Technology

The most important gadgets of the decade

From the Amazon Echo to the Nintendo Switch, the 2010s have seen some important tech gadgets appear.

The 2010s have been a pivotal era in digital technology, introducing new devices which have fundamentally changed how people communicate, work and play.

From the rise of tablets to smartwatches and virtual assistants, here is a look at the biggest innovations of the last 10 years.

– iPad (2010)
The device which brought the tablet computer to the mainstream, the iPad was introduced as a thinner, less bulky and touchscreen-enabled alternative to the laptop. Though tablet use has evolved since, and many rivals have emerged, this is the device which started it all.

– Nest Thermostat (2011)
A gadget that still seemed space-age at the beginning of the decade, Nest brought the power of smart, app-controlled heating to everyone. With an easy-to-use interface and stylish product design it helped set the standard for what smart home devices could be.

– Tesla Model S (2012)
The watershed vehicle for modern electric cars, the Model S also announced Tesla as a major name in not just the car industry, but technology as well. The range and speed it offered in an electric car, built in large numbers, had never been seen before on this scale, and changed the conversation around electric vehicles.

(Niall Carson/PA)
(Niall Carson/PA)

– Raspberry Pi (2012)
Originally created as a device to promote coding in schools, the Raspberry Pi has grown to become a computing ecosystem of its own, with hobbyists and wider computer enthusiasts using the device to power all manner of small devices.

– Chromecast (2013)
With the release of the Chromecast, the barrier between your mobile device and your TV was overcome permanently. As a result, the concept of what would become streaming was born.

– DJI Phantom (2013)
The last 10 years have seen drones move from the device of specialist pilots to that for the masses – largely because of gadgets such as the Phantom. Maker DJI has been pivotal in making drone flight controls more simplified for those with less drone experience, helping to spark the large amounts of drone pictures and videos filling social media today.

– Amazon Echo (2014)
One of the most notable inventions of the decade: the rise of virtual assistants, smart speakers and smart homes can all trace their rise back to the Amazon Echo. It introduced the idea of voice commands and hands-free device control to many, and its success sparked a race among rivals to join the quickly expanding market for not just smart speakers, but accessories and appliances to work with them too.

(Andrew Matthews/PA)
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

– Apple Watch (2015)
In a similar vein to the iPad at the start of the decade, the Apple Watch was not the first device of its kind, but it did redefine its category. Since its 2015 unveiling, smartwatches have become commonplace, and just as accessories for smartphones, but as vital health and fitness devices.

– AirPods (2016)
In terms of timeframe from launch to apparent ubiquity, few gadgets of the last decade can match the speed of Apple’s first wireless earphones. AirPods are the wireless earphones you’ll see in most ears on the commute each day and their rise has coincided with the tech industry’s move towards wireless audio and earphones.

– Nintendo Switch (2017)
The Nintendo GameBoy for a new generation. The Switch’s introduction in 2017 as the first console which could be played on the big screen at home and on the move was such a success that it returned the previously struggling Japanese firm to profitability.

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