Icon: Tony Fadell
The man that moulds tech’s future, from PDAs to the internet of things
Internet of things? This man’s moulding it
TIME TO DOFF our METAPHORICAL CAPS, ONCE MORE, at those whose ingenuity has helped form our digital playthings. While tech has many inventors, designers and entrepreneurs, it’s rare to come across someone who is all three; Tony Fadell is one.
Originally known for his time at Apple, where he came up with the prototype for the first iPod, Fadell founded Nest Labs in 2010, where his aim to revolutionise connected home tech beat his previous employer to the punch by a cool four years.
With an Apple-like line of smart thermostats and smoke alarms you’d be proud to display on your wall like art, and Google snapping up his firm for a cool US$3.2bn, Fadell’s time is now.
Apple iPod 2001 Fadell created the concept and initial design of apple’s first mp3 player, moulding the clickwheel that pops up again in his designs for nest.
Apple iSight 2003 before the cupertino firm was able to place a webcam inside a screen, this did the honours. overly heavy and with a noticeable delay, but the tubular design was nifty.
Nest Protect 2013 this app-connected, smart smoke alarm’s gesture controls had a few teething problems, but now it’s back with a lower price but just as swish.
Philips Nino 1999 A pc that fitted in your palm, with a touchscreen operated by a stylus. sound familiar? This phablet grandaddy may not be as slick as fadell’s apple or nest kit, but shows an obsession with innovation.
Philips Velo 1997 one of the original handheld PDA s,this weighed around 500g, with both a keyboard and 480x240 greyscale screen. it’s one small step from this to the touchscreen-only nino.
Sony Magic Link 1994 before the velo or the nino, there was this spectrum-like craziness. Just a screen, with a built-in modem, plug-in keys and hella accessories.
Nest thermostat 2011 the ultimate combo of design and tech, this classy wall hanging learns what heatyou like your abode and manages it for you.