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January 28, 2013

Raving About Retro: Modern Gadgets with a Vintage Feel

by Mariah Schaefer

Technology has advanced so much over the last decade or so that it’s hard not to look back in time and wonder what it was like to live in a time when the world seemed simpler and people weren’t constantly looking down at their iPhones. With all this wondering comes a desire to recreate the past and experience it for oneself. Luckily, it’s not that hard to mix the modern world with the past – for many companies are integrating past trends with today’s technology and creating cool gadgets that make one feel completely retro.

“I think it’s so awesome that we’re seeing a resurgence of retro gadgets, not only record players, but old fashioned cameras, cell phone accessories, etc. Things that your grandparents might own are actually becoming cool! It must be nice for people who grew up with turntables and cassette tapes. Now they can go to the store and find old school items that might bring them nostalgia. Gadgets like these aren’t hard to come by in today’s modern world. Retail stores like Urban Outfitters offer a variety of these trinkets for affordable prices,” says Hannah Buhr, a junior at Centennial High School.

An old school item that has been brought back to the spotlight is the record player. Many of today’s artists, like Lana Del Rey, release vinyl records along with CD and digital copies. This makes it possible for people to enjoy new music while also enjoying the feel of a record player.

“I feel like listening to music on a record player is an activity. You can’t skip songs; you have to really listen to the whole album throughout. This gives you a greater appreciation for the music, whereas if you’re listening to a CD you might not be fully focused on the songs. Some people might argue that iPods and CDs have a better sound quality, but I love the sound of the needle hitting the edge of the vinyl for the first time. The crackles and warps you hear as the record plays definitely add something as well,” opines Buhr.

Record players aren’t the only music gadgets that have been redesigned to fit today’s needs. If one is looking to amplify his or her iPhone’s sound while also looking retro, one doesn’t need to look further than retro modern iPhone docking stations. Styles range from vintage radios to fun boom boxes.

Various different accessories exist for turning the modern iPhone into a retro phone. These accessories include simple attachable handsets, funny 1980’s cases, and stationary phone docks. With these items, it’s impossible for a person not to feel like he or she is in a past decade.

Game lovers and photography lovers can also enjoy their favorite activities with a touch of vintage. For the game lovers, a gadget that turns an iPad into an arcade is a very fun thing to acquire. For the photography lovers, finding the perfect retro modern camera is easy because brands like Fujifilm make beautiful digital cameras with a vintage feel.

Most retro modern objects are new objects designed to look old. That is not the case with the USB Typewriter. This typewriter is a regular typewriter modified to be used as a keyboard for computers and iPads. It definitely brings a vintage feel to writing an essay for school.

By the way the world has become very technological, one might wonder, “Why go back to less advanced technology?” The answer is quite simple: retro modern gadgets are fun, creative, and allow people to experience trends from the past while still being in the present. “I love my [record player] because it takes me back in time,” says Hannah Buhr, “if only for a time slot of 12 songs.”

Below is a slideshow containing some of the retro modern gadgets mentioned in this article.

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