5 Retro Gadgets You Can Buy Now

edited August 2023 in Lifestyle

Many of us fondly remember technology from the past. Gadgets and toys we used as children often play a special place in our hearts. Here are five retro tech gadgets you can buy now that will enable you to share your childhood memories with your family.  

The New Speak and Spell Will Take You and Your Kids Back Decades in Time 

As one of the most venerated and iconic toys designed to help children educate themselves on the basics of spelling and vocabulary development, the Speak and Spell conjures many fond memories and should be recognized for being far ahead of its time. Created by the famous Texas Instruments corporation in 1978, the Speak and Spell represented one of the earliest means for children to learn independently in an interactive and non-judgmental manner and formed the foundation for synthetic voice technology. If you are a modern consumer who wants to relive their childhood or help show young people how it was back in the day, you will delight in purchasing a modern version of this classic toy. 

Hold an Actual Photo in Your Hands Using a Polaroid OneStep Instant Camera 

It may be almost impossible to explain to young people that being able to review and edit digital photographs instantly is a relatively recent development. Kids probably can't even imagine bringing rolls of film to a photocenter for developing and waiting weeks to see how the pictures turned out. One way for vintage photography fans to share the past or those who prefer to produce a genuine physical photo is with the Polaroid OneStep instant camera. With the option to take both physical and digital images thanks to incorporated Bluetooth technology, this camera makes group photos fun, quick, and easy with retro tech flair. 

Limit Smartphone Usage and Create a Retro Aesthetic with a Rotary Phone 

One of the best indications of how far telephone technology has come is seeing the look on a child, preteen, or teenager's face when confronted with a classic rotary phone. A rotary phone may confound some members of the youngest generations who find it bizarre to rotate a dial in sequence to create a series of electromagnetic signals to make a phone call. More modern versions the rotary phone can still be easily purchased. Whether you prefer a tabletop rotary phone worth of Sam Spade's office or a hanging wall-mounted version straight out of a vintage American diner, you help limit your smartphone usage thanks to this cool tech

Stay Stylish and Exact with a Casio Men's Vintage CA53W-1 Calculator Watch 

Whether you are a collector of Casio watches, want to remind yourself about the glories of 1980's fashion, or simply enjoy the utility of having a wearable calculator, the Casio Men's Vintage CA53W-1 Calculator Watch will fit the bill. If you have a friend, family member, or loved one who is one the biggest Back to the Future fans, you can help them live their best lives with the same watch that graced the wrist of one Marty McFly. Those who prefer to enjoy more modern and gritty entertainment may also recall that Walter White from the Breaking Bad series also wore this watch, making it iconic for a new generation. With incorporated functions including the namesake calculator, a stopwatch, calendar, hourly alarm, and buttons for switching operation tones on and off, this water-resistant watch will be a practical fashion piece you can always count on. 

Enjoy the Best of Both Old and New with a USB Typewriter or Make Your Own 

While some people venerate older-style mechanical typewriters, they may not necessarily be familiar with struggling with stuck keys, stained fingers and clothing from ink ribbons, the importance of maintaining even side margins, and so on. If you have ever found yourself wondering what it would be like to use one of the forebears of our modern computer keyboards without having to sacrifice the capabilities and utilities of modern computer technology, there is a solution available, namely the USB typewriter.  

Rather than messing with complex settings and risk going through inordinate amounts of paper and ink with any mistakes made much harder to fix or remove, USB typewriters offer you several options for enjoying a retro experience with modern conveniences. Users can incorporate the USB typewriter as the main keyboard for their PC or Mac, use the unit as a phone charger and keyboard dock for tablet devices, connect a smartphone via Bluetooth, and even insert an SD card into the unit to recreate the feel of a classic typewriter. You may choose to buy a fully completed unit or install an appropriate USB typewriter conversion kit based on your typewriter's make and model. It is worth noting that since each kit is specifically designed to be used on a given make and model of typewriter, those creating their own units should ensure accurate information to avoid disappointment. 

Old gadgets have made several notable comebacks in the last few years, both out of nostalgic desire and for those who would have preferred to live in a different era. No matter your reasons for being interested in retro technology, these picks will pique your interest and help create your desired aesthetic. 

*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.

About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.



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