Can You Guess the Vintage of These Gadgets?

Lauren Lubas

Image: Monty Rakusen / Cultura / Getty Images

About This Quiz

We love our gadgets. As a matter of fact, you're probably reading this description on your phone, tablet or computer right now. We live in a world where our gadgets can begin to define us. We are attached to our phones, we love to know what is happening in the world (and with our friends) whenever we open a piece of technology, and even though we find that these things give us the convenience we want, we often forget that there were gadgets used for convenience and information long before Apple came out with the first smartphone. 

The gadgets you'll see in this quiz come from all different periods and range in use from helping people put their shoes on to assisting people in communicating with others on different continents. If you think you know technology and gadgets, it's time to test your identification skills (and we'll totally understand if you have to guess on a few of these). This quiz might seem tough, but if you can tell us the dates these gadgets came out, you will hold high ranks among the tech junkies of the world. What are you waiting for? It's time to see if you can guess the vintage of all of these gadgets.

In July of which year did this portable music device come out?

If you're wondering what on earth could have inspired the iPod, let us introduce you to the Sony Walkman. This little guy was in production for nearly 20 years and basically paid for itself with all of the entertainment it offered.

Do you know when this music player was first released?

The phonograph gave us hours and hours of crackling sound from records ... well, maybe not us, but people in the late 1800s. They were expensive, and couldn't necessarily be found in every house.

When was the transistor radio invented?

Before the Walkman made an appearance, you could carry around this little radio to listen to tunes or news while you were on the go. It didn't have headphones, but it did have a tuning dial.

Can you name the date Kodak released the Brownie Camera?

Cameras were hard to come by at the turn of the century, and Kodak wanted to change that. They created the brownie camera and marketed it toward children. However, a lot of soldiers carried it with them, because it was lightweight.

In what year was Apple's MP3 player released?

The Apple iPod was first released in 2001, a couple of months before Christmas. It gave us the ability to access multiple songs without carrying discs or cartridges and switching everything out. It was a genius move by the company.

Do you know which year Canon released its pocketronic calculator?

When it comes to handheld devices, calculators are often taken advantage of. This guy was one of the first pocket calculators, but it was also an adding machine that printed your calculations. It was awesome.

What year was the first VCR released?

In 1972, everyone wanted to know how they could watch their favorite shows without having to read the TV Guide. That's when Phillips came out with the videocassette recorder, or the VCR.

Do you know when this gaming console hit the market?

The Atari 2600 changed the way we think about home entertainment. Not only did people want a way to entertain themselves during rainy days, but they also wanted to show off their electronic games to their friends and neighbors.

The TomTom was an excellent navigational device. When did it first come out?

TomTom first released a navigation device in 1991. Now, over 25 years later, GPS and navigation are basically free on every smartphone. However, buying a TomTom back in the day was extremely pricey.

Do you know when the Phonemate 400 answering machine was invented?

Since the telephone was invented, people were trying to find a way to ensure that they didn't miss a call. It took until 1971 for a company to create an answering machine for home use, and that was the Phonemate 400.

Considered one of the first handheld personal assistants, when did the BlackBerry first make an appearance?

While the BlackBerry company has been around for quite some time, the first email assistant with a screen was the BlackBerry 850, which was released in 1999. Most businesspeople owned one.

Do you know when the first iPad came out?

After the release of the first iPhone in 2007, Apple got to work on something bigger and better for people to buy. The iPad was basically a giant iPhone without the ability to make calls.

This is a picture of the first Polaroid camera. Do you know its vintage?

When it came to instant photos, Polaroid really wears the crown. Despite what certain songs tell you, you should never shake a Polaroid picture to make it develop faster. This can damage the image.

Can you tell us when the first Kindle was released?

The first Kindle eReader was released in 2007, and it sold for a whopping $399. It didn't have a touch screen or even a color screen. It just held a whole lot of books. If you were planning on reading 300 books on vacation, this was totally worth it.

This device recorded your TV shows while you were out. Do you know when it was first released?

TiVo promised that you could pause and rewind live television while it was happening. However, if you couldn't control the remote, you would have a lot of problems skipping those commercials without missing part of your show.

The first DVD player that hit the market was made by Toshiba. Do you know what year that was?

Laserdiscs fell flat on their faces, but the smaller DVD really changed the way we thought about home entertainment. It was a clearer image and you didn't have to rewind. What could be better?

Can you tell us when the first PlayStation was released?

Playing a video game on a disc console wasn't necessarily unheard of in 1994, but the release of Sony's PlayStation really changed the gaming world completely, and the PlayStation 2 broke sales records across the board.

This game console hurt people. Do you know when it came out?

The Nintendo Wii was the first video game that you actually had to use with physical motions. This resulted in broken lamps littering garbage dumps in late 2006. However, the game was ahead of its time and made a huge splash.

