Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sega IR7000 Communicator

If there's any one thing I share a love and frustration with, it's the company Sega. I am through and through a voracious fanboy, and most of my video game collection is rife with all things Sega.
Front of the IR7000 Communicator
The IR7000 though was one device that for a while, I didn't even know existed. I seem to have remembered seeing it once or twice many years ago, but because it never gained any real ground in the marketplace, much less from any of the other few people I knew that had Sega systems.

The back featured a small visual guide of some of the main features on the IR7000.
In recent years I've started looking for more for more of the obscure or rarer Sega items. The IR7000 is not often found out in the wild, at least around here in the midwest, but I did find a seller out of California (where it seems the majority of finds of rarer things are found) that had this one on hand a few years back.
The only area that had any kind of cosmetic marring was the cover, and though they look fairly evident in the picture on the right, the light has to catch them just right and then they are apparent.
I haven't yet procured the CR2032 battery needed for the internal memory, so I will update this in the near future showing a bit more of the functionality of the unit.

There is a one/two player game "Brain Drain" that is embedded in the device, and features a scheduler, calendar, calculator, currency converter, alarm, memo pad, and a world map, with the ability to display in ten different languages. For my part, I think I would have enjoyed the Virtual Pet that was in the predecessor to this model in Casio's official line up. [I was a Tamagotchi nut, having carried around a Yoda virtual pet for like 4 years, in college, until that little thing just wore out.] 

Like all the rest of the Casio line up, this organizer has a comfortable layout for handheld typing.
Under the protective shield cover, the keyboard was very clean, no wear or scuffing was evident on any of the characters on the type pad.

At first, I really wondered why in the world the manual was so large..., but then I found out that it was multilingual. If you've ever messed around with a pda of any kind, there's probably not a lot of need for this tome. I do have to say that if this was aimed at the younger demographic, nothing screams overwhelming more than an instruction manual that thick.
From what I can tell, this was an effort by Sega to maybe get more people on board and loyal to their brand with this communicator. I mean, in school, as an alternative to note passing, this was probably cool as hell. For the students anyway.

Come to think about it, I wonder now how teachers deal with the proliferation of electronic devices kids have now at their disposal to "talk" to one another. It's always a bit of wonder to see how far tech can come in a ten or in this case, twenty year span.

So my final thoughts? Well, since I've still not fired it up as of yet, I can only say that the form factor and look is slick and compact, but Casio has almost always made well designed electronics. I think it's a great and usually affordable odd end collectible for those of you into retro tech or Sega in general. You can usually find one online for around $30 for just the unit, and it's really pretty easy to figure out how to use it.

Until next time, cherish the good things in life, keep your hobbies and interests alive, and be kind to your fellow beings. - Mario, the Rogue Hobbyist.
Stats Rating/Information
Item IR7000 Communicator
Made by Casio/Sega
Rarity Very Uncommon - Box and Manual are far more rare
Classification Retro - Released in 1994
Condition Very Good
Procured Sacramento, California
Worth $30 to $80 (depending on condition and if box and manual are included)
Investment $27
Further Research N/A
Trivia & Fun Facts The the IR7000 was a very forward thinking bit of tech, but was actually a Casio product (part of the Secret Sender series) that had been created/branded for Sega. It was marketed to attempt to capture the much younger gaming/school age demographic and bring about texting and messaging aspects using it's IR sender. It would be some years before texting became the mainstay it is now with phones, and a practical cultural norm for most people even as young as eight years old. 

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