Gizmag is celebrating its 10th birthday! Over the past decade we've published over 17,000 articles, covered a huge array of events around the globe and fostered a loyal worldwide audience willing to become part of the discussion surrounding the thing that fascinates us most - new technology.
We are proud of our achievements during this time. Starting with a dedicated core group of individuals who still play a role in 2012, we built Gizmag from the ground-up including our own CMS system which continues to develop and perform with the best on the market. We now have a team of highly-valued contributors spread far and wide, and our consistent growth has resulted in an audience that's currently approaching three million unique visitors per month.
We remain free in every respect and 100% independent. We also recognize how lucky we are to be doing what we do - we love covering emerging technology and exploring where it can take us, and it's because of you that we are able to continue to do so.
When we started out there was no such thing as a touchscreen phone, electric vehicles were most commonly thought of as bumper-cars and tablets were something you took with water before a meal. Ten years is a long time in technology at the beginning of the 21st Century and looking back over our scribblings brings home just how fast (and in some cases slow, as flying car fans would agree) technology is moving.
So to mark our 10th birthday milestone we're taking a stroll through the archives to revisit some of the biggest hits and most popular themes in our history.
A long time in technologyA quick comparison of the key specs of bleeding-edge products now and back when Gizmag was in its infancy makes interesting reading, and brings home just how far technology - especially on the consumer electronics front - has progressed.
Here's a few examples:
- In March 2002 we were blown away by Sony's first five megapixel camera - the F707. This was also our first in-house camera and what a weapon it was (and still is incidentally - though it's been retired from Gizmag duties). The F707 came with a 16 MB memory stick, 5X optical zoom, an LED screen for viewing results immediately and shot 320 x 240 movies. Fast forward to March 2012 and Sony's α57 spits out 16.1 megapixel images with continuous shooting at 12 fps (with full-time continuous autofocus), shoots full 1980 x 1080 high definition and features a tilting 3-inch, 921,600 dot resolution TruBlack LCD display ... and as for memory, we're talking 128 GB these days.
The Freedom ShipThis is the introduction from our
It's named the Freedom Ship, and should this most ambitious of projects ever come to fruition, it will no doubt become one of the most famous and intriguing places on earth.
It is more than a massive ship, though at close to a mile long, with a full scale airstrip on the roof and 50,000 people aboard, the sheer magnitude of the exercise is difficult to comprehend. The Freedom Ship is so large, that it will contain over 200 acres of open area set aside for recreation and relaxation.
There's a bit of irony at work here. In subsequent years we've covered some massive sea going vessels including the world’s largest container ships and the new giant among cruise liners - the 16 deck, 225,282 ton Oasis of the Seas, which can carry an incredible 5,400 guests. The Freedom Ship, however, has still not materialized, with the developers still seeking joint venture inquiries "to facilitate the construction phase of the First Mobile City at Sea."
From iPod to iPad and everything in betweenAnother notable story from the very early days of Gizmag has evolved on a totally different trajectory. The article looked at the impressive capabilities and intuitive dial control interface of Apple's shiny new
While the iPod Classic is no longer with us in its original form, it was one of the starting points for the convergence of MP3 player, mobile phone and PDA (an abbreviation which is almost as obsolete as physical buttons) into what we now call the smartphone.
While convergence is certainly an accurate description of this phenomenon, the startling array of smartphones, tablets and somewhere-in-between hardware that's now available also represents a divergence of sorts. We used to have lots of different mobile devices for different tasks, now we have lots of mobile devices for almost every task ... and this proliferation of choice and enhanced functionality on the mobile device front isn't showing any signs of abating.
While we're on the subject of tablets ... a teenager in 2012 could be forgiven for thinking that Apple invented the "tablet" given the runaway success of the iPad. Interestingly (and in the face of my "tablet" quip above), one of our earliest articles discusses "the most significant new product for 2002" the Tablet PC from Microsoft.
Even in the Apple camp, some wheels are a little slow to turn though. Mike Hanlon's 10 year old article on the iPod pointed out one deficiency "if there's something to complain about, it's that the earpods which come standard are unworthy of the task; the iPOD deserves better." That's a statement which still has quite a ring to it.
Soaring to new heightsFlying machines of all shapes and sizes have always attracted the interest of Gizmag readers, from
But it's not often that an entirely new genre of aircraft arrives. That's exactly what D-Dalus represents - this aircraft uses four, mechanically-linked, contra-rotating cylindrical turbines for its propulsion to produce an extremely maneuverable platform that moves in 360 degrees around any of the three axes. Unearthed by Gizmag at the Paris Airshow in 2011, this one was a true blockbuster.
