October 25, 2019 5 min read
The technology sector of today has undoubtedly transformed into an unstoppable force, trickling into numerous other sectors, and sometimes completely transforming they way we go on about our everyday lives, whether we like it or not. Unlike their predecessors in the 80s, technology we see today is highly advanced and is being pushed out faster than we can begin to even understand what device we’re looking at.
If you’ve read our previous blog on why 80s fashion is back, you can evidently acknowledge that this particular decade is having a moment not only in runways & fashion, but technology is beginning to see a large amount of attention with an 80s nostalgia. Although this resurgence of 80s everything can't be said with technology as our advancements today make it far more reliable than before and is why we'll be looking back to iconic vintage 80s tech, to see how far we've gone, and maybe bring a few nostalgic memories along the read.It's for certain that without these iconic vintage 80s tech to be first invented, we wouldn't be where we are today.
Right before the 80s, there was a fashion craze of during the 70s which saw a quartz watch trend. As with all trends, they fade as time fashionably goes by. The 80s made way for a new category of fashion watches, most of which was led by large watch brands at the time like Swatch.
The brand would come out with new collections of watches designed with bright hues and peculiar designs. These brands didn’t focus on bringing new technology so much as bringing a new aesthetic into the market. It wasn't about what was on the inside this time, but on the outside. What made these watches so cool was it gave each person an individual style, to each their own. It was a huge success and instantly led to a new phenomenon of watch-wardrobing, buying multiple watches for different outfits or occasions. Their inexpensive retail price of $30-40 each made the fad become even more attractive. Owning several of these watches wasn't enough either, you had to wear them all at once too!
The watch was soon dissociated with its main function and became a statement instead; a fashion accessory that also happens to tell time. As time went on and as these watch brands continued developing to more modern designs, we can now find all styles of watches, from quartz movement, mechanical, and automatic. Some brands have even built business models for the purpose of reducing waste while offering fashionable products. For example, the Swiss brand Baume focuses on recycled and sustainably made watches with a made-to-order process. We at Secret Location are fortunate enough to be able to offer bespoke Baume watches, just contact our store and speak to design consultant on how you can order one. Although watches of today have become less distracting on the eyes, we can't forget about the 80s revolution & journey throughout the years that made the watch a fashion statement of today.
80s signalled the beginning of the computer age. The speed at which computers developed throughout the 80s was a hot mess of designs and accessories, however it was still considered a major breakthrough as no one else had done it before. Here we also see the rise of dominant players Apple and Microsoft. They pushed the envelope for innovation with computer accessories like a square shaped mouse with two buttons, a sort of joy-stick design, and dull-coloured keyboards. These computers instantly became a renowned invention and discovery that could take information sharing and processing to unseen heights. Much like how you're reading this blog, the people of the 80s would only dear to dream of a concept like that.
Computers would continue to grow and affect areas in education and at the workplace. Personal computers however, was a rare sight in the early 80s as they were very big at the time and unattainable by many. As computers luckily got smaller and accessible in the market, the personal computer became all the rage. By the late 80s, personal computers were found everywhere and would also lead into internet cafes that became popular in the following decade. The 80s marks a period of how we as a society allowed computers into our homes and lives.
Today having personal computers like laptops and tablets is a commonplace. The new struggle of today that 80s babies didn't have to endure is finding ways to relieve stress and anxiety from the computer, a haven where we are not forced to look at a screen. The following generations rely heavily on technology today to do everyday tasks and jobs, and we don't blame you, its essential! We've discovered computer screens are a major problem when it comes to quality of sleep, and the need to remind ourselves to find moments of device-detox. You can afford to put down the phone or turn the screen off for a couple of minutes, your health depends on it.
Now when we think of the 80s cellphones, one particular image comes to mind that perfectly paints the decade, the brick phone. The original mobile phones of the 80s was always referred to by popularity as brick phones, solely because it was the size of a house brick. These phones were a rare sight on the streets during the early periods of the 80s, probably because trying to fit one of those things in your pocket would be a real struggle, they were also mainly used by top executives and city traders. However they later became an essential business tool used by many jobs that require immediate & efficient communication like delivery services and travelling merchants.
The Motorola DynaTAC is a series of mobile phone devices made throughout the 80s. At the time, Motorola Inc was a major player in developing and innovating in the mobile phone sector. Much like today, the initial pricing of the newly released phones are steep, which was another reason the brick phone was an uncommon to site to see. The phone was priced at $3,995 in 1984, which would amount to roughly $8,934 today. Before phones became incredibly user-friendly, they needed roughly 10 hours to fully charge, offered 30 minutes of talk time, and offered a storage of 30 phone numbers.
Luckily today our phones offer much more value and have become more efficient. They our main means of communication, gathering & sharing information, as well as being a part of our fashionable lifestyle; the latest iPhone's clean minimalism or Androids super-sleek design. Cellphones today have become a combination of previous 80s technology. Take for example the Sony Walkman, a name that won't be long forgotten. They were rectangular, blue, audible by cassette only, and was a game-changer that combined music and technology. There is no doubt that the 80s lack of aesthetic phones were one a kind, which helped move our society forward and much faster.
Technology has now become a primary source of sharing, capturing, storing, and distributing information that is so important to our society. Looking back at iconic vintage 80s is a reminder that although sometimes malfunctioning hardwares and softwares can be really 'dumb', the technology today is quite the achievement.