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Such is the case with the ThinkPad line of laptops, which challenged the dominance of Apple and Compaq in the personal computing industry during the early s by introducing features that were considered to be innovative at the time. One of the earliest in the line, the ThinkPad C, came with a Its TrackPoint navigation device and powerful microprocessors were also considered to be groundbreaking in the early s. Like the early Internet, GPS started life as a government-funded innovation.

He was filling a promise made by Ronald Reagan. Shortly afterwards, companies from TomTom to Garmin introduced personal GPS devices for automotive navigation like the Start 45 and other uses.

introduction of UFTW (universal fact and tech world)

The Model was considered the first answering machine designed for the home during a time when the technology was only commonly found in workplaces. It held roughly 20 messages and enabled owners to listen to voicemails privately through an earphone. BlackBerry made pocket-sized gadgets for accessing email on-the-go before the , but this was the first to combine the Web-browsing and email experience with the functionality of a phone.

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The let users check email, make phone calls, send text messages, manage their calendar, and more all from a single device. Its predecessor, the , required users to attach a headset in order to make calls. All told, the was a pivotal step forward for mobile devices. Earlier devices, like the GriDPad and Palm Pilot, had smaller touchscreens users had to operate with a stylus. Microsoft unveiled a tablet that ran Windows XP in No surprise, as the chunky, relatively affordable keyboard-housed system—users plugged the whole thing into a TV with an RF box—did more to popularize the idea of the personal home computer than any device since.

Millennials get plenty of flak over their penchant for instant gratification.

Need proof? That Polaroid photographs so dominated 80s-era family albums and pop culture gives the square-framed, often off-color snaps a retro appeal that today is celebrated by enthusiasts and aped by billion-dollar apps like Instagram.

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  • The Kindle quickly took over the e-reader market, becoming the best-selling product in the history of Amazon. Follow-up hardware ventures, such as the Kindle Fire Tablet and Echo home assistant, have also found success. Today the company has digital stores for music, movies and video games in addition to books.

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    TiVo owners could record shows picked from a digital menu no more confusing VCR settings and pause or rewind live television. No game system has done more to illustrate the omni-generational appeal of interactive entertainment. True story: Cable TV was already a thing in the s. But decades earlier, the first commercial cable box that would inspire so many others was an unassuming wood-paneled console manufactured by Pennsylvanian company Jerrold Electronics, sporting three-way sliders for dozens of different channels.

    With more than million sold , it became a bestseller for the Finnish company. The did more than just introduce the cellphone to new audiences. It also established a few important precedents. The is regarded to be the first phone with an internal antenna and the first to come with games like Snake preloaded. Gadget reviewers even praised the phone more than 10 years after its launch for its long battery life and clear reception. The crowd roared in approval.

    In a gesture, he showed that Wi-Fi was here to stay. Whatever happens next, the Rift, along with ebullient creator Palmer Luckey, will be remembered for reinvigorating the notion of strapping awkward-looking things to our faces in trade for the privilege of visiting persuasively real imaginary places. Following up on the success of the Walkman, Sony unveiled this portable CD player in , just a year after the music industry adopted the format. The device and later portable CD players helped the compact disc usurp cassettes as the dominant music format in the United States in less than a decade.

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    What its chunky remote lacked in features, the box more than made up for in software. While at first Apple struggled to rationalize its comparably barren Apple TV-verse, Roku was offering thousands of channels and the most partnerships with the biggest players. Pedometers have been around for centuries seriously, look it up , but it was Fitbit that helped bring them into the digital age and to the masses.

    The company sold more than 20 million of the devices in When you think of a portable computer, the Osborne 1 is probably not what comes to mind.

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    Pairing the iconic round shape of classic thermostats with a full-color display and Apple-like software, the Nest features considerable processing power. For instance, its ability to use machine learning to detect and predict usage patterns for heating and cooling a home. The search engine giant turned the device into the center of its smart home strategy with hopes of ushering in an age of interconnected devices that will make everyday living more efficient. Not meant to replace everyday computers, the Pi is being used in classrooms worldwide to help students learn programming skills.

    Small drones may soon be delivering our packages, recording our family get-togethers and helping first responders find people trapped in a disaster. Its latest iteration, the Phantom 4 , uses so-called computer vision to see and avoid obstacles without human intervention.

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    That makes it easier for rookie pilots to fly one, making drones more accessible than ever. You could argue the Minimoog did far more for music tech, or that the Fairlight was cooler, but visit average U. Why is the Segway personal scooter such a potent cultural symbol? Maybe it has something to do with providing a metaphor for increasingly out-of-shape Americans.

    Perhaps it was seeing a U.

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    Recently, the idea has been somewhat revived by the emergence of so-called hover boards, which are now also entering a kind of post-fad twilight. Unit sales never exceeded the six-figure mark before the firm was purchased by a Chinese interest in for an undisclosed sum. The Makerbot Replicator was neither the first nor the best consumer-level 3-D printer.

    The Replicator used inkjet printer-like technology to extrude hot plastic that took three-dimensional form as artwork, mechanical parts and more. The relatively powerful head-mounted computer provided important signals for the future of wearable technology. Glass showed that designers working on computing devices that are worn face a different set of assumptions and challenges. Glass, for example, made it easy for users to surreptitiously record video, which led some restaurants, bars and movie theaters to ban the device. While Glass was officially shelved in , augmented reality—displaying computer-generated images over the real world—is a concept many companies are still trying to perfect.

    Just as inventions like the tractor, the sprinkler, and chemical fertilizers helped farmers meet rising demand in the past, new technologies might help us in the future. Right now scientists all over the globe are leveraging a new generation of technological tools — things like gene editing, artificial intelligence, and flying robots — to ensure that our food future is secure.

    Germany has developed a weed-killing robot that intelligently plucks individual weeds to reduce reliance on herbicides. Tokyo has a vertical farm that uses LEDs and hydroponics to produce thousands of heads of lettuce each day. In the United States, there are at least half a dozen startups racing to create lab-grown meat. Throughout the next two weeks, Digital Trends will take you on a tour of these new technologies, and offer an inside look at some of the most innovative ideas in agriculture right now.

    Earth has a food waste problem.

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    Can giant, solar-powered refrigerators help? This virtual grocery store puts real food on the table for refugees 4 days ago. The Food Fight 4 days ago.