Turning 20 in 2020
Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi (The Freeman) - January 8, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — This year 2020 several tech innovations 20 years old.

The camera phone

Japanese electronics brand Sharp made waves in 2000 when it released the J-SH04 – a mobile phone that was integrated with a camera.

Made available in Japan in November 2000 via the J-Phone network, the unit was made distinct with a 0.11 megapixel CMOS camera that worked with a 256-color display.

The phone could send photos taken with its camera through a mobile infrastructure system called “Sha Mail,” which complied with the MMS protocol. It was available only in Japan.

Though widely asserted to be the first commercially-released camera phone, the J-SH04 was actually not the “first camera phone” as there was already a camera-enabled phone earlier unveiled in 1999, called the VP-210 and developed by Japanese electronics manufacturer Kyocera.

The USB flash drive

Tech history was made in 1999 when an Israeli firm named M-Systems filed for a patent for a data storage device that worked with the universal serial bus (USB) standard for computers.

A year later, IBM rolled out in US markets what’s widely attributed to be the world’s first USB flash drive, dubbed “DiskOnKey,” with a storage capacity of up to 8 megabytes. It may be small when compared to today’s gigabyte-rated flash drives, but its release ushered in a new standard for digital storage media for years to come.

The PlayStation 2

Sony made gaming history in March 2000 when it released the PlayStation 2, a.k.a. the PS2. Essentially the successor to Sony’s 1994-released PlayStation console (referred to as PS1), the PS2 holds the distinction of being the best-selling video game console of all time for having sold over 155 million units worldwide.

Not only is the PS2 famous for being a bestseller, it also holds the distinction in having the longest active lifespan for a device of its class; the PS2’s production continued until 2013 spilling over the production of its successor the PS3, which was introduced in 2006.

The Bluetooth phenomenon

Bluetooth technology’s origins dates to the mid-1990s, but it was in the year 2000 when device manufacturers began to roll out gadgets that came with incorporated Bluetooth tech.

Ericsson was among the first to develop a Bluetooth-enabled phone in the June 2000-released T36, which utilized low-frequency radio waves to connect with a set of compatible peripherals. The first Bluetooth PC card was also released in the year 2000.

Prototypes of a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and Bluetooth dongle were also presented in two technology conventions that year, and the first generation of Bluetooth headsets for phones were also commercially released in the year 2000.

TECH INNOVATIONS
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