketball looks life. Therefore, when playing a basketball
Wii game the player intuitively knows that they should attempt a shoot like on the
court. Utilizing the body and movement allows players to learn and more impor-
tantly, enjoy the game quicker.
In the world of the Wii a seventy-year-old grandparents can easily box and beat their
grandchild. Players have ability to display the speed of youth; users hit fastballs in
home run derby, and dodge punches in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. The Wii, much
like make-up, essentially sells a feeling of youthfuleness, and health. The lightheart-
ed interactions with the Wii foster an association between technoloy and ageless-
1. Purchese, Robert. “Wii and DS trash competition in US.” Eurogamer. Robert Purchese, 15 Jan.
2010. Web. 20 Jan 2010. <http://www.eurogamer/net/articles/wii-and-ds-thrash-competition-in-us>.
2. Wischnowsky, Dave. "Video games not just for grandkids Seniors at retirement community love
Wii in their lounge just as much astheir young kin do." Chicago Tribune. Chicago Tribune, 17 Feb.
2007. Web. 19 Jan. 2010. <http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2007/feb/17/news/chi-
The walkman, created in 1979, was the ﬁrst personal headphone stereo system. Although
not a huge technological breakthrough, the walkman revolutionized personal media. The
original invention was created by combining a Sony Pressman (cassette recorder) and
headphones. The ﬁnal design, the TPS-L2 (pictured right), was then named and marketed
based off of its portability. This new concept of having a personal, and highly portable,
stereo device was extremely popular and inspired a large amount of competition from other
companies. Consumers reaped the beneﬁts of various companies competing to make their
products smaller, cheaper, and better sounding.
The Walkman revolutionized portable music, allowing people to listen to what they
wanted, when they wanted, giving them personal musical freedom. The walkman, found on
many people’s hips, grew popular rapidly and quickly became a cultural icon. As time
progressed and new technologies were developed, the walkman evolved to include other
formats. One such format was the MiniDisk, which used a type of compression created by
Sony. This started a format war that eventually led to the demise of the MiniDisk in favor of
other, more universally compatible, formats. This failure would eventually lead to Sony
investing a large amount of money into Blu-ray, in order for their created format to survive
another format war.
“The type writer was not a revolution but a revelation”(Our Own
Devices, p. 187). T he type writer at first was viewed by companies
and consumers as impersonal. However, with the industrial
revolution causing businesses to expand the type writer had gained
acceptance by businesses because mass production of handwritten
material wasn’t logical or timely. T he Q W E R T Y keyboard was
designed to “slow down” typists and to prevent jams that keyboards
prior to this design encountered. It was initially expensive the first
type writer was $125 in modern money. T he military and businesses
standardized the Q W E R T Y keyboard therefore, when other better
inventions, such as the Dvorak keyboard were invented they didn’t
catch on because companies didn’t want to keep retraining typists.
INTERESTING FACT: SALES MEN USED TO SHOW
THAT “TYPE WRITER” COULD BE WRITTEN ON ONE
ROW OF THE KEYBOARD. THIS IMPRESSED A LOT OF
Photo booths are an iconic photographing system. Before photo booths the most accessible way to get one!s picture
taken was to go to a studio. Anatol Josepho perfected the design of the photo booth and made it easier and faster to use
in the 1920!s. He made it to so that negative ﬁlm was not necessary in the process. Once his design was created the
photo booth became popularized they were found internationally. Photo booths revolutionized the way people took
pictures. When people went to a studio to get a portrait they often had a very serious expression on their face. When
photo booths ﬁrst came out people continued with that look, but then in the 1930!s people warmed up to the idea of posing
in different ways. With photo booths people were allowed more agency on how the photos turned out. The person in the
photo booth was the photographer as well as the subject. Today variations on photo booths are everywhere. In the
1990!s digital photo booths became popular which allowed for the subject to change backgrounds and messages on the
photo along with deleting pictures. There are applications now on computers that mimic the photo booth experience.
