Hardly any development has changed the world in the past years and decades as digitalization. Here are 12 significant technological advancements of today.
12 Technologies that Change the World
A world without cars? That would be hard to imagine these days. When Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler first put an engine in a carriage in October 1886, he probably had no idea that it would lay the foundation for our modern-day life. It was the most important invention of the 19th century. But it shouldn’t be the last technology that has turned the world upside down.
The Beginning of Remote Control
Conquering the Universe
In 1957, the 83-kilogram aluminum “Sputnik” was launched into space even before satellite, the moon landing, or even space tourism was considered. Unfortunately, it was not only the indicator of the progress but also the starting point of the technological level of the Cold War. Nevertheless, “Sputnik” was always a milestone in the history of humankind.
A New Level of Entertainment
In 1972 entertainment was finally revolutionized. It was the birth of “Atari Pong,” the predecessor of Playstation, Xbox, Game Boy & Co. Suddenly, the living room at home became the focus of leisure activities — a development that, from today’s perspective, is not necessarily ideal for children and adolescents. Nevertheless, despite its simplicity, the little “Pong” grossed a whopping 22 million US dollars and triggered a lot of hype. Interestingly, this has remained unchanged to this day, and the classic console game continues to be “gambled” worldwide.
Everyday Use of the Computer
Around a decade later, IBM sold the first home computer in 1981. Such systems had been in use for a long time. Still, they were too large and too expensive for the “8/15 user” and incompatible with one another. IBM, on the other hand, created identical software for all computer systems and thereby transformed it into objects of everyday use — especially convenient for the business sector. Later, people started using it privately as well. Together with mobile phones and broadband internet, this development is likely to be one of the most important innovations of the 21st century.
Phoning Becomes Mobile
Speaking of which….Even though they looked ridiculous with their 30 centimeters in length and almost a kilogram in weight, the first cell phones were the basis for today’s smartphones.
Phoning became mobile in 1983 — on a commercial level. The cell phones quickly became slimmer and cheaper. At the beginning of the 2000s, life without a mobile phone was already inconceivable for a large part of the population. Nowadays, most people can be reached 24/7 via their smartphones, even on vacation. Many of us have several devices for different purposes, for example, a private smartphone and one for business calls. That is as understandable as having a simple bicycle for small rides and one of the best ebikes under 2000 dollars for rather extreme activities. So, the mobile phone has not only changed the technological world but even society and its habits as a whole.
The Internet Creates a New World
The World Wide Web, as such, existed before 1995. However, the connections were still too slow and, therefore, anything but suitable for the masses. With the introduction of broadband Internet, however, the bits were finally fast enough for one to actually surf the Internet. Google, YouTube, and Amazon have become parts of everyday life, and the influence of the global network was going to grow with the subsequent introduction of DSL in 1999.
WordPress Turns Journalism Upside Down
However, before 2004 when WordPress was invented, the Internet looked different. The creation of content was limited to a few commercial providers or news agencies. “User-generated content” was not even born as a term. But, WordPress suddenly appeared and enabled everyone in the world with access to the internet to have their own website. The web blogs, or simply blogs, were born and replaced traditional journalism.
The “Cloud” of the Future
Cloud technology, which was first introduced in 2010, still plays a rather subordinate role. Nevertheless, it is already part of the daily routine of many commercial and individual Internet users, and experts are certain that the future of digital storage spaces lies in the “clouds.” Cloud storage makes physical data carriers unnecessary and provides the user with unprecedented freedom of data storage and use. Here, data is literally mobile — without having to be copied to the large and heavy external storage devices.
Job Interviews with a Computer
A current development that is making milestones is the conquest of everyday working life by artificial intelligence. Some of the German companies are already using computer programs to pre-select candidates for their application processes. AI is objective and can evaluate more data than the human brain, as employers state. The choice of words, the tone, the speaking speed, and many other factors say more about a person than what was actually said. Based on the so-called stable personality traits, an alarmingly precise profile of the person can then be created with the use of psychological diagnostics. There is still great skepticism among the population, but job interviews combined computer assistance will soon become normal and thus represent a current technological breakthrough.
The Future of the Internet
While broadband is a milestone of the 20th century, wireless broadband is likely to be the breakthrough in Internet history in the 21st century. 3G and 4G technology are still in their infancy, but could soon provide fast Internet for everyone and thereby take digital networking to a whole new level. The 5G mobile network is also already in the starting stages and would probably reach speeds that allow downloading a full HD movie within a few seconds.
Body Parts and More with the 3D Printer
The 3D printers are actually not a new invention, but they are still in the testing phase. If technology is mature one day, it could change the future drastically. Organic electronics such as teeth or prostheses, in particular, should one day be produced nationwide using a 3D printer. But in the long term, much more is conceivable: maybe a house made with a 3D printer? We will see!
Cars that Don’t Need People
