Sony Walkman best gadget of the last 50 years

By Derek Sooman on December 27, 2005, 7:30 AM
What's the best gadget of the last 50 years? The iPod? The mobile phone? The USB flash drive? The TiVo? No, no, itís none of these, according to PC World magazine - the best gadget of the last 50 years is in fact the Sony Walkman.

As the magazine notes, no one had quite seen anything like the Sony Walkman when it first appeared. The battery powered blue and silver cassette player changed the social landscape, with people suddenly listening to music on the move, whilst they walked down the street or sat on the train or bus.

Its interesting to note that now, some 26 years after the Walkman appeared, Sony is updating the little device. Reincarnated as an MP3 player, the new Walkman will be available in two capacity sizes - 20GB (NW-A3000) and 6GB (NW-A1000).

User Comments: 13

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mentaljedi said:
LOL. I was sure that it would be something else. But then again, it makes perfect sense. I was just expecting something...bigger.
asphix said:
makes perfect sense.. but I would have guessed something different if asked. I would say the CD burner, or even affordable personal computer. Though a computer isnt really a gadget is it?
Bartzy said:
Look how it affected the life of us all. When you say Walkman, you mean a cassette player, not Sony's player in particular. But actually, "Walkman" is just a name for Sony's... Walkman.Anyway, I think that the Walkman was a great success and a huge step forward for us all, but I think that they could dig deeper and find a gadget that influenced us more than the Walkman. iPod is definetely not it, neither TiVo or Disk-on-keys. Mobile phones are a great suggestion :)By the way, the Walkman in the picture was the first design ? If so, it was a good-looking player :)
Phantasm66 said:
Hehehe what about those key-rings for your car keys that played a tune when you whistled?
cyrax said:
The walkman brings back so many memories. When friends brought their small satellite speakers to class parties, the walkman did its job.Way to go sony!
mirob said:
Maybe the new MP3 players will come with free spyware too.Forget Sony.
PUTALE said:
I think it's a fair statement. The walkman really change the way we listen to the music. Without it, it will never be the portable cd player, let along today's ever so popular ipod. I still remember my first walkman:)It's unfortunate the company that was so forefront in the technology didn't really have anything remotely close to it during this digital media time. I wish sony can produce something that will again bring it to the top of its game.
Rage_3K_Moiz said:
My cousin still has his with all the packaging and everything intact. And it still works as well as it did when he bought it new! I have to say, it was a real good quality product from Sony and an icon that redefined a generation. Most of today's MP3 players are based on the same design. I guess what goes around comes around, eh?
otmakus said:
I agree with Bartzy's opinion, mobile phone should be the best gadget in the last 50 years. I'm sure the number of mobile phones ever sold is greater than the number of walkman ever sold. It's just that no one mobile phone company dominate the market like Sony did with walkman.
Arcanum said:
Same here- sure, walkman was a very original idea, but I don't see why it would be the best gadget in the last 50 years.Mobile phones have proven themselves way more useful than walkmans, that alone is enough to take the title of the best gadget, but what do I know? :)
Chamot said:
Mobile phone argument is a good one; it's gonna sound funny but i'm not sure if it's as 'gadget-y' as the walkman though. :)
Phantasm66 said:
[b]Originally posted by mirob:[/b][quote]Maybe the new MP3 players will come with free spyware too.Forget Sony.[/quote]LOL!
OmniWraith said:
Anything that's the first of its kind is bound to be the "most impressive" because it paved the way for everything else similar to it. (The Beatles paved the way for most rock music today, microsoft paved the way for other types of OSs, Nvidia paved the way for sweet videocards that are being given out on online contests.....)
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