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.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.