Apple released yet another game changer with its late-December 2016 release of the first-gen AirPods, their first wireless Bluetooth earbuds that would be succeeded by a much better product in the second-gen AirPods in March 2019. Since the original Apple AirPods released, there have been numerous (and sometimes better) wireless Bluetooth earbuds released from even gaming-focused companies like Razer and the Hammerheard earbuds.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7
Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone to quite the (literal) bang in 2016, with battery-related issues that dominated headlines and saw the company recalling every Galaxy Note 7 sold. I personally owned and loved the Galaxy Note 7, and while my phone wasn't faulty at the time it was my favorite smartphone of the year -- and hell, even the couple of years before it.
The Death of the 3.5mm Headphone Jack
It was in 2016 when we started to see the 3.5mm headphone debacle really begin, when Apple released its new iPhone 7 at the time without a 3.5mm jack. This started a gigantic industry-changing moment with its competitors slowing removing the 3.5mm audio jack from not just their smartphones, but other devices and products, too. Smartphone users were the most-hit, with hundreds of millions of smartphones now shipping every year without the much-loved and much-used 3.5mm headphone jack.
The VR hype was never real... but in some ways it was, as Oculus first consumer VR headset in the Oculus Rift launching in 2016. The story of the Oculus Rift first began with Palmer Luckey taking to Kickstarter to raise funds for the development of the Oculus Rift, with the DK1 and DK2 units being incredibly popular. Oculus VR was later purchased by Facebook for $2 billion.
GeForce GTX 10 Series (Pascal)
NVIDIA went from great to even greater from the Maxwell GPU architecture to the Pascal GPU architecture and the 2016 release of the GeForce GTX 10 series graphics cards. NVIDIA started off by unveiling the GeForce GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 at first, and then rolled out the kick ass GTX 1080 Ti on the eve of AMD unveiling its Vega GPU architecture. What a time for graphics cards!
I don't think I need to say anymore here, but we all know the 2016 hype of cryptocurrency and graphics cards being sold out, millions of new crypto miners (including myself with 60+ graphics cards and 10s of thousands in electricity bills and even more fun), and mayhem in between. Man, the 2016 wave of cryptocurrency was truly an insane time to be a technology and GPU enthusiast.
Microsoft kinda changed directions with its HoloLens headset, with the Windows Mixed Reality program running under Windows 10, most people thought it was going to compete with the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, but it went into other markets eventually and ended up with the HoloLens 2 in 2019.
Pokemon GO was a massive viral sensation for mobile gamers with the AR smash game hitting iOS and Android and taking developer Niantic to the next level. Pokemon GO saw millions of people getting out into the real-world and walking around, spurring physical fitness, and saw a gigantic drive in organic business to local businesses as people were walking and driving around playing Pokemon GO. Again, what a time to be alive when the Pokemon GO hype started in 2016.
Last updated: Dec 30, 2019 at 06:11 am CST
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