So where's my flying car?It's the inevitable question. With all of this exponential growth in technology, why is it that most of us still travel on terra firma? One of our very early stories looked at the ambitious
... and my Jetpack?While on the subject of personal flying machines (and perennial questions), what about my jetpack? Well, we're
... and my space holidayWe've also tracked the development of another fledgling industry that has emerged from the annals of science fiction in the 21st century - space tourism. Denis Tito paid a sizable fortune to become the
The third wheelWe've covered plenty of vehicles of the
With the exception of the unique Spira and some oddities (TOTO's Toilet Trike is a case in point), most of the three-wheelers we've encountered in the last decade have stuck with the stability of the two-at-the-front, one-at-the-back layout and combine elements of car and motorcycle to varying degrees.
Stand-out favorites with our readers include Campagna Motors' T-Rex, Trirod's F3 Adrenaline and the very space-age Aptera 2e, which unfortunately didn't make it to 2012. In terms of those that have definitely made it, both the Can-Am Spyder and the Piaggio MP3 passed our road test with flying colors.
Big ideas in small packagesWhile we are always up for a bit of fun, any innovation that stands to have a profound effect on the quality of life of a large proportion of the world's population is something that really gets us excited. The
In a similar vein, we've seen some outstanding ideas in this area, such as the ingenious Solarball and, a personal favorite of mine, the Aquaduct Mobile Filtration Vehicle - a tricycle that uses pedal power to both transport and filter clean drinking water.
Ideas that aim to improve quality of life on a huge scale are of course not limited to purifying water. Inventions that create a healthier domestic environment in developing nations like the Eco Fire Pot Stove, reduce dependence on kerosene like the solar Pebble and the LuminAID lantern, plus initiatives like the OLPC project, breakthroughs in the development of microfluidic devices for on-site detection of diseases like HIV, centrifuges made from salad spinners and mobile phones that charge using power from microbes in the soil are just some of the potentially world changing ideas that have graced our pages over the past 10 years.
One last mention on this topic goes to wind-up energy. Amazingly, it's only in the past decade that this idea has fully matured. When Gizmag was in its infancy we wrote an article entitled "All of a sudden, old fashioned wind-up energy makes sense" - now hand-cranked torches and radios are ubiquitous and you can even charge your mobile phone with a little physical exertion.
We are proud of our coverage of these ideas and proud that these articles generate such a level of interest and genuine discussion amongst our readers.
Alternative energyNo topic in Gizmag's wide ranging catalog has attracted quite as much debate as
This period has been marked by huge leaps in solar energy research that has seen efficiency records broken again and again (though many promising advances have not yet made it out of the lab), advances in wind and wave power, totally new approaches to large scale energy production, gasoline alternatives and of course, the meteoric rise of hybrid and electric cars.
We can't wait to see how some of these ideas play out over the next decade!
The Soundracer V8 - gadget of the decade?We could argue about the definition of the word "gadget" all day long, but in our office at least, a gadget suggests a dose of novelty and fun while all the serious business is left to "devices." If that's our definition then the
The most reliable carsWhile our pages are full of coverage of new cars, concepts and the latest in automotive technology, one of the most popular auto-related stories in our history - and one that has generated much discussion - is
Rave reviewsDuring the last 10 years we've been lucky enough to get our hands-on some of the latest gear going around - we've pushed buttons, swiped screens and turned throttles in many parts of the globe. Our all-time most popular head-to-head reviews include Tim Hanlon's
Out on the road we've tested some monster bikes from Aprilia BMW and Ducati, pushed electric power to its limit on the Zero S, headed into the wild in the Toyota Landcruiser and experienced close encounters with futuristic concept cars like SAIC's Yez.
Dead in the water or it just hasn't happened yet? ....A great idea is one thing, but the task of making new technology stick in the real world takes dedication, copious funding and in many cases a healthy dose of luck. So finally, here's a shortlist some of the potentially ground-breaking innovations we've seen that, for one reason or another haven't yet made their mark (and in some cases have disappeared without a trace).
The virtual keyboardWhile many of us moan about the mashing the tiny touchscreen keyboards on modern smartphones, the idea of the
The airless tireThis is an idea we've revisited several times over the years, beginning with Michelin's
The Spray-On CondomHmmm, despite being among our most popular articles back in 2006, the
Power bootsFirst conceived by Russian inventor Viktor Gordeyev in 1974, we covered the Saigak Power Boots in the early days of Gizmag and
The Air CarA car that runs on air. It sounds like a cracker of an idea but while alternatives to gas powered vehicles have enjoyed a boom period, the
The internet refrigeratorYou could argue that this one never had legs, but that hasn't stopped several attempts at dragging the humble fridge into the online world.
Home hydrogen stationsWe've followed the development of Honda's
Helper robotsStill making your own breakfast? Us too, but the steady stream of innovations in the
Digital paperThe idea of
This is of course, just a small taste of the huge array of smartware, go-fast-gear and scientific breakthroughs we've covered since we launched from a small back-room office 10 years ago. We sincerely hope you've enjoyed reading Gizmag as much as we have enjoyed creating it, and we aim to keep you up to date with technology's exponential curve for many more years to come.
Thanks again to all our readers and to all those past and present who have contributed to Gizmag.
Happy 10th birthday Gizmag!