I4U Top 10 Gadget Trends 2003

Posted: Dec 22 2003, 9:31am EST | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 2:10pm CDT, in News | I4U Gadget Flyer


I4U Top 10 Gadget Trends 2003
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2003 the year of Gadget Mainstream adoption and some shattered Gadget Dreams. 

2003 has seen several new exciting Gadget and Technology announcements. We are looking back with this story on the past year and pick the Top 10 Gadgets Trends of 2003. Several of the mentioned Gadgets are not on the market, but made a big splash this year and excited Gadget Fans around the globe. Some other technology trends gained mainstream adoption in 2003. Read On.

Technology Wrist Watches
Several Technology Wrist Watches were announced throughout 2003. Most of them are not yet on the market. The only one that made it on at least the Japanese Market is the Wristomo Wrist Mobile Phone. DoCoMo sold 1,000 Wirstomo's in the first 20min. Lets see if the Wristomo makes it to other the US and Europe in 2004. The Japanese will soon go to the next level and phone with there fingers.
Fossil announced the Palm OS PDA Wrist Watch and actually took orders for it, before announcing they are not going to ship in 2003. Fossil was also hit by the MSN Direct SPOT Wrist Watch delay. The latest is that the MSN Direct SPOT Watches will be officially launched at the CES 2004.
Camera Phones
Camera Phone became mainstream. Everybody seems to have one. A camera has nearly become a standard feature in mobile phones. Drivers for the adoption where low-cost phones like the Sanyo 8100, Sanyo 5300, Nokia 3650, Sony Ericsson T610 and others. The Japanese camera phones are still much more advanced. They got the Casio A5403CA 2MP Camera Phone or the p504is with 2 cameras built-in.
Smart Phones
Several Smart Phones hit the market this year. Phones powered by either Microsoft OS, Palm OS, Linux or Symbian. The first mobile phone was introduced 20 years ago with the Motorola DynaTec 8000. The Smart phones show how far we came since then. Some of the interesting Smart phones are: Treo 600, Sony Ericsson P900 (avail. in Europe) and the Nokia 7700 (avail. 2004).

Handheld Game Consoles
The Handheld Game Console space got also rejuvenated. For the longest time it was in the sole hand of the Nintendo Gameboy. Silicon Valley's Tapwave launched their Palm OS powered Zodiac Handheld Gaming Console targeted primarly at the Gameboy graduates (20 and up). The Zodiac is a Full Palm PDA, but has a 3D Graphics chip, analog joystick and stereo sound in a slick package. Sony countered by pre-announcing the Sony PSP handheld gaming device. When the Sony PSP will be available is unclear. Worth mentioning is Nokia's attempt on the handheld gaming market with their N-Gage Mobile Phone. It got them bad press, but they still managed to sell some of them, mostly in Europe.

Personal Video Players
Handheld Video Players have landed in 2003. Most of them use the MP4 video compression format. They present a valid upgrade and alternative to MP3 Jukeboxes, because most of the Video Player also can play MP3 music files.
We identified the RCA Lyra RD2780 as the leader of the pack, which is surprising that RCA is capable of such a leading Gadget. A bit more bulky and pricier, but comes with more flexibility, more Storage (up to 80GB) and add-ons is the Archos av300 series. The Sony Personal Video Player PCVA-HVP20 is a bit disappointing. It has no MP4 support and it looks pretty big.
MP3 Jukeboxes
The iPod started it all, but in 2003 several iPod alternatives made it on the market. Worth mentioning are the Dell DJ Jukebox and the Napster branded Samsung Player.
Most Jukebox player vendors also offer a music download site. Buy.com, Dell.com, Walmart.com all of them have music download sites, after Apple's iTunes went online. Napster is back as well. Watch out in 2004 for dozens of music download sites. The good thing the price war already started. Walmart sells each song for 88c.
Many new Robots were born in 2003. The Robodex 2003 show cased many of them. Just this week Sony announced that their new QRIO Robot can run. Robots also become more human, just look at the Atroid. On the low-end many cleaning robots came on the market, like the Samsung VC-RP30W, the Electrolux Trilobyte, The small Hitachi and the Roomba.
Small Digital Cameras and Small Digital Video Cameras
Sony made a home run this year with Qualia 016 Digital Camera. Uncanny pricy, because its hand assembled and comes with a case full of accessories. And of course its the world's smallest digital camera. Sony also kicked of a new generation of mainstream 5MP cameras with the world's thinnest 5MP camera the Sony DSC-T1. Also a contender in the smallest digital camera category is the Casio Exilim S20. We developed a chart that compares a whole set of small digital cameras. Expect in 2004 more small cameras with more and more features of high-end cameras.
Consumer DVD Recorder
Computer DVD Recorder where already accepted in the market. In 2003 DVD Recorder for the Home-Theater gained dramatic momentum. With lots of models to choose from, DVD recording is the new must have component in a complete Home Theater. Some of the DVD Recorder feature basic TIVO functionality. Others are networked into the home LAN.
Worth mentioning: Pioneer DVR810HS, Sony DVP-NS530, Sony RDR-GX7 and the Sony PSX
Wireless MP3 for Home Audio
For people who wondered how to get their MP3 collection on their PC to play on any Stereo in the home got the answer in 2003 from Creative Labs, Slim Devices and Yamaha.

There are definitely more technology trends that took off in 2003. But with any Top 10 listing it never can cover everything. Lets see what 2004 brings. We at I4U will keep you on the up-to-date of course with the latest in Future Technology.

See also DesignTechnica's 2003 Holiday Gift Guide

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com.




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