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Back to the '90s: Tech inventions that changed the world

Whether you remember them or not, the 1990s were a big decade for innovative tech that changed the world forever. Quick trip down memory lane anyone?...

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

Whether you remember them or not, the 1990s were a big decade for innovative tech that changed the world forever. Here we dive on in for a quick trip down memory lane…

1. The first Web browser (1990)

Sit down and think for a few moments about technology that has changed mankind (for better or worse) and the internet springs to mind pretty quickly. And what’s behind the first tentative days of the internet? The first internet browser.

Revealed in 1990, the first web browser (called WorldWideWeb) meant that the internet could be accessed from a broad range of devices and operating systems. It meant that even the least tech-savvy users could click and browse different websites relatively easily.

Having been originally called WorldWideWeb, the browser’s name was later changed to Nexus to avoid confusion with, well, the Worldwide Web. The internet changed the world forever, but it couldn’t have happened without the first browser behind it.

2. Text messages (1992)

Surprised by this? Yep, we were too. But back in 1992 Neil Papworth, a former developer at Sema Group Telecoms, successfully sent the world’s first text message to Richard Jarvis, a director at Vodafone, who received it on his Nokia 1011. Mobile phones didn’t come with keyboards back then of course, so he sent the message using his PC. And what did the message say? “Merry Christmas”. Festive innovation at its finest!

3. Sony Playstation (1994)

The first PlayStation video game console exploded onto the tech scene in 1994 having been launched by Sony Computer Entertainment. Part of a new generation of 32-bit consoles, the PlayStation used compact discs instead of cartridges which hadn’t been seen before.

The PlayStation was first released in Japan in December 1994 before making its debut in America in September 1995. Both releases attracted impressive sales, as has each version released ever since. In fact the latest model - the PS5 - was in scarce supply for months in 2021 causing prices to soar around Christmas.

4. Amazon (1995)

Amazon officially opened for business as an online book shop on the 16th July 1995. Within a month, the little-known retailer had shipped books to all 50 US states plus 45 countries in the wider world. Yep, one month.

Founder Jeff Bezos’s motto was “get big fast” - and he certainly did. Nowadays Amazon is a colossus of the e-commerce world, selling pretty much every product under the sun.

Fast forward to 2022 and Amazon is worth a cool $1401 billion ($1.4 trillion) employing 1.271 million around the world.

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