Sharp Wizard PDA

Sharp Wizard OZ-7000. Source: Sharp, 1989

Before smartphones, we had personal digital assistants. The first PDAs were handheld devices that could run apps (either built-in or on an IC card), get email, and go online (but not the web–not invented yet). Video was oriented to text, so graphics and animation were a challenge.

Businesspeople using the Wizard. Source: Sharp, 1989

The Sharp Wizard was one of the more popular PDAs. Introduced in 1989 with the model OZ-7000 (IQ-7000 in Japan), the Wizard folded out with a keyboard on the right and a small screen and touchpad on the left. Touchpad overlays allowed for command shortcuts for apps. An Organizer Link kit connected the Wizard to a PC so users could create and edit documents on the PC and transfer them to the PDA.

Organizer Link for the Wizard. Source: Sharp, 1989

PDAs were cumbersome to use and had many limitations including inadequate memory, storage, and processing power. Their promise was not realized until smartphones–the Apple iPhone in particular–appeared nearly 20 years later.

Introduced: Januar 7, 1989
Original retail price: $299
Base Configuration: 32K RAM (96K max), alphanumeric keypad, 8-line by 16 character LCD touchscreen, IC card slot
Size/Weight: 4w x 6h inches, 8 oz.