- The Sony Walkman turned 40 on Monday.
- Here are 13 other gadgets you probably didn’t realise had already passed the 20-year milestone.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Sony Walkman turned 40 years old on July 1. The portable cassette stereo revolutionised how we consume music on the go, quickly seeped into pop-culture, and meaningfully preceded Jony Ive’s iPod design.
The Walkman was inspired by Sony’s cofounder Masaru Ibuka, who wanted a portable device he could use to listen to music on long flights.
Sony released the TPS-L2 Walkman in July 1979 in Japan. The device made it stateside by Christmas 1979, and by the next summer, The New York Times was calling it “the newest status symbol around town” in an article recently uncovered by Mentalfloss.
In honour of the Walkman turning 40, here are 13 other gadgets and products that you didn’t realise were already over 20 years old:
The 1996 virtual pet is making a comeback in July 2019 at stores like Urban Outfitters and Target.
The “fast talking, electronic” 1996 Hasbro game told players to “bop it, twist it, pull it, pass it” in its 1998 carnival-themed ad.
Nintendo Game Boy
The original Game Boy, which came out in 1989, turned 30 this year. It’s led to dozens of successors; its first update in-colour, Game Boy Colour, was released in 1998.
Sony’s robot dog, Aibo ERS-110
The first of Canon’s PowerShot series of point-and-shoot cameras was the model 600, released in 1996.
The first TiVo DVR (digital video recorder) rolled out in 1999.
USB Flash Drive
The first patent for the USB flash drive was filed by M-Systems in 1999, and the first USB flash drive sold was the ThumbDrive by Trek 2000 International in 2000.
The CD was first released in Japan in 1982 and Europe in 1983.
The first smartphone was the the IBM SimonPersonal Communicator, released in 1994. It featured a touchscreen and apps (e.g. calculator, calendar, mail, address book, notepad).
We’ve had DVDs since the mid-90s. Sony, Philips, Toshiba, and Time Warner were involved in creating the common DVD format agreed upon in 1995.
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