Considering that the theme of the TI Retiree Luncheon held at the Mesquite Convention Center on November 1, 2012 was the celebration of the Fortieth anniversary of TI's first consumer product, it was very appropriate that the main speaker was Melendy Lovett, TI's Senior Vice President. and the President of TI Educational Technology, which produces TI's current consumer electronic products.
Over the last 40 years, the name of the organization producing TI's consumer products has changed several times. It was called Consumer Group from 1972 through 1994, Personal Productivity Products from 1994 through 1997, Educational & Productivity Solutions from 1997 through 2004 and Education Technology from 2004 through the present.
Melendy briefly reviewed TI's overall business,reporting that TI's 2011 revenue by segment broke down as follows:
- Analog $6.4B,
- Embedded Processing $2.1B,
- Wireless $2.5B and Other (including Educational Technology) $2.7B.
TI has manufacturing, design or sales facilities in more than 35 countries serving over 90,000 customers worldwide. But she quickly switched to a review of TI's consumer products over the last 40 years. Of course,the introduction of the TI Datamath Calculator in 1972 was covered in some detail and the principal engineers involved in this seminal product were introduced and received a well deserved round of applause.
Other significant firsts for TI were the TI-52 programmable calculator in 1975, the Little Professor educational toy in 1976, the Speak & Spell in 1978, the TI-Explorer (the first instructional calculator developed with the help of teachers) in 1987, the TI-81 graphing calculator for math and science in 1990 and the TI Navigator classroom learning system in 2001.
Melendy covered TI's current Nspire line of products beginning with the TI-Nspire Handheld graphing calculator with click pad in 2007, the TI-Nspire Navigator System in 2010 and the TI-Nspire CX handheld graphing calculator and software.
She told about 45 Years of TI Innovation and achievements in the consumer electronics field and many of these products were in the exhibit hall for us to view.
- 1967 Electronic calculator invented by TI engineers.
- 1971 Single-chip microcomputer first placed in calculator.
- 1972 TI-2500 Datamath calculator – first TI consumer electronic product.
- 1975 SR-52 – first programmable calculator.
- 1975 First electronic watches.
- 1976 TI Little Professor - first electronic educational toy.
- 1977 TI-58 and TI-59 – first programmable scientific calculators.
- 1978 Speak & Spell – first electronic toy with synthesized speech.
- 1979 TI 99/4 home computer.
- 1981 TI-1776 – first solar-powered calculator.
- 1987 TI-Explorer – first instructional calculator developed with teachers.
- 1990 TI-81 – first graphing calculator for math and science.
- 1992 TI-85 advanced graphic calculator.
- 1998 TI-89 electrically upgradeable and TI-89 Titanium graphing calculators.
- 1998 TI-71 FLASH-based paragraphing calculator for middle grades.
- 2001 TI-Navigator class room learning system.
- 2002 Voyage 200 advanced graphing calculator.
- 2007 TI-Nspire handheld graphing calculator with click pad.
- 2010 TI-Nspire Navigator System.
- 2011 TI-Nspire CX hand-held graphing calculator and software.
Melendy thanked everyone present who had worked to develop, manufacture or market any of these products and asked them to stand and be recognized by those attending the luncheon. A significant percentage of the attendees stood for this honor.