The Theremin is an electronic instrument used in the composition of music. It is unique in that the player does not ever have
physical contact with the instrument, but rather, two antennas on the device detect the frequency and the amplitude of signal to output
depending on where the player’s hands are positioned. Theremins are connected to loudspeakers and have been used in various
contemporary genres, from rock to movie soundtracks. The instrument was developed in 1919, patented in 1928 by Leon Theremin in
Russia, and is considered the pre-cursor to the modern day synthesizer. Electronic music, a style that can be heard in almost every
American genre of music today, is thought to have originated with the Theremin’s creation. In movies, it helped create the eerie
sounds associated with the bizarre, alien, and supernatural in early cinema. Though its economic impact and spot in the public eye is
relatively obscure, the Theremin has spawned a cult of followers, often avant-garde artists who use it in production or musical
performances. From an evolutionary standpoint, the device can be seen as an initial catalyst of human technology controlled by
motion. Motion-tracking, whether it be in the Nintendo Wii or in future computers and screens that let us control them by gesture
alone, is a further endeavor into man’s ability to control the world with his hands alone, eliminating the bulky and overpopulated array
of tools he has developed over the years. Arguably, the Theremin was man’s first venture into such a profound idea.
The ROM Cartridge. Or the Read-Only Memory Cartridge. Or even a game pak. Chances are we’ve all run into it at one point in
our lives. ROM cartridges allow instantaneous loading of information onto any home computer. This was advantageous for the
development of video games for the very same reason, lack of load time. Until recently with the advent of CD’s and DVD’s,
game cartridges were the most popular way of making games. Another advantage they had for video game development was their
rather hardy design, which allow their plastic exteriors to resist damage. The game pak remained the most dominant storage
medium for video game consoles until the advent of the Playstation and Sega Saturn. By this point most game consoles were
shifting towards using CD’s, with Nintendo being the only remaining user of cartridges. This would cost them in the long run,
however, as history shows us. Nintendo eventually abandons the ROM cartridge in favor of DVD’s as well, attributing the change
to improved load times for disc-based games.
V C R (V ideocassette Recorder)
Ampex’s VRC-1000 (first Commercial Videotape Recorder) JVC’s HR-3300 (first VHS VCR)
The arrival of videotape/videocassette recorders made it easier for consumers to record their favorite shows, movies and other
programs on television with the ability to watch it time and time again. Different companies created models that were eventually
affordable to the general public, although it led to a lawsuit between Sony and Universal Studios due to copyright violations of
consumers. A VCR is a type of VTR (videotape recorder) that is used to record audio and video images of a television broadcast using
removable videotape cassettes. The first “VCR” was created by Ampex Corporation in 1956 but was originally called a VTR in that it
saves images and sounds by converting the images into electrical impulses to be saved onto magnetic tape. Ampex’s model was
bought only by television companies due to its price of $50,000 per machine. Several years after, both Sony and Philips introduced
their version of a VTR to the general public but just like Ampex, these models were still too expensive for consumers. In 1965, Sony
remodeled their original reel-to-reel VTR (used magnetic tape that was held by a reel instead of a cassette) and intended it for home
use. The first VHS VCR that we still see today wasn’t introduced until 1977 by Japan Victor Co. (JVC), thus starting the videotape
format war between VHS and Betamax. Even though VCRs had its success, the decline of VHS tapes occurred when DVDs were first
introduced in 1997. Today, both VHS tapes and VCRs are both practically obsolete due to sale of DVD players and DVD/VCR
combos. In the past 5 years, VHS tapes are no longer sold in stores like Best Buy and other video stores. With the improvement of
technology, VCRs will once again take on a new form of recording and playing images through DVD players.
DSLR – Digital Single Lens Reflex
Analog Photography goes Digital as Film images become digital 1 and 0’s.
Cost of entry was initially high for digital and only reserved for professionals in News Media and Fine art, but has come down to
affordable prices that the average consumer can now afford.
Changed society from traditional scrap booking to Myspace/facebook to satisfy the need to document our own lives. Digital files
mean that individuals can now take many more pictures than film at lower cost since there is no more need to develop film. Also
introduces the issue of copyright and privacy on the internet, ranging from celebrity scandals to photographers stealing images from
Spawned new sub-culture of amateur photographers whom now are competing against seasoned professionals for clients, driving
down prices and forcing professionals to come up with new ways of retaining customers.
However, while photography as whole has shifted to Digital there are still hold-outs whom refuse to use digital, only shooting film
and developing themselves as to ‘preserve’ the art.
First Digital Cameras used floppy disks for storage!
Image courtesy: pimall.com Image courtesy: dpreview.com
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