Slideshow

In pictures: A decade of weird, wacky and wonderful gadgets

The first decade of the 21st Century definitely had its moments when it came to gadgets, inventions and promotions. Some technology went forwards, others went backwards and some just went nowhere. Here are some of our favourites.

  • 2002: Nokia’s 3300 music phone incorporated a portable digital music player, a stereo FM radio, a digital recorder, advanced ring tones, enhanced messaging services such as Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and games. Does anybody still have one?

  • 2003: Gary Burghoff, who portrayed Radar on the hit TV series M*A*S*H, shows off the M*A*S*Hslot machine created by IGT. The machine was on display in the IGT booth at the Global Gaming Expo, the gaming industry's premier trade show. Anybody seen one since?

  • 2004: Belkin's TuneDok-L iPod Mini docker for a car's cupholder. Mmmm. Where's the garden gnome that goes with it?

  • 2004: Pantech's PH-S3500 gaming cell phone. It was only six years ago.

  • 2004: SSD Co's Xavix gaming console and related wireless sports equipment for tennis, bowling and baseball. And then along came Wii … and that was that, as they say in the calssics.

  • 2007: Atech Flash Technology's toilet paper-dispensing iPod dock. No idea why this one didn’t clean up .. flush out a huge following … make a mess of the opposition. Actually, was there any?

  • 2007: A breakthrough version of Honda's humanoid robot, Asimo (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), made its North American debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The latest Asimo incorporated several significant technological advancements including a streamlined new design, even more fluid and quick movements and the ability to run at nearly 7kph. We jog faster than that! Asimo even toured Australia Alive & Unplugged Australian the same year. There are now more than 100 in existence – at under $US1 million a pop. We get closer to The Jetsons all the time.

  • 2007: Microvision unveiled, at the CES, the world's smallest and thinnest full-colour projection display prototype, about the size of a 'thin mint' chocolate candy. Ever tried finding something that big in a full bag?

  • 2007: Dresser Wayne worked with Microsoft to include a Windows-based OS in its Ovation iX gasoline pumps so customers could use touchscreen technology to purchase their gasoline, pay via a Wi-Fi connection and watch interactive video on a 15-inch screen. Retailers could offer their own ads on the pump's screens, or sell advertising to other companies that can display ads on the pumps. The World Cup at the servo anybody?

  • 2007: iRobot Create is an affordable, programmable robot. It is designed for aspiring roboticists, advanced high-school and college students, and serious robot developers. This is a good idea. It’s just beyond us, that’s all.

  • 2008: The Black-Eyed Peas' will.i.am, Yoko Ono, Natasha Bedingfield, and Pat Monahan of Train unveiled the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a non-profit mobile recording studio dedicated to providing students of all ages with free hands-on opportunities to make music and produce video projects. Two thumbs up from us. Imagine if there these buses all over the world.

  • 2008: Asustek Computer planned to bring Wii-like wireless gaming to PCs with the Eee Stick, two controllers that use motion sensors so people can bowl, slash swords and play other games on a PC. The devices were designed for PC gamers, not game console users. They work with PC game pads, mice and keyboards and connect to the PC via USB (universal serial bus) ports. Two years later it’s … well, actually, where is it? We think it may be deceased.

  • 2007: Senior vice president and general manager of Digital Enterprise Group, Pat Gelsinger ,demonstrates a dual quad-core extreme gaming system, codenamed Skulltrail. It got criticised by the media for being ahead of its time, due, in part, to the lack of sport for 8-core computing with many popular games. The components are also very expensive.The name, Skulltrain, is very cool though.

  • 2010: The VholdR ContourHD Helmet Camera is a new helmet camera option. Like other helmet cams, it offers a variety of mounts, and a self-contained, sturdy build that will allow it to take a beating and keep on shooting. But the ContourHD adds an extra feature: it records full 720P HD video, with sound. The Contour HD 1080P records 1080P HD video, and is especially compelling for people who want the ability to capture still images while engaged in death-defying activity. Fantastic. Our new favourite gadget. Imagine everybody walking down the street wearing one (with a helmet). And, of course, perfect for all those death-defying moments in your life. What do you mean you don't have any?

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