Technology Breakthroughs from the 80s that Everyone Forgot About

We are living in the digital future. Cars are faster, TVs are clearer, and smartphones are, arguably, our best companion. It’s hard to believe that thirty years ago, life was so different from the convenience and efficiencies we have now. Here are a few tech breakthroughs in the 80s that have fallen off our radar, but were important pieces of history that bequeathed to us our tech-landscape of today.

IBM Personal Computer, 1981


Without this seminal invention, you would probably only find computers in labs, schools and the military. We can’t stress how important the shift to the commercialized market is to our lives today.


Sony Walkman WM2, 1981

With music streaming and smartphones accommodating our music needs now, it’s hard to imagine that people used to tote around multiple cassette tapes just to listen to their favorite music.


Sony Beta Movie BCC 100p Recorder, 1984

The camcorder was the father of video making, and without this watershed invention, moving pictures would only exist on the TV or in movie theatres. Today, anyone can be a filmmaker with just a smartphone or a camera. Amazing.


Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, 1984

Yes, that’s Martin Cooper, the inventor of the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, the phone that changed the way we communicated. We’ve come so far from these big and bulky cell phones, with devices no bigger than the palm of our hands that fulfill all our entertainment needs. We can’t wait for the future!


Nintendo Power Glove, 1989

The 1980s wasn’t just an important decade for communications tech, but was also momentous for the world of gaming. With leaps in Virtual Reality apparatus today (such as Manus VR Gloves that extend the virtual to our sense of touch), many forget that the very first step was taken by Nintendo with their creation of the Power Glove. That’s one small grab for man, but one tight grip on the virtual dimension for mankind.


Watch more of the birth of modern tech on the new season of Halt and Catch Fire every Monday at 21:00 BKK/JKT | 22:00 HK/SIN.

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