What happened 11 years ago?

Some days ago I visited my parents’ house and assisted them with some cleaning of the garage. I found some “Illustrerad Vetenskap”. Illustrerad Vetenskap is one of the not-too-many magazines here in Sweden that compiles popular science into something readable (without being academic nor nerdy). They also tend to present the latest news as such.

Anyways, the magazines I found are from 2002, which is only a decade-ish away. And I couldn’t help reflecting on some of the articles I found inside it. It kind of illustrates what has happened in only 11 years (and actually less than that).

NOTE! All pictures are photo snapshots (with some tweaking) from the Nr 3/2002 issue of the Illustrerad Vetenskap. The publisher is Bonnier Alandia AB, Mariehamn, and I do not claim any copyright. I assume the pictures cannot be further distributed without their permission. For that reason, I have also deliberately taken the pictures at poor quality… !ETON

Let’s start with something straight-forward… the portable CD DVD player. This CD DVD player, with a built-in MP3 player, was brand new and also offered a way to connect to the TV to get an even larger display than the 9 inches. I guess CD DVD players are practical for children as it is easy to insert a disk into a player and navigate accordingly and they are still useful in the car.


What about this? Super-duper practical. You have Internet and surfing options in the phone booth… and you can pay with coins. Tourists can book their hotel room with apparently. I also like the statement: “Now [2002!], however, Siemens starts the battle against the mobile phones”. I wonder who won…


I like this one actually and still wait for it to break through. It is the virtual keyboard (well, mouse actually, but the way we interact today with a touch screen, that is sufficient). With a strap on each hand you are good to go hacking (for only 2000 SEK back then). I like the staged photo with a palm pilot which I seriously doubt could offer that interface. Unfortunately, Senseboard went bust in 2011. There is a nicely compiled list of similar devices found here.


Finally, the issue of the magazine also compiles a long list of features that could be found in your phone “within just a few years”. Everything that was predicted came through (almost). The bombastic text and visionary ideas are however really good to read. They help thinking forward to new inventions. The things listed have been ticked off by now: TV, phone, music, calendar, GPS, SMS, Internet, camera, voice recognition, translation, digital wallet, and the last one which I doubt: printer. (Who would like to print from the phone?!?) I admit that some of these points are essentially solved through the access to internet rather than the actual phone itself.


Interestingly, my Samsung Express stalls now and then and has to be rebooted many times. The only times it hangs is when there are incoming calls or something related to the calling functionality…

2 thoughts on “What happened 11 years ago?

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