Juke Box

Although existing since the 1890s, the Seeburg Coorporation's Juke Box player of 7-inch singles would set a new standard for customer-selectable music in restaurants and cafeterias, etc.
Pirate Radio

Radio Luxembourg begins transmitting at 208m wavelength in English, playing popular music, in the evenings when the signal could be received relatively easily in the UK and wider Europe. Although not illegal for transmission, it was strictly not legal in the UK to receive such transmissions due to restrictive legislation to protect BBC radio. Over the next decade a number of "pirate radio" stations sprang up to compete, mostly transmitting outside territorial waters in the North Sea, and driving the growing popular music culture particularly in the UK. They were effectively shut down by a change in UK law in 1967, but by then had begun to be superseded by land-based popular music stations e.g. BBC Radio 1.
Magnetic Core Memory

Magnetic toroids in a 32 x 32 array can be magnetised in one direction or another by horizontal or vertical current and then their state read out by additional diagonal wires, giving the ability to store and read 1024 bits of information (128 bytes). Origin of the term "core" for system memory (hence "core dump"). Superseded by semiconductor memory in mid-1970s.
Kodak Brownie 127

This was a highly popular relatively cheap and widely used camera particularly in the UK, and started the craze for personal camera use.

Enabled cinema projection in very wide screen format (2.4:1) by using a technique patented by Henri Cretién in 1926. A distorting lens allowed an "anamorphic" image to be recorded on ordinary 35mm cine film, and the distortion was then reversed during projection. Was highly popular into the late 1960s until superseded by the superior but similar in principle Panavision.
Disk Drive

The IBM 350 was the first disk controller, using randomly accessed disks for data storage, ultimately vastly superior to the tape machines which had been used for data storage until then. IBM sold its hard disk drive business to Hitachi in 2003. Disk drives were later miniaturised typically to a 3.5" or 2.5" format for use in laptops.
Sony TR-63 pocket transistor radio

The Sony TR-63 was one of the first popular "pocket-sized" transistor radios to be mass-produced in Japan.
National direct dialling
without operator

Previously only local calls could be dialed directly, and all other calls were routed via a human operator. Telephone exchanges were modernised from relay-driven circuits to transistorised solid state circuitry, allowing a wider range of direct dialling with the addition of an area or city code prefix on each number.

The laser produces a beam of coherent (i.e in-phase) photons. Initially nicknamed " a solution looking for a problem", since its invention the laser has been microminiaturised and now crops up in all kinds of situations and devices, from optical disk players (CDs and DVDs) to laser printers, and in fibre-optic communication, as well as areas where its heat localisation is the main application (from medical cauterisation to welding).
Integrated Circuit

First monolothic integrated circuit on silicon, invented by Robert Noyce, Fairchild Semiconductor, using essentially the same manufacturing process as modern integrated circuits.
Light Emitting Diode

LEDs, pieces of silicon semiconductor doped with other elements that produce light when electrons flow through them, were first available only in red but later green and blue versions were developed, allowing them to replace the incandescent bulb as a more electrically efficient white light source. LEDs are also used as indicator lamps and are used with optical fibres in data transmission.
Telstar 1

Telstar 1 allowed the first transatlantic satellite communications, for half an hour every 2.5 hours.
Standard Definition TV

Move (UK example) to transmission with 625 scan lines in UHF waveband from 405 lines in VHF waveband brings higher quality black-and-white television pictures. Each country had their own broadcast standards but all except the USA and Japan (525 lines) eventually converged on 625 lines.
Portable Record Player

The reasonably-priced Dansette Popular was the first widely used portable record player in the UK. It allowed young people to get together on their own at home and play records, in particular popular music, causing a cultural revolution. The player had four speeds - 78, 45, 33 and 16 revolutions per minute (rpm), allowing different lengths and qualities of (analogue) recording, and could play the older acetate 78 rpm disks as well as the new single 45 rpm and long playing 33 rpm vinyl ones. Output was in mono only. Later models also allowed records to be stacked for playing consecutively.
International direct dialling
without operator

Once countries moved to transistorised telephone exchanges international direct dialling could be automated. A country code was prefixed to national telephone numbers.
Cassette Tape

Invented at Philips Eindhoven and dominated other alternatives after an agreement with Sony to license for free for their tape players. The two-sided 4 track analogue tape could eventually record in stereo on both sides and last for up to 2 hours. It was ideal for recording pop playlists for parties. Commercial albums were also produced in tape versions and soon outsold long playing vinyl records in particular when car radios began to incorporate cassette players. Eventually cassette tapes were also used as data storage for the first commercial personal computers.
Kodak Instamatic

Kodak introduces its first cassette colour film camera at a low price but with basic features, and later introduces more sophisticated versions with the same format. It was very popular and was the first "point and shoot" camera.
Syncom 3

Syncom 3 was the first geostationary satellite permitting continuous communication (transpacific).
IBM 360

A range of mainframe computers widely used in business and scientific organisations. Input was usually by 80 character card reader and output typically on teleprinter paper (132 columns wide). Internal memory was of the magnetic core type, typically 256 kB in size. External storage media were initially mainly tape systems but later also increasingly high density disks. All models (except the smallest) used the same 32-bit machine (operating) code instruction set.

