10 gadgets that changed the world

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As part of its special issue evaluating 300 technology-based products, Wired Test, published by Wired, lists “10 Gadgets That Changed the World.”

There are two things that are intriguing about the compilation by Christopher Null. First, instead of just listing a generic product like a television, which was the oldest device ranked, the magazine names a specific version (the RCA Model 630TS) that either defined the category or caused it to catch on. It lists when the device became all the rage (1946 in the case of television).

The magazine says the Sharp Aquos LC-65D90U is the television to have these days.

Listed second: The Western Electric 500 Desk Telephone (1949). “Nearly every phone that followed, from wall-mounted versions for kitchens to the bedroom-specific Princess model, took design cues from the 500.”

Rounding out the top 10 of what the magazine calls “the 10 most life-altering devices of the modern era”: The Kodak Brownie 127 Camera (1953); Bell & Howell Director Series Model 414 Zoomatic 8-millimeter Movie Camera (circa 1962); Amana Radarange Microwave (1967); JVC HR-3300 Videocassette Recorder; Atari 2600 Video Computer System (1977); Sony Walkman TPS-L2 Portable Cassette Player (1979); I.B.M. 5150 Personal Computer (1981); and the Motorola StarTAC Cell Phone (1996).

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