Consumer Electronics – Seven Years Down The Track

By Mike Wheeler

Seven years is a long time in football, and to New South Wales rugby league coach Ricky Stuart it must seem like a life time. It has been that long since New South Wales last held the State of Origin title, and now another 12 months has to go by before they get another crack at the Queenslander So, we thought we’d take a trip down memory lane and see what pieces of consumer electronic gear made their debut in 2005, the last time the Blues lifted the trophy.

Samsung’s DLP TV
This was one of the most popular items at CES in 2005. Utilising Digital Light Processing, or DLP, technology usually found in projectors, punters said this was ‘impressive’ and ‘slim’. Maybe, but it looks decidedly archaic compared to television you can buy today. It would be another two years before LCD televisions would become affordable for the average household, and DLP-enabled televisions were put on the technological scrap heap.

Gizmondo Gaming Console
Looking like a cross between a retro digital radio and a Nintendo 3DS that had been stung by a swarm of bees, the Gizmondo device was described as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of portable gaming. As well as having a storage slot, the ability to text message and email, it also had a GPS receiver – for what reason, we’re still unsure. Pundits said it ‘might be the console to beat this year’ as it was designed to take on the PSP and Nintendo DS. As history has shown, it didn’t quite work out that way. However, when you look at the specs, you could argue it was ahead of its time.

Sony Vaio FS Series Laptop
2005 was the year that laptops were starting to make inroads into the portable PC market. It was also a time when people were still jockeying between their home Desktop PC and their laptop if they were lucky enough to have one. The size and shape hasn’t changed much, but the specs? How about a massive 100GB of storage? Or weighing in at 3kg? A Pentium M processor, anyone?

Nokia 6170 Mobile Phone
The term ‘smartphone’ had yet to be coined and the iPhone was still a twinkle in Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive’s eyes. The Nokia 6170 was produced at a time when the Finnish-based company had a massive chunk of the world market in mobile phones, and its specs were at the cutting edge. It had voice dialling and commands, push-to-talk calling, as well as WAP web browsing capabilities. However there was no touch screen, no 3G connectivity, and a teeny weeny screen.

Olympus M:robe 500 MP3 Player
There was a time when camera manufacturer Olympus tried to spread its wings into the MP3 player market with it M:robe series of devices. Forget the awkward name, the awkward mechanics of the unit made it a dead duck before it got going. Debuting at CES 2005, that year also happened to be the its last. It did have 20GB or memory, a 3.7-inch touch screen and a 1.3 megapixel camera. What it also had was a massive price – $499, which back then was still pretty hefty.

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