BAS Message
February 2018

The End of Gadgets?

For 30 or 40 years they were always there—transistor radios, to TRS-80s to Walkmen and Gameboys, then iPOds and Flips, GoPros and Fitbits. We were always sure gadgets would always be with us, because they had always been with us and it was good.

But no, Winter is coming for gadgets. Pebble which makes smartwatches, has been purchased by Fitbbit, which has had its own problems. GoPro may be going bust, while Jawbone, Nest and other members of the gentry of gadget pageantry look just about ready to stick a fork into. Things were never easy for gadgets., their lives always brutish and short.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, the Thing That Does Everything emerged from Cupertino, Calif. The iPhone. We knew the Thing would be big, but we didn't know how big. When the Thing threatened to eat up all the gadgets, nobody thought it would really happen. There is something sad about this. The gadget marketplace is the great laboratory of new tech. Would we ever have had the iPOd if a bunch of start-ups in the late 1990s hadn't braved legal trouble to create the portable MP3 player?

Gadgets? They're gone. Farhad Manjoo, NYT 8De16

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updated 3/17/18