In an age where your latest model smartphone is obsolete in 6 months, it is interesting to look in the rear-view mirror of the technology highway and pay tribute to the passing of the revolutionary device of the VCR.
Funai Electric, the purportedly last man standing in manufacturing of the video-cassette recorder announced it would cease production this month. In age of Netflix, Hulu, and digital recorders, this was inevitable as technology moves into a new era.
First introduced in the 1960’s but really gaining wide stream distribution in 1983 with mass production by Sony, the affordability of the VCR changed the viewing habits of millions of households. No longer rushing home to watch their favorite shows, families were able to pause and fast forward programs at their leisure.
There will certainly be a market for the last VCR’s manufactured and certainly the second hand market-many late adopters of digital media will certainly have a box of video cassettes that they aren’t ready to convert to the 20th century.
Imagine early tech adopters in a time when JVC launched their Vidstar in 1976 for $1280 (over $5000 in today’s inflation adjusted dollars). Many mainstream consumers would have found that price point beyond most people’s reach.
That is what is amazing about the entire wearable technology revolution we are experiencing today. We find ourselves in an age when early Virtual Reality tech adopters can now spend less than $100 (Samsung Gear VR) for a 360-degree immersive experience in your (VR) 3-D world. If given the choice, which would you choose?
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