Top 10 Electronic Gadgets
A decade of change, one filled with pleasant surprises and bitter disappointments. Things just aren’t the same anymore, with seemingly every device becoming smarter and automation taking center stage in our lives.
From smartphones that were once too big to hold to smart home lighting and smart thermostats, change has indeed been the only constant.
With the ever-increasing capabilities of the gadgets around, the future looks brighter than ever before. But before heading into a world where technology entwines further with humanity, let’s look back to where we came from, where some trends began and where some took shape.
Here are some of the biggest steps forward we took in the 2010’s.
1. Tesla Model S (2012)
Thanks to the folks at Tesla, electric vehicles finally have the wow factor that they had lacked for years.
With slick convertibles and SUVs, their cars made a mockery of the petrol-fueled sports cars of yesteryear.
With incredible top speeds, acceleration and the mileage to last long journeys among other innovations, Elon Musk’s vision for a future driven forward by EVs became a reality.
The Model S could spring from 0-100 kmph in a mind-boggling 2.4 seconds, faster than any other production sedan in existence.
It soon began to outsell its competitors, many of which were premium sedans running on incredibly powerful but hungry petrol engines. Ushering in a revolution in a segment that rarely changes is truly an incredible achievement.
2. Apple AirPods (2016)
Even though they were ridiculed for their lackluster sound and their resemblance to cigarette butts, no one could have predicted the lasting impact Apple’s AirPods would have on the audio industry.
They soon become the best-selling truly wireless earbuds in the world, carving a new segment of listeners who wanted incredible battery life and portability.
While one can certainly find alternatives that sound better, its charging case, simplicity, and impeccable iOS integration are features that set them a class apart.
It joins most Apple products in reinvigorating the market and has become a status symbol in the industry today.
3. Oculus Rift (2013)
Before the Rift, virtual reality had never truly left the realms of sci-fi fantasy. While Microsoft’s Kinect and the wildly popular Wii from Nintendo pushed the industry forward with their motion-tracking, Oculus did something different.
They immersed one in a way no other medium of entertainment could. Consumer-friendly virtual reality systems are no longer a pipe-dream thanks to the incredible high-resolution display and the motion-tracking capabilities of the Oculus Rift.
Several developers began to take advantage of this technology. They began to design games that could run with computers that one could find in most homes.
From expansive worlds to delicate yet intricate new mechanics, the Rift transcends boundaries to offer you an experience you didn’t know you wanted.
4. Microsoft Surface (2013)
While smartphones and tablets pushed the envelope of what it meant to be a computer, Microsoft tried to do the opposite.
Their range of Surface and Surface Pro convertible devices showed that Windows too could run on portable machines.
Although their first iterations were bulky and ran a limited version of Windows, they soon perfected them.
With high-resolution displays, stylus input and incredible performance in a thin frame, the Surface Pros created a new niche of devices.
Despite Apple mocking them initially, the design inspiration for the iPad Pro could not be any more obvious. Microsoft showed the world that computers that could perform under heavy workloads were no longer confined to the desk.
5. Pebble Smartwatch (2013)
While smartwatches that something that nearly every big giant had tried their hands on, they still weren’t good enough.
Terrible battery life and bulky designs meant that they were a far cry from what consumers wanted from a watch replacement. But in 2013, the Pebble smartwatch showed us what smartwatches could do.
As a second screen for your smartphone, the Pelle let users forget about their phones in their pockets without skipping a beat.
It even had an App Store of its own, which lets users download apps that could improve their experience. True, the Apple Watch made its entrance into the scene two years later. But it couldn’t match the incredible battery life, features, and affordability of the Pebble.
Its effects on the smartwatch market can be felt to this day.
6. iPhone X (2017)
Few companies can make moves as bold as launching a design that would divide its users for the sake of novelty as Apple can.
The iPhone X got rid of the iconic home button and offered a user experience that was based on gestures. And with a notch big enough to land an airplane on, its nearly bezel-free screen wasn’t to everyone’s taste.
Its divisive appearance and its high price didn’t shoo buyers away, in fact, they showed up in droves to Apple Stores a day before they released, in typical fashion.
It was a huge hit and changed the landscape of the smartphone forever. Headphone jacks were forsaken by most manufacturers and most took visual cues from the phone that was a notch above the rest.
7. Nest Thermostat (2011)
Nest’s Learning Thermostat revolutionized the smart home industry.
Now owned by Google, its utilitarian design and simple user interface gave controlling the temperature a healthy dose of automation.
They built a thermostat the way one would build a phone, in a world where most thermostats were made by plumbing companies.
It ushered in an era where manufacturers of traditional items began to incorporate technology into them to automate the process entirely, if not only in part.
Nest set the tone and expectation for how smart home appliances should function and cost. And with several advances looming on the horizon, we have Nest to thank.
8. Amazon Echo (2014)
Computers that answer questions. Straight out of sci-fi films and novels, digital assistants were far from a reality.
Until Amazon’s Alexa entered our homes with the Echo smart speaker.
It informed you of the weather, told interesting stories and was all around a great companion at your home. Its abilities soon expanded to connect with other smart home devices, from lighting, alarms to even your car.
It exploded in popularity and almost six years later, Alexa has become an integral part of millions of homes across the globe. Despite heave competition from heavyweights such as Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri, they couldn’t beat the incredible ecosystem that Echo owners had bought into.
Soon Alexa may become as common as television sets and the telephone.
9. Nintendo Switch (2017)
Nintendo has always done gaming differently. And that has almost always been at the cost of performance.
But things were different this time. Experiences that were often restricted to consoles that stayed at home could be now ported into ones that could work on a plane or in bed.
The Switch was able to run expansive open-world games such as Legend Of Zelda and The Witcher 3 as though it were a PC in its own right.
And with a healthy selection of hits from Pokemon to Super Smash Bros, it slowly became the console to own this generation.
10. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2012)
Amazon’s Kindle was the first device to popularize e-reading and threaten bookshelves across the world.
But it was the Paperwhite that perfected an already solid reading experience. It offered an integrated light that let one read in the dark.
And in 2015, a high-resolution display that made the text as crisp as it were on paper finally achieved what Amazon had promised. It had finally created an e-reader that was perhaps even better than a real book.
Mohan is a Junior Associate at Swag Swami, an online E-Commerce portal for Tech themed T-shirts and merchandise in India. He is also an avid gamer who spends his free time logged into Steam.