When was the unbreakable Nokia cell phone first released?

If you came of age (or received your first cell phone) between 1999 and 2003, you most likely owned one of these bad boys. They probably still worked when you had to upgrade because they were basically indestructible.

Do you know when the Palm Pilot 1000 came out?

Yes, in 1996, a personal assistant was released that helped you get all of the information that you needed right at your fingertips. The BlackBerry took this guy down about three years later, but it gave us everything we needed to survive.

Apple iBooks came in various colors, but do you know when they were first released?

Apple iBooks were personal computers that you could take anywhere. They were as simple to use as the iMac (when it came to connecting to the Internet), and they looked great (unlike those boxes and bricks others were carrying around at the time).

Here's a more recent one. When was the Oculus Rift first released?

Virtual reality has been a long-coveted science. People have wanted to create this since before the '80s, and it took a long time to perfect. The Oculus Rift is the first headset that has gotten close to perfection.

This guy replaced the Walkman, but do you know its vintage?

Sony made a killing on the Walkman, but when the Discman was released, it was a little more complicated, as everyone owned cassette tapes. The Discman made a comeback in the early '90s though.

Do you know when the first Fitbit was released?

The Fitbit goes hand in hand with your smartphone. It helps you monitor your vitals and all of the physical activity you do in a day. It creates a log for you so you don't have to.

What year did the Apple Macintosh get released?

Apple wanted to create a personal computer for the home and office that people could actually use. This little box is worth a fortune these days to collectors, but it didn't have a lot of memory (because it didn't need it).

Can you tell us when the NES was born?

The Nintendo Entertainment System was released in 1983, and they made cartridges for it until the mid 1990s. This video game counsel was such a hit that people kept on buying it for years.

If you wanted a handheld video game, the Nintendo Game Boy was the way to go. Do you know its vintage?

In 1989, Nintendo came out with a portable gaming system that allowed you to switch out cartridges and play your favorite games on the go. Though it was released in North America in 1989, it didn't hit European shelves until 1990.

In what year did JVC release the VideoMovie Camcorder?

It was released in 1983, but it started to fly off the shelves in 1985 after it was a featured prop in the classic movie "Back to the Future" (1985). This was an easy-to-use device to help you record precious moments with your family.

Do you know what year the Commodore 64 was released?

This state of the art computer was made for home and business. It gave people in 1982 the ability to play games, compute and word process all at once. It was a household name throughout the '80s.

When was the first Roku on the market?

While many of our devices have built-in hubs for our favorite streaming apps, the Roku changed the way people watched movies and television. If you're wondering why your cable bill is so high, it's because no one uses cable anymore.

Believe it or not, this is a laptop (ish). Do you know when the Osborne 1 was released?

The Osborne 1 was considered the very first portable computer that was successfully marketed to people. While the display size is smaller than a calculator's, it still gave people what they needed at the time.

This little guy changed the way we look at our phones. When did it first come out?

The iPhone was the first ever smartphone. Many people can actually tell you where they were when they first heard of this crazy device, and they'll always remember — there's an app for that.

Smart thermostats aren't uncommon these days, but do you know when the Nest Thermostat was released?

The Nest Thermostat was marketed as a "Learning Thermostat" that could understand when you wanted it hotter and when you wanted it colder. You could program the device to use less energy while you were away.

While drones have been used since the early 1900s as military devices, do you know when the first consumer drone was released?

These days, drones are used for pretty much everything, including package delivery. However, they were initially only used for military matters, and in the early days, they were manned. These days, the only people necessary to work a drone are those who control it from afar.

When was this transportation gadget invented?

In 1999, someone reinvented the bicycle to make it, so no one had to pedal anymore. The Segway has a cult following, and you can join a club where you ride these little beasts around cities. It's interesting.

Do you know when the Bluetooth first came out?

The '90s brought us a lot of technology that needed a little help, and the Bluetooth was no exception. This device is now built in to basically every electronic we own today, but in the '90s, wireless technology was just getting its feet wet.

Can you tell us when the first cordless home phone was invented?

While many tried to make this happen before, the first cordless phone on the market for consumer home use came out in 1994. Since then, few phones have been made with cords.

When was the ZX Spectrum first introduced?

The ZX Spectrum was the United Kingdom's Commodore 64. Its technology can be seen in many PC gaming devices these days. Their design was sleek, which was nearly unheard of at the time.

Everyone wanted one of these when they first came out. Do you know when the Apple Watch was first released?

If your phone wasn't enough to give you notifications and communicate with people, you definitely needed a watch that could show you everything that was happening on it. These things also acted as fitness bracelets at the same time.

While toasters today might look a little different, what is the vintage of the first toaster ever made?

Toasters give us a lot of great goodies, and some products are even designed around the toaster itself (Pop-Tarts). While the inner workings of this gadget haven't changed very much, exterior designs are always getting upgrades.

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