The name may not be familiar to you, but the Spectrum computer certainly is. Even though it’s not from your time, as it’s not from mine, we often hear about how Spectrum revolutionized computers and video games, meaning a great innovation at the time, whether for professionals or consumers.
But Sinclair’s life story was much richer than “just” the ZX Spectrum, as his inventions were very innovative, in some cases too innovative for the time, and they ended up becoming a flop. However, Sinclair’s beginnings in technology life began in other areas, such as journalists, before creating his own company.
Sinclair’s story began as a technology journalist at Instrument Practice in the UK, where he raked in enough money to start his own company at the age of 21, Sinclair Radionnics, in 1961. The first products to be launched were calculators. pocket, Sinclair Executive in 1972, and Sinclair’s goal was to produce quality and affordable products. This is the focus that led to the production of home computers.
The first home computer to be released was the ZX80, which at the time revolutionized the computer market, as it cost £79.95 in parts and £99.95 assembled, which was a fifth of the price of computers at the time. This first bet sold 50 thousand units, while in the second, the ZX81 sold 250 thousand units and still cost a little less, 69.95 pounds. It is also important to note that, just like here, the pound at the time had a different value than it is today.
But it was in 1982 that it launched the revolutionary ZX Spectrum 48K, which raised the bar and which many point to as the great driving force behind video games. But it wasn’t just computers that Sinclair was dedicated to, despite never having had the same success.
His company also produced the TV80, a mini portable flat-screen TV, which sold just 15,000 units. In 1983, Sinclair founded Sinclair Vehicles and launched the Sinclair C5, a battery-powered electric vehicle, which today we can say was the basis for some electric vehicles. However, he was not successful either, and in this case, clearly, his idea was too advanced for the time.