It was the fall of 1965 and Jack Kilby and Patrick Haggerty of Texas Instruments sat on a flight as Haggerty explained his idea for a calculator that could fit in the palm of a hand. This was a huge challenge since at that time calculators were the size of typewriters and plugged into wall sockets for their power. Kilby, who’d co-invented the integrated circuit just seven years earlier while at TI, lived to solve problems.
By the time they landed, Kilby had decided they should come up with a calculator that could fit in your pocket, cost less than $100, and could add, subtract, multiply, divide and maybe do square roots. He chose the code name, Project Cal Tech, for this endeavor, which seemed logical as TI had previously had a Project MIT.
Rather than study how existing calculators worked, they decided to start from scratch. The task was broken into five parts: the keyboard, the memory, the processor, the power supply, and some form of output. The processing portion came down to a four-chip design, one more than was initially hoped for. The output was also tricky for the time. CRTs were out of the question, neon lights required too high a voltage and LEDs were still not bright enough. In the end, they developed a thermal printer that burned images into heat-sensitive paper.
Just over twelve months later, with the parts all spread out on a table, it quietly spat out correct answers. A patent application was filed resulting in US patent 3,819,921, Miniature electronic calculator, which outlined the basic design for all the calculators to follow. This, idea borne of a discussion on an airplane, was a pivotal moment that changed the way we teach every student, and brought the power of solid-state computing technology into everyday life.
TI showed the Cal Tech prototype to a number of companies and Canon took an interest. Canon brought it to market as the Pocketronic, releasing it in Japan in October 1970 and the US in April 1971, selling for around $150 ($910 in 2017 dollars). It had three chips and a heat-sensitive paper tape readout. It was still just handheld though, not really pocket-sized, but sold very well.
By then a number of other handheld calculators were also hitting the market. In November 1970, the first calculator-on-a-chip, the Mostek MK6010, was announced, followed in February 1971 by the first truly pocket-sized calculator, the Busicom LE-120A “Handy” that used the chip. That same year, TI followed with their own calculator-on-a-chip and in 1972 TI started releasing its own calculators.
In 1972 Hewlett-Packard released the HP-35, the first scientific calculator, one that could replace a slide rule. It used reverse Polish notation (which our own [Jenny List] recently wrote about), included scientific notation and had 35 buttons, hence its name. Despite a $395 price tag ($2,320 in 2017), 100,000 were sold in its first year. The HP-35, along with the release of TI’s equivalent SR-50 in 1974 for $150, spelled the end of the real slide rule. (The SR stood for Slide Rule.)
Display technology also advanced through vacuum fluorescent displays, LEDs and LCDs. In the mid-1970s, twisted nematic (TN) LCDs gave calculators the now omnipresent dark numerals on a light background while decreasing the power requirements to the point where they could run on button cells.
Prices dropped as new features were added and sales doubled each year. By 1976, a four-function calculator cost only a few dollars. In 1972, 5 million calculators were sold in the US and within ten years there were more calculators in the US than people.
Why had the calculator become so popular? This was a clear case of a consumer product that was conceived for a market that wasn’t known to exist. When Haggerty conceived of the idea in 1965, calculators were heavy and took up significant space on a desktop, so perhaps the convenience of one which you could carry around played a part. They also needed no setup, no programming — simply flip the on/off switch and do some calculations. For the average person, they replaced the need to learn multiplication tables, necessary for working out how much a dozen apples would cost at $0.05 an apple. They also made it easier for the high school student to do the trigonometry in their physics homework. Though, in the early 1970s, given the initial high price, perhaps it was engineers and companies that bought them first.
I can attest to the latter. I was just becoming a teenager back around 1976 when my father bought a TI-30 calculator for $25, or around $107 in 2017 dollars. The mining company at which he worked as an electrician had made them available. Before that, I recall using long division to divide up a long sheet of paper for a mural that was to be a backdrop for a school play. I would likely have gone on to learn to use a slide rule, but never did. After the calculator arrived, I’ve done long division on paper only once when no calculator was available, though I have done it for fun and to see if I remember how.
Through the decades that followed, calculators continued to gain functionality. In 1974, HP came out with their first programmable calculator, the HP-65. It had 100 functions and stored programs with a magnetic card reader. Starting in 1978, a company called Calculated Industries released very niche calculators such as the Loan Arranger for the Real Estate industry with functions for calculating payments and future values. Then later came the Construction Master with programmed functions for pitch, rise, run, feet-inch conversions and more. In the 1990s TI came out with the TI-81, a popular graphing calculator for algebra and precalculus courses and power by a Zilog Z80.
If memory serves, it was a programmable Sharp El-5040 with a single line formula display that I’d left behind in a University auditorium, hopefully having found a good home on an engineer’s desk. Now, my Sharp EL-531W, also with a single line formula that can be retrieved and edited, sits ever-present beside my computer monitor, getting daily use while a Casio fx-3600P that I’d thought I’d lost but later found, sits waiting for its turn in my desk drawer.
This being Hackaday, you no doubt have a calculator that gets frequent use. Or perhaps you have your own fond memories of one that got away or a family one that you grew up with. Or perhaps there’s one you’ve hacked, like this ESP8266-connected scientific calculator? Share your stories with us, we’d love to hear how the calculator has played a part in your life. We also wonder how much longer the calculator as a distinct piece of electronics will survive now that the infinite adaptability of smartphones has made calculator apps the go-to for today’s upcoming engineering candidates?
[Pocketronic photo used in main image via Dentaku-Museum]
An 81-year-old man presents to the ER with an acute ischemic stroke; IV thrombolytic therapy is recommended. Administered as a therapeutic agent within 4.5 hours after stroke, tissue plasminogen activator has been shown to Improve neurologic outcomes.
Banham, Vicki 2007. Determining a Fair Outcome: The Role of the Review Process in Ensuring the Accreditation Decision Accurately Reflects the Practices of the Childcare Centre. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, Vol. 1, Issue. 1, p. 85.
Campbell, Colin 2011. Judiciaries in Comparative Perspective. p. 279.
Kirkham, Richard 2016. The ombudsman, tribunals and administrative justice section: a 2020 vision for the ombudsman sector. Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, Vol. 38, Issue. 1, p. 103.
Lefebvre, Stéphane 2019. What do judges say on the protection of intelligence secrets?. Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 34, Issue. 1, p. 62.
Goldhammer, Michael 2021. Deutschland zwischen europäischer Integration und Souveränismus – La Germania tra integrazione europea e sovranismo. p. 43.
When a medical emergency occurs during a commercial flight, health care providers should be prepared to respond. This review offers guidance on how to respond to the more common emergencies and on roles and liabilities in offering medical assistance aboard an airplane.
Rise in electric boats adoption with surge in environmental concerns and stringent emission regulations along with the increase in marine tourism drive the global electric boat market growth.
PORTLAND, Ore., July 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Allied Market Research published a report, titled, "Electric Boat Market by Propulsion (Pure Electric Boats, Hybrid Electric Boats), by Battery Type (Lead-acid Battery, Lithium-ion Battery, Nickel-based Battery), by Range (Less than 50 km, 50 to 100 km, 101 to 1, 000 km, More than 1, 000 km), by Power (Below 5 KW, Between 5 KW to 30 KW, Above 30 KW), by Application (Passenger Boats, Cargo Boats, Others): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2021-2031". According to the report, the global electric boat industry generated $5.0 billion in 2021, and is anticipated to generate $16.6 billion by 2031, witnessing a CAGR of 12.9% from 2022 to 2031.
Prime determinants of growth
Increase in adoption of electric boats with increase in environmental concerns and strict emission regulations, rise in seaborne trade activities, and growth in the marine tourism industry drive the growth of the global electric boat market. However, limited capacity of batteries in electric boats and high cost of electric propulsion systems restrict the market growth. On the other hand, growth & development to expand charging infrastructure, government support to promote the adoption of electric boats, and technological advancements present new opportunities in the coming years.
Download Report (377 Pages PDF with Insights, Charts, Tables, Figures) at https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/request-sample/9131
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the global electric boat market, owing to delay in production.
The pandemic led to closure of manufacturing units, supply chain disruptions, shortage of raw materials, and unavailability of workforce, which, in turn, hampered the market growth.
However, the electric boat sector experienced a significant growth in the post-pandemic era.
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The 50 to 100 km segment to maintain its leadership status throughout the forecast period
Based on range, the 50 to 100 km segment held the highest market share in 2021, accounting for more than two-fifths of the global electric boat market, and is estimated to maintain its leadership status throughout the forecast period. Several companies are launching new electric boats with improved range across the globe, which boosts growth of the market. However, the 101 to 1,000 km segment is projected to manifest the highest CAGR of 14.1% from 2022 to 2031. Launches of new electric boats in this range by electric boat manufacturers boost the growth of the segment.
The passenger boats segment to maintain its lead position during the forecast period
Based on application, the passenger boats segment accounted for the largest share in 2021, contributing to more than two-thirds of the global electric boat market, and is projected to maintain its lead position during the forecast period. This is attributed to the fact that passenger electric boats are meant for recreation, and thus, manufacturers focus more on comfort with aesthetic interiors. However, the cargo boats segment is expected to portray the largest CAGR of 14.8% from 2022 to 2031, due to their wide usage to transport huge quantities of heavy goods.
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Europe to maintain its dominance by 2031
Based on region, Europe held the highest market share in terms of revenue in 2021, accounting for nearly half of the global electric boat market, owing to the presence of the key market players and increase in demand for zero-emission and high-performance boats. However, the North America region is expected to witness the fastest CAGR of 14.0% from 2022 to 2031. This is attributed to rise in environment concerns, high fuel cost, and government rules & regulations toward reducing emission in marine transport.
Leading Market Players: -
Aquawatt Green Marine Technologies
Boesch Motorboote AG
Boote Marian GmbH
Candela Technology AB
Duffy Electric Boat Company
Echandia Group AB
ElectraCraft Power Boats
Frauscher Bootswerft GmbH & Co KG
Grove Boats SA
Learboats USA, Inc.
NavAlt Solar & Electric Boats Pvt. Ltd
RAND Boats ApS
Soel Yachts B.V.
Vision Marine Technologies Inc.
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
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Allied Market Research (AMR) is a full-service market research and business-consulting wing of Allied Analytics LLP based in Portland, Oregon. Allied Market Research provides global enterprises as well as medium and small businesses with unmatched quality of "Market Research Reports" and "Business Intelligence Solutions." AMR has a targeted view to provide business insights and consulting to assist its clients to make strategic business decisions and achieve sustainable growth in their respective market domain.
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