LOVE ‘em or loathe ‘em, most of us are slaves to gadgets.
From the phones in our pockets to the gizmos we use for work, play and entertainment, the latest electronic inventions have a huge role in shaping our everyday lives.
So, it’s no surprise that Time magazine has singled out some very familiar devices for its list of the Best Gadgets of the 2010s.
The influential publication chose a top ten list of the decade’s “life-changing devices”.
We’re sure you’ll recognise most of them.
NO gadget list would be complete without an Apple product, and this decade’s list is dominated by three contributions from the Silicon Valley firm.
However, the top spot goes to the iPad, a slick tablet which, when unveiled in 2010, turned the concept of traditional laptops on its head.
While its rivals were still producing cumbersome machines that weren’t as portable as users would have liked, Apple took a giant leap into the future with an invention that looked like it came straight from a science fiction movie.
The world quickly fell in love with the sleek touch-screen device, with more than 360million sold to date.
Tesla Model S
THE car that single-handedly changed the motor industry, the Tesla Model S forced the hand of competitors who had been resisting battery-powered technology.
Since it was launched in 2012, the electric sedan has been sounding the death knell for gas- guzzling vehicles, as evidenced by the continuous upsurge in the number of electric or hybrid vehicles being bought in Ireland.
And let’s not forget that it’s also a joy to look at, with a touchscreen display and advanced autopilot capabilities.
As Time puts it, you should think of it as “the iPod of cars”, if your iPod could do zero to 60 in 2.3 seconds.
LUDDITES mightn’t recognise the Raspberry Pi, which looks like a leftover piece from a computer’s hard drive.
But this miniature Linux computer is basically a starter pack for every amateur technician.
Originally developed to teach coding in schools, this gadget hooks up to a keyboard, mouse and monitor and can be used for everything from robotics and home automation to entertainment.
The original model became far more popular than anticipated and has even been harnessed for a weather station, a retro game console and a smart speaker.
The only limit is your imagination!
THE 2010s has been the decade that streaming services have taken over, and Google’s Chromecast made it easier than ever when it debuted in 2013.
Available for less than €40, these tiny gadgets stream media from laptops and smartphones direct to TVs.
This handy piece of tech has opened up the world of streaming to people who can’t afford a pricey smart TV or expensive streaming box.
Having plugged a gap in the market, experts predict it won’t be so essential in the coming decade, but it still deserves its place on the list for its incredible influence on streaming media.
IF you told us a decade ago that we’d all have access to our own personal flying drones, we’d never have believed you.
But the last six years have turned what was once a specialised piece of equipment into a mass market device.
The most popular of these is the DJI Phantom, which launched back in 2013.
The futuristic-looking gadget has facilitated dramatic advances in aerial photography, used in everything from personal projects to film production.
And that’s just the start, as there is even a drone racing league, while the devices will also soon be used to deliver goods to your home.
SOME people are highly suspicious of this one, fearing that smart devices could be collecting data by listening to us in our own homes, but that theory hasn’t affected the popularity of the Amazon Echo.
Alexa is the voice assistant built into these devices and will do everything you wish.
It is capable of music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, or providing weather, traffic, sports, and other real-time information.
With multiple competitors now on the market and the price dropping steadily, we’re facing a future in which we’ll never truly be home alone.
TECH geeks counted down the days to the launch of the Apple Watch in 2015, and it quickly became the most popular smartwatch available on the market.
With its colourful and easy-to-use interface, the Apple Watch immediately won over.
It has been praised for its handiness — as it delivers your phone’s notifications directly to your wrist and allows users to track their fitness.
Numerous competitors such as Samsung have released their own smartwatches, trying to get a slice of the pie.
But Apple remains ahead of the game, turning a niche device into a mainstream accessory.
MUCH like the original iPod, Apple’s AirPods have quickly become a recognisable status symbol since they were unveiled alongside the iPhone 7 back in 2016.
They were initially mocked for looking like regular earphones, just with the wires cut off, with critics complaining that they’re too easy to lose due to the lack of wires.
But devoted fans aren’t for turning, and the Airpods popularity grew and they were voted the most popular “hearable” brand of 2019.
Apple capitalised on the popularity of the AirPods by introducing the new and improved AirPods Pro, which released in October of this year.
NINTENDO has been a staple in the video game industry since the Eighties thanks to the popularity of its consoles such as the NES and Nintendo64.
But after the success of the Wii in the Noughties, the follow-up Wii U flopped and the firm reinvented itself with the hybrid Nintendo Switch in 2017.
With the ability to play it portably or hooked up to a TV, the Switch is seen as the most important video game console of the decade.
Fans love its portability, while it continues to attract new admirers with an ever-growing library of games, and has continued to find success with its Super Mario and Zelda titles.
IN last place on the list is a gadget that has found success thanks to its focus on inclusivity and accessibility.
Microsoft’s Xbox Adaptive Controller released in 2018 and aimed to help gamers with disabilities to have an easier way to enjoy their pastime.
The company worked with various disability organisations to design the controller — which comes with large buttons and more than a dozen ports which are used for connecting assistive controllers, buttons and joysticks.
It’s also compatible with Xbox One consoles and Windows PCs, so gamers with disabilities can finally hold their own against their pals.