Gizmodo is 20 years old! To celebrate the anniversary, we’re looking back at some of the most significant ways our lives have been thrown for a loop by our digital tools.
The year is 2002. Gizmodo is a fledgling tech blog covering an industry in the midst of a renaissance. Around this time, a second-generation iPod had just brought Windows compatibility, Sony and Microsoft were in the early stages of a console war led by the PS2, and Wikipedia and Google Search were newcomers to the web. USB flash drives allowed you to store data on tiny portable devices and Bluetooth was a new, poorly adopted wireless streaming protocol.
Things were changing rapidly and many companies believed we were only years away from the sort of sci-fi worlds explored in movies and literature. Automation, robotics, and new communication methods led to bizarre products, many of which failed.
These wacky inventions, released during what you might call a “growing pains” era of consumer technology, were being covered by a modest new website with a strange URL: Gizmodo.com. Visit this new tech website and you were presented with a spartan webpage consisting of a single vertical news feed containing tiny images next to short blurbs. At birth, Gizmodo provided readers with a brief overview, an occasional witty opinion, and... that’s about it.
In celebration of Gizmodo’s 20th anniversary, we’re taking a look back at some of the wackiest gadgets we highlighted in our internet infancy.