Must-Have Gadgets From The 1980s No One Uses Anymore

By Jack Ripley | March 11, 2024

The Clapper

Get your DeLorean up to 88mph and travel back in time to get a sweet hit of technological nostalgia with these relics from the 1980s, where innovation once defined the cutting edge. From the iconic Sony Walkman to the quirky convenience of The Clapper, these items were must-haves that shaped the way we interacted with technology and entertainment.

Remember the days of cable TV and the ritual of recording mixtapes on cassette tapes? While some of our readers may have fond memories of using these devices in their youth, others may be discovering these artifacts for the first time, offering a glimpse into a bygone era they never knew. Join us on a journey through the technological landscape of the 1980s, and continue reading to uncover more about these obsolete marvels that once defined an era.

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The clapper, heralded as a novel invention in home automation, gained widespread popularity for its simplicity and convenience. With a simple clap, users could control various household devices, such as lamps and appliances, without having to manually flip switches. However, as technology progressed and more advanced smart home systems emerged, the clapper's appeal diminished. Its reliance on sound detection made it prone to accidental activation by noise from sources other than intentional claps. Moreover, the limited functionality of the clapper, which could only toggle devices on and off, paled in comparison to the sophisticated features offered by modern smart home devices that can be controlled remotely via smartphone apps or voice commands. Consequently, the clapper has become largely obsolete, overshadowed by more advanced and versatile home automation solutions that cater to contemporary lifestyles.

Cable TV

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Cable TV once represented a paradigm shift in home entertainment, offering viewers access to a wide range of channels and programming options beyond traditional broadcast television. Its arrival was hailed as the future of television, providing unparalleled choice and quality to subscribers. However, with the proliferation of streaming services and on-demand content platforms, cable TV has lost its appeal and relevance. The rigid programming schedules and bundled channel packages offered by cable providers no longer align with the preferences of modern consumers, who seek greater flexibility and customization in their viewing experience. Additionally, the rising costs of cable subscriptions, coupled with the availability of cheaper or free alternatives online, have led many households to cut the cord in favor of streaming services.