Reilly Brennan

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Reilly Brennan is the Executive Director of the Revs Automotive Research Program at Stanford, a lecturer at the Stanford d.school and creator of various mobility prototypes and mishaps.

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  1. Requiem For A Clock Radio: Sony Dream Machine Discontinued

    Sony discontinued their Dream Machine clock radios in the U.S at some point over the last year. This proved to be a non-event for most of the consuming public, but when I found out directly from Sony’s PR team last week (they’ve moved over to the “Dash” line of clock radios), it struck me as the death of another great consumer brand. Is it that Sony can’t manage technology brands through format evolution? Or is it that they just have too many things going on, too many new brands to create, and too much…stuff to do? I wish I knew. When you search for the Dream Machine on Google, your first result is Sony’s own page for the ICF-C180 (“Start your day with the ICF-C180!”), sadly reported as “No Longer Available.”

    Dream Machines weren’t historic works of art, nor were they the stuff of business school case studies, but they were…everywhere. My sister and my mom both had white ‘digicubes’ and those sounds (my sister’s radio tuned to 89X, my mom’s buzzer) woke up our house every single day until I went to college. I eventually got my first in middle school, probably around 1990, although I rarely set the alarm. Nearly all of my friends had one and practically every guest bedroom I slept in had one. They just existed — the helvetica of clock radios.

    Sony’s 8FC-59 was the icon that started it all — the first breakout digital clock radio, with flip-over numbers and eventually a 7-segment display. Before that time our bedside tables lit with the dull glow of actual clock dials, forcing us to make sense of hour hands in the ungodly hours of the morning. The “Dream Machine” (as my friend Sam pointed out, a curious name for a product that wakes you up) innovation proved to be the palm-width snooze bar called the Dream Bar, right up front on top, exactly where you want to smash it with your fist. It worked.

    In no particular order, here is a litany of old Dream Machines dating back some 30 years. Tomorrow morning when you wake, think of all the mornings they faithfully broke you from your slobbery lullabys and helped you start your day, your life.

    8FC-59

    EZ-2

    EZ-4

    ICF-C3W (special Pink edition)

    ICF-C3W

    ICF-C10

    ICF-C101

    ICF-CX1

    ICF-218

    ICF-C805W

    ICF-C763

    ICF-C80W

    ICF-CD815

    ICF-C4W

    ICF-C16

    ICF-C30W

    ICF-C17W

    ICF-C350

    ICF-C220W

    Wednesday October 19, 2011
    Posted at 11:02 pm
    Permalink ∞
    tags: #Sony Dream Machine  #products  #electronics 
    Notes: 45
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