Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery

Credit card radio

Radio
ca. 1985 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This credit-card-sized radio represents an important stage in Sony's development of miniaturised audio equipment. Its predecessors included the first pocket radio, the TR-63, developed in 1957, and the Walkman, introduced in 1979.

The electronics are all incorporated into one chip, which takes up only a fraction of the space inside the plastic casing. Most of the space is devoted to batteries and to the component that controls the tuning, called a capacitor. The capacitor was itself replaced by an even smaller tuning component, a tiny diode, in later models. The small size of all the components allowed the designer great freedom to choose the shape of the final product, making it resemble another familiar product: a credit card.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleModel ICR 501 (manufacturer's title)
Materials and Techniques
Plastic case
Brief Description
Credit Card ICR 501; Japanese, 1985, des. and man. Sony
Dimensions
  • Height: 8.5cm
  • Width: 5.3cm
  • Depth: 0.4cm
Gallery Label
SONY AM 'CREDIT CARD' MODEL ICR 501 Designed and made by the Sony Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, about 1985 Plastic case Given by Sony (UK) Ltd. W.20-1992 The 'micro' nature of recent technology allows designers great freedom in their choice of appearance for technological products. Sometimes, as here, this freedom has been used to make one product look like another. [20th century gallery]
Credit line
Given by Sony (UK) Ltd
Historical context
This represents a further stage in Sony's development of compact audio goods, leading on from the first pocket radio TR-63 (1957) and the Walkman (1979, see W.12-1992)
Summary
This credit-card-sized radio represents an important stage in Sony's development of miniaturised audio equipment. Its predecessors included the first pocket radio, the TR-63, developed in 1957, and the Walkman, introduced in 1979.



The electronics are all incorporated into one chip, which takes up only a fraction of the space inside the plastic casing. Most of the space is devoted to batteries and to the component that controls the tuning, called a capacitor. The capacitor was itself replaced by an even smaller tuning component, a tiny diode, in later models. The small size of all the components allowed the designer great freedom to choose the shape of the final product, making it resemble another familiar product: a credit card.
Collection
Accession Number
W.20-1992

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record createdFebruary 8, 2008
Record URL