The first minicomputer, aiming for low cost applications. Widely used in university laboratories and for computer control of industrial equipment. This and later models such as the VAX had their heyday until replaced by the personal computer. They had magnetic core memory and small tape decks for external storage. Typical input was by rolling video screen (24 lines by 80 characters) and output by teleprinter (132 characters wide). Graphic devices such as plotters and screens could also be attached. Machine instructions were 12 bit, which limits machine instructions, so even simple arithmetic had to be done by software routine. Nevertheless the user interface was much more akin to the personal computer operating systems that would follow, with simple English instructions. C and Unix were also developed for the minicomputer, and widely used thereafter.
Packet switching
data transfer

First use of data transmission by splitting into labelled fixed-length packets with a header section identifying document and sequence number, allowing reassembly at destination.
Colour Television

First broadcasts (UK) in colour by adding a colour (chrominance) signal to the black-and-white (luminance) signal transmitted, thus retaining backwards compatibility, invented by RCA. Three colour coding standards emerged - PAL, NTSC and SECAM - requiring translations for worldwide events.
Trimphone (dial)

Popular modern plastic phone originating in the UK and superseding original bakelite models. Had a warbling tone and illuminated dial.

The first network connections are made betwen UCLA, SRI International and UC Santa Barbara, demonstrating the feasibility of a distributed network and communications based on packet switching. This expands to 15 sites by 1971, and rapidly expands thereafter, stimulated by and stimulating international scientific collaboration. Initial applications included Telnet for direct communication, SMTP and POP3 for delayed communication (email), and file transfer (FTP).

Developed at Bell Labs by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy, and Joe Ossanna initially as a single tasking operating system, written in assembly language for a PDP-11 computer but later in C to be more universal. It became widely used in academic circles and thus came to be the operating system of choice for many of the devices underpinning internet operation. Later used as the basis of the Apple Mac OS.

The Intel 4004 was the first commercially available microprocessor, a multi-purpose clock-driven register-based digital integrated circuit processing binary data - a computer on a chip.
C Programming

Developed by Dennis Ritchie of Bell Labs to construct utilities running on Unix, grew to become one of the most widely used programming languages and is still one of the most popular. Gives low level access to systems but provides a portable framework enabling wider deployment. Is the progenitor of many subsequent languages.

Kodak radically improves its Instamatic camera adoptiong a narrower film cartridge and thus providing the first widely used pocket camera.
Ceefax (Teletext)

Of the 625 TV scan lines, only 576 could be used for picture transmission, so that the cathode ray could switch off at the end of the screen and return to the start. This gap could be filled with data transmission which could be decoded on suitably equipped sets. Up to 999 pages were in principle available and this was used for optional on-screen subtitles, weather and sport reports, and later for computer programme transmission. Pioneered by the BBC.
Pocket Calculator

The Texas Instruments SR-50, and its competitor the Hewlett-Packard HP-35, were the first reasonably-priced "pocket" scientific calculators, finally releasing engineers and scientists from the inaccuracy and drudgery of having to use slide rules and maths tables.
VHS Video

The video cassette recorder enabled the taping of television programmes for the first time at a reasonable price for home use, allowing the delayed viewing of programmes under audience control. There was a difficult battle between competing Japanese standards for the product, between Betamax from Sony and VHS backed by JVC, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Sharp, and others, eventually won by VHS. Programmes and films were also published on VHS cassettes, and their use only declined when DVDs became available. The picture shows front and back views of the HR-3300, introduced by JVC in 1976, and the first commercial machine to use the standard.

Glass fibre is used for the first time commercially to transmit digital telephone conversations at 6 Mbit/s 6 km over optical fibres in California. Since then the development of ever longer distance optical fibre data connections using LED (shorter range) or laser light (longer range) sources has continued, leading to the replacement of the copper-based telephone network with a fibre-optical one, right into user's homes. This digital system offers significantly higher bandwidth, and is gradually leading to the replacement of analogue telephones even in domestic settings.
RSA Encryption

Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Leonard Adleman describe a secure public key encryption system. The public key is made available to anyone, who uses it to encrypt their message. The private key is held only by the recipient to allow them to decode the message. This scheme had also been discovered by Clifford Cocks of GCHQ, but was kept secret until 1997. The scheme is still used as the basis of encryption on the internet.
Satellite TV

First introduced in the USA, and a few years later in Europe, home reception of television channels from satellites in geostationary orbit became possible and widespread. Initially the channels were free-to-air as the price of decoders was too high for consumer use, but later these were added allowing subscription services to start. Initial transmissions were analogue and were superseded by digital transmissions in the mid-1990s.

