Technological revolutions

Click to follow
The Independent Tech


Having sold two million units since its launch in 2001, it is no exaggeration to say the iPod is a once-in-a-generation product that revolutionised music accessibility and sparked a wave of imitations. Executives at Apple led by Jon Rubenstein created the audio player out of the company's "digital hub", with the aim of placing "a thousand songs in your pocket". Ranging from the "mini" and "shuffle" models to the larger, original "classic" and "touch" with a colour screen, iPods are universally run with "iTunes" software downloadable from Apple.

Nokia 5110

It didn't take photos or video. It had no infra-red, internet, "media" or games – apart from Snake. But it made calls, perhaps – with one of the best battery life capabilities of any mobile phone – more reliably than any of its thousands of successors. Though now considered to be a "brick", the Nokia 5110, launched in 1998, was the first truly popular mobile.

Sony Walkman

At the time of its launch, this distinctly Eighties product was, believe it or not, the must-have portable accessory for the music lover. The idea of walking around with a selection of tapes is now unheard of.

Model T

Though it was the 1908 "Model T", or "Tin Lizzie", that Henry Ford is reputed to have offered in "any colour as long as its black", the classic motor, produced relatively cheaply on an assembly line, is credited as that which "put America on wheels", and burst driving into the mainstream. The car, produced until 1927, was made in black because the paint dried quicker.