As the mini-cassette turns 50, here are some interesting facts

The favourite of the typing pool and the first telephone answering machines, has come a long way – over 3 million miles of tape in over 150 million cassettes produced since 1967.

As the mini-cassette turns 50, it’s hard to describe just what a big impact this tiny object had after its introduction by Philips in 1967.

Over 150 million have been made to date, which if you laid the cassettes end to end would reach from London to Delhi or over 6500Km (4000 miles). The mini-cassettes also contained over 5 million Km (3 million miles) of tape, enough to cover the distance from the earth to the moon 13 times.

Take a letter please Sandra. Dear …..full stop!
Back in pre-personal computer days, the typing pool was a huge area of employment, and any senior manager would have a nominated typist to type letters and documents. Today Philips Speech Processing has replaced typists and the typing pool with a Cloud-based, Artificial Intelligence powered service, SpeechLive, capable of automatically translating speech to text with 99% accuracy, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Around 5 million cassettes a year were produced at the peak, and even today Philips Speech Processing still produces mini-cassettes, but admittedly now on only a single machine at the company’s factory in Vienna – with our own NHS still a customer.

The total production numbers may be huge but it’s still hard to explain to younger generations used to digital products just how much the mini-cassette was once involved in day-to-day life.

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