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The 90’s gadgets that ruled our generation before smartphones wiped them out

Remember the walkman? As a kid, I was fascinated by it. Unfortunately, even after a lot of drama, my parents made me settle for a toy replica. Anyway, the point here is that many of these cool devices from the 80s and 90s ceased to exist as mobile phones took over the world. Let us look back at some of these gadgets that were a part of our lives, but eventually got supplanted by the smartphones.

1. Alarm clock


The simple alarm clocks that would give you irritating buzz in the mornings are being replaced by the smartphone apps. Phones even give you the option to track your sleeping schedule, which is something the humble alarm clock was never capable of. You can even assign your favourite song as the alarm tone. That’s much better than waking up to ear piercing sound on Mondays.

2. The pocket size camera


The ever-improving cameras on the smartphones triggered the collapse of the compact digital cameras. Photography, which once required some skills, is now accessible to almost everyone. Since smartphones are connected devices, sharing photos has become easier than ever. With OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) and larger sensors, the chances for the compact cameras to regain the market share seem pretty thin.

3. The Walkman


Back in the good-old days, Sony’s Walkman was a prime source for entertainment while on the go. It would play the tunes from cassettes that would hold around an hour’s music. However, these portable audio players phased out as MP3 players came into the market. These flash-storage based players including Apple’s iPod met with the same fate as smartphones started becoming more affordable. As manufacturers crammed in more storage and improved the sound quality of phones, standalone music players couldn’t stand a chance in this competition.

4. Portable gaming devices


We all love video games. Back in the days, the biggest draw for gamers was portable consoles such as Nintendo’s Game Boy and then PSP. For kids, these gadgets used to top the Christmas wish list. Nowadays, with powerful hardware and GPU, smartphones have left little room for dedicated portable gaming consoles to flourish. The future of these devices looks pretty bleak. With the latest smartphones destroying each and every gadget that lies in its path, manufacturers are unlikely to develop handheld gaming devices as such.

5. Calculator


The calculator is one such device which is slowly marching towards its grave. Smartphones can easily handle simple calculations and also unit conversions. And with the Artificial Intelligence (AI) backed systems in devices such as iPhone and Google’s Pixel, one can simply command the inbuilt system to do the math for you. Moreover, there are plenty of third-party apps for if you require a scientific calculator.

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