Nostalgic gadgets: devices that take us back in time
Nostalgia hit hard when in May of this year Apple announced the death of the iconic Apple iPod. People posted pictures of their old iPods and remembered that the device was their permanent accessory and a status symbol when it came to music trends and gadgets at the time. However, as fashion is enjoying a revival from time to time, some of these gadgets are also back in shape, perhaps with better and advanced technologies.
Walkman was a portable audio tape recorder and player. The Sony Walkman became very popular in the late 1970s. Sony had launched the Walkman audio cassette player in 1979 and sold thousands of tape devices. As older models were discontinued, Sony reinvented its Walkman and relaunched the model as A100 Walkman A Series equipped with modern features such as Android and Wi-Fi compatibility and digital noise cancellation. It also offers basic versions of the Walkman starting at Rs 4,000 and going up to Rs 25,000. The design of the Walkman has been changed to suit a modern style and looks a bit like an iPod. The device also comes with an HD touchscreen and high battery life.
Instant cameras were widely used and were popular in the middle of the 20th century. They were first developed by Polaroid Corporation and then a number of other manufacturers followed to release their products. In 2008, the cameras were shut down and production was halted. The following year, the company was acquired by PLR IP Holdings LLC which now markets the Fuji Instax instant camera among other portable products. Today, Fujifilm has launched various colors in the Instax Mini camera line. From kitten shapes to square patterns and a range of neutral colors, the Instax camera is all the rage among young consumers and is priced between Rs 3,000 and Rs 14,000.
Blackberry first launched its mobile device in 1999 as a two-way pager. Since then, Blackberry devices have seen innovation, better design, highs and eventual death. Blackberry’s mobiles like Pearl, Curve Bold and many others sold widely in the second half of 2000s. Its QWERTY keyboard, the BBM (Blackberry Messenger), became very popular among both – business and young people. . It also became a status symbol until iPhones took on the tag. However, while innovating, brands often invoke nostalgia to attract consumers. And so, this year, Unihertz launched a Blackberry-style Unihertz Titan Slim which resembles the old one in design and has the QWERTY keyboard, a step away from the standard of touch screens. However, the reviews of the phone were not favorable and the model did not really thrill the users.
The mechanical device used for typing had become redundant with the advent of laptops and computers with keyboards that made typing easier. However, the nostalgia market has witnessed the revival of the typewriter, and a number of brands have sold the modern version of the typewriter on e-commerce platforms. The device also offers distraction-free writing. While the retro typewriters can also be found for sale on e-commerce platforms, brands like Casio, LEGO Ideas have also reinvented typewriters for modern use.
Back then, radios were an integral part of almost every home. It also acted as a cheaper and portable alternative to televisions and a source of information and music. With the invention of radios on cell phones, smartphones, and cheaper televisions, radios eventually became redundant. However, for those who grew up listening to the radio, Saregama Carvaan radios were launched, marketed and advertised, particularly targeting the older generation. Saregama Carvaan radios have become extremely popular among those looking for a nostalgic touch and are available in multiple colors and with songs in all languages. The design of the device has been faithful to the design of the original radio design.
Until the 1990s and somewhat into the early 2000s, audio cassettes were widely used for recording and listening to music around the world. By 2003, cassette production had dwindled and nearly come to an end with the introduction of new technologies. However, along with other nostalgic gadgets, the audio cassette is making a comeback. In fact, in some parts of the world, the tape was never dead. During the pandemic, several nostalgic trends have made a comeback, including nostalgic TV shows on OTT platforms. Among them, the return of the cassette. That year, rock band Don Broco also capitalized on the popularity of CDs and cassettes by selling their tapes. Tapes by several other artists like Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga are also widely sold. The year 2021 saw cassette sales peak as people went down the nostalgia lane.