The 400 and 800 models of this 8-bit computer were highly popular for gaming and other personal use, starting a trend for home (personal) computers. They were very popular and set the field for later successors, such as the BBC Micro (Acorn Proton) in the UK.

Sony introduces a compact lightweight pocket cassette player, allowing people to hear their music over headphones while on the move.
Trimphone (button)

Successor to the dial trimphone (see 1968) with buttons replacing the dial and available in a variety of bright colours.

IBM established an open architecture standard for personal computers, introducing their own model but publishing the specifications to allow other manufacturers and users to assemble their own components and to develop extension boards which could be added to provide extra features and functionality. Generally used the disk operating system (DOS) provided by Microsoft, and many text-based programs, although low quality graphics and colour output were also possible.

Due to the open architecture standard of the IBM PC which used this operating system, and which was then adopted by hobbyists and other manufacturers, MS DOS became widely used and made the first fortune for Microsoft Inc. It became the standard basic operating system for the x86 arcitecture of the IBM PC and later Intel chips, still in use today.
Internet Protocol
Version 4

After some prior experimentation the present-day TCP/IP system is agreed. This has the main features of a 4 byte address for every externally visible computer on the network, adopting the packet-switching method for breaking down file transfers and sending them autonomously through various network routes, and making the initial sender and final recipient responsible for the data integrity.
Compact Disk

Developed jointly by Philips and Sony, the CD recorded music digitally, typically sampling the analogue sound 44,100 times per second per stereo channel and storing the sound amplitude at 16-bit (65536 channel) resolution, allowing a higher fidelity reproduction of the original recording than that available from analogue systems. Later adapted also for digital data dissemination and storage (as CD-ROM), and for video recording. Maximum capacity was 700 MB, enough for 75 minutes of music.

Motorola makes the DynaTAC 8000X commercially available for cellular communication, and the first call is made between the USA and Germany. It allowed 30 minutes of talk time. It came to be known as a "brick phone" due to its size.

Musical Instrument Digital Interface devised by Dave Smith and Chet Wood of Sequential Circuits in 1981. Became an industry standard for communication and control sharing among electronic musical instruments and computers. This not only stimulated the sales of such instruments and computers but also music production and performance using them.

Apple introduces the first widely used personal computer to have a graphical user interface, quickly establishing a new graphical standard for personal computing. The comparative ease of use versus the text-based IBM-type standard of MS DOS was a major win, and led to the first fortune for Apple Inc.

Under pressure from the success of the Macintosh operating system, Microsoft introduces Windows, with much of the same functionality but in an inferior implementation, as it was essentially an extension of DOS, not a separate operating system in its own right. This was only rectified in later versions, from Windows XP in 2001. Apple claimed Microsoft had copied their Macintosh interface in many respects, but this was defeated in the courts.

Introduced by IBM to establish a new standard and recapture its share in the PC market with major targeting of companies. It introduced the high density 3.5" floppy disk and VGA graphics (providing screen resolution of 640 x 480 in 16 colours) and supporting higher resolutions.
Format (GIF)

Introduced by CompuServe, this method of compressing images for wider distribution became highly popular due to the size saving. By reducing images to 256 colours or shades of grey, and using a look-up table for the commonest colour sequences of adjacent pixels, substantial savings could be made. The standard also allowed multiple images to be stored in a file, later allowing the introduction of animated GIFs. Such images are popular even today, as short animations on smartphones.
Liquid Crystal Screen

First demonstration by Sharp of 14" colour liquid crystal screen, sounding the death knell for the cathode ray tube as TV and computer monitor, and stimulating a massive development in Japan for high quality large screens. Small monochrome liquid crystal screens had existed already for more than 10 years for use in calculators and watches, and small colour screens were available for portable TVs already in 1984, but this was the first large scale product.

The first fully digital camera able to save images to a memory card, able to hold 10 pictures in the uncompressed format available at the time. However it was never sold and digital cameras did not start to become popular until the Casio QV-10 model, which added an LCD screen, was marketed in 1995.

Tim Berners-Lee, working for CERN, wrote the first web browser for viewing information made available on the internet. This revolutionised the sharing and linking of data worldwide.

Apple's Powerbook range establishes the modern standard for laptops, with the mouse situated in front of the keyboard.

Following invention in 1980 by Fujio Masuoka of Toshiba, first launched by SanDisk as a commercial product in an IBM Thinkpad as a 20 MB disk replacement. Flash memory went on to dominate storage media in computers, cameras and spartphones.

Nokia introduces its 101 analogue cellular mobile phone model in a "candybar" format weighing 280 grammes and effectively launches the mobile phone revolution and puts the company on the path to fortune. With subsequent digital models it eventually overtakes Motorola as the main provider of mobile phones.

A standard, established by the Joint Photographic Experts Group, for image compression, which discards high frequency changes in colour or intensity in a controlled way which maintains the essence of pictorial material convincing for the human eye while saving considerable filespace (e.g. factors of 10). The degree of compression can be controlled. Provides an important means of image compression for the internet and for digital photography. Can produce artifacts if used to compress e.g. line drawings.

A standard for audio compression (more correctly known as MPEG1 Audio Layer 3) established largely based on work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits in Erlangen, which by following similar principles to JPEG coding for pictures, recognising that lower frequency notes mask higher frequency ones, allowed significant (typically 10 times) compression of CD quality digital audio. This made it much easier to transmit good quality audio material over the internet and to store more of it on devices at much higher density, subsequently sparking a societal revolution in music sharing, publishing, and personal use.

A standard for audio and video compression developed by the Motion Picture Expert Group. Was widely adopted for terrestrial, cable and satellite digital television, as well being used as the film compression standard for DVDs.

JVC launched their GR DV-1 digital video camera, the first digital camera for home (as opposed to professional) recording. Recording was in a compressed form on mini-DV tape, but quality was much better than the VHS standard common for analogue recording. The DV standard developed by Sony and Panasonic became the standard until about 2010, when solid state memory and memory cards became cheap enough and capable enough to supersede it.

A higher density compact disc, initially able to handle 4.7 GB of data, enough for a 2 hour film, and opening the door for home movie entertainment. Later adopted also for computer data storage and dissemination.
Digital TV

First deployment of public digital terrestrial TV transmissions (UK). Previously all TV transmissions had been analogue. Digital transmissions used one tenth the bandwidth, enabling more channels to be transmitted. Also the picture quality could be enhanced to 1080 lines and 16:9 screen dimension ratio (from 576 lines and 4:3). Soon adopted in cable and satellite TV transmissions. The picture compares a 1080 digital and 480 (US) analogue picture. There are 4 different regional digital standards worldwide.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin invent the concept of page ranking of World Wide Web search results, i.e based on the number of links to a web page, as part of their PhD studies at Stanford. This revolutionary concept was far superior to other search models and has led to Google dominating web search ever since.

An enhanced standard for audio and video compression developed by the Motion Picture Expert Group. Used for High Definition DVDs and BluRay, as well as most computer, digital camera and and smartphone video compression.

Launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Wikipedia has grown to become the largest reference work ever. It has a policy of presenting a neutral point of view but otherwise may be edited by all registered users. Changes are moderated by other registered users and may be blocked to allow only limited editors to prevent vandalism and cyclic editing. Has an ever-increasing reputation for reliability.

Apple sets the new standard for pocket transportable music with an easy to use device capable of holding 1000 MP3 compressed songs. It also introduces iTunes and the iTunes Store to sell tracks in this quality and ensure their rights management and copy protection.

The first social media network with global participation, reaching 115 million users in 2008, but by 2009 was overtaken in popularity by Facebook. By 2020 Facebook claimed to have 2.8 billion users.

Online video sharing/broadcasting channel invented by by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. Users may upload videos on almost any topic, from frivilous to serious. The most successful public offerings "go viral" i.e. suddenly become very popular. Restricted viewing channels are also possible. YouTube started the trend for streaming via the internet video material previously transmitted as television channels by cable, satellite or terrestrial broadcasting. This in turn stimulated the demand for faster internet "broadband" speeds.

A rapidly reacting pocket digital camera (range) with the ability to take high speed picture bursts and thus make high speed movies at reasonable quality and resolutions, as well as avoiding the slow shutter reaction speed of competitors. Within 10 years many of these features were available on smartphones and the line was discontinued in 2018. However they remain in demand.

Created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams as a microblogging service where users post messages (tweets) and interact with them by liking and retweeting them. Initially tweets were 140 character but later 280 character. Became highly popular (330M users in 2019).

Although smartphones had been around for several years, Apple's iPhone was to revolutionise the market by providing touch screen interactivity, incorporating a decent digital camera, permitting the playback of audio and video as on the iPod, and providing full personal digital assistant functionality, as well as cellular telephony and wireless internet connection.

Designed by Jan Koum with Brian Acton, and benefitting from the recently introduced push notifications introduced by Apple for the iPhone, Whatsapp became the definitive instant messaging service, later also adding voice-over-IP telephony. It therefore set the standard for other similar systems, such as Telegram, Signal, and iMessage (Messages). In its latest incarnation Whatsapp uses end-to-end encryption of the content.