A gadget is generally a new device or even any old innovative electrical product. Gadgets can be known as gizmos or even whizbits. The word gadget originated from the French word, “gizmo” (meaning “little gadget”). It may stem from the invention of the first electronic small hand-held device, the telephone, in the late 1890s.
Generally, gizmo was replaced by the term gadget due to its greater acceptability in the English language. By the twentieth century, however, the word gadget had come to be associated with more commonplace electrical products such as calculator, microwave, television, and the telephone. The first used of the word gadget came from a book published in German in 1950. The book was called “Giten kulturen” (culture of gadgets). The phrase became very popular in Germany and was adopted by the rest of Europe. In France, the phrase became “Je t’aime” (I’m fond of gadgets).
When talking about a new type of hardware device, it is often assumed that such a term would denote some sort of new machine. However, in many cases this is not so. A lot of times the words gadget and hardware device are used interchangeably. For instance, a digital camera, computer, laptop, digital music player, video game system, cellular phone, tablet PC, mobile phone, etc.
Gadgets are generally considered to have been introduced to the public in the year 1970, when the first mass-produced cellular phones were being produced commercially. The term gadget was applied to all these devices. The first mass-produced gadget that could be considered a gizmo was the calculator. Since then, there have been numerous other types of gizmos produced commercially.
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to identify a modern gadget from a traditional hardware device without looking at its architecture and design. A cellular phone may look like an ordinary pocketbook, but it is actually made out of several different components. The basic unit, which may be a hand-held personal computer or a digital camera, contains the necessary software programs and storage media. These programs, which are called applications, make the cell phone functional. In addition, the hardware part of the unit, which can be considered the display screen, contains the necessary hardware to receive the incoming calls and display the caller’s image. This is how modern gadgets get their names.
There are some gizmos that are considered by the majority as “no-brainers,” like the electronic toothbrush or the handheld Global Positioning System. But there are some items on the market today that, while perhaps not completely necessary, are considered essential because they make daily tasks much simpler and help us take advantage of new technologies. Such examples include the iPad, which may not be the hottest new gadget on the market, is no doubt a hands-free tool for taking photos and videos. But if you have never used one before, having a simple guide on how to use it can make using the product much easier.