Ready for an update? Tech world is going through a revival
From the old-fashioned flip-phones and desktops to instant cameras and chat apps, the world of technology is in the midst of a revival
Old-style flip phones are so 2000, right? Wrong. The long-forgotten device is finding its way back into the hands of users across the world. It has also become a fad in Japan — a country known for its cutting-edge technology. For the first time, shipments went up by 5.7 per cent in 2014. In fact, Samsung's powerful Android smartphone — currently only known as SM-G9198 — is a flip-phone and was unveiled in China earlier this month.
Instant cameras and film
In an era of selfies and Instagram, somehow instant photography is staging a comeback. Nearly bankrupt in the early 2000s, Polaroid discontinued its famous film in 2007. Today, The Impossible Project, a Dutch-based company that bought its rights, is struggling to meet demand. And products like the Lomo Instant and the Fuji Instax series are a hit with the consumers.
It came, prospered and then went out of virtual circulation. But think the Bitcoin is dead? Not in Israel, where the digital currency is crawling back into public memory. The number of businesses accepting it has grown from a handful to 230, and there were 30 Bitcoin-based startups, according to reports emerging from the country last month.
Ice Bucket Challenge
Before 'the dress' broke the internet, it was the Ice Bucket Challenge that went viral on social networks. Now the ALS Association is trying to revive the viral video craze that saw millions of people dump ice water on their heads to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A series of events have taken place this month around the world to provide a jump-start to the effort.
The chunky desktop lost out to sleek notebooks and portable tablets over the years, but it's in vogue again. A report by research agency Gartner shows that shipments continue to enjoy a slow but steady uptick this year. They found that worldwide PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2014 grew by 1 per cent year-over-year, the first increase since 2012.
Solitaire in Windows
The much-loved card game had a loyal following on Windows. That was till Microsoft decided to launch Windows 8. Then one had to download the game separately, a move that left netizens angry. And though the odds were stacked against its return, it has been reported that Solitaire will return — in the form of a built-in game on Windows 10, which launched in the last week of July.
The music player pioneer is back — this time with high-resolution playback and Bluetooth-connected headsets. The Walkman ZX2 is a high-end version of a model Sony released in 2013, and was unveiled by the company after retiring the classic cassette player in 2010. The first-generation Walkman, incidentally, had gone on sale in July 1979, redefining the way people listened to music.
An entire generation mourned the death of Yahoo Messenger — once a darling of teens — in 2013. But a new version of the app has just been unveiled. Yahoo Livetext — Video Messenger offers a unique form of video texting that combines traditional texts with video, but without an audio feed.
The era of video console domination is coming to an end. Or so it seems. Sales generated by PC games are poised to overtake those of video game consoles, according to data from industry researcher PwC. PC game sales are expected to reach $29 billion around the world by the end of 2016, compared with $28 billion of the console market. And industry experts are calling it a "monumental shift" that has been in the making for a few years now.
It wasn't just Nokia phones that were big in the 1990s and early 2000s. Before gaming became all about first-person shooters, crushing candy and birds crashing, Snake infuriated players across age groups with its simple gameplay. A remake — Snake Rewind — now offers a modern twist to the classic arcade game. New bonus fruit prizes, special powers, more levels and the ability to rewind action keep players engaged. And this time, it is available on Windows, Android and iOS stores.