That would be the early 1990's for the shoe phone. Sports Illustrated had a promotion where if you subscribed to the magazine, you would get a free shoe phone. This was an important accessory to anyone's stylish apartment. While the shoe phone was laughed at at the time, it appears they are now commanding up to $35 on EBay. In a few years they could be worth thousands of dollars. I think they should relaunch the promo and also do a new commercial with a Seattle Seahawk phoning his mom news of their victory on a shoe phone.
It would never have struck me that something like this was available so long ago -- I wonder what the guys who were working on that technology think of the stuff we have available to us today (like Bluetooth and the micro-miniature MEMS sensors)?
And the blog post notes the outfit that did them was started by a couple of former Commodore employees, The C64 came out in 1982 , which makes the choice of the Apple IIe as the host computer you would upload the data to a bit surprising.
Replay available now: A handful of emerging network technologies are competing to be the preferred wide-area connection for the Internet of Things. All claim lower costs and power use than cellular but none have wide deployment yet. Listen in as proponents of leading contenders make their case to be the metro or national IoT network of the future. Rick Merritt, EE Times Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, moderators this discussion. Join in and ask his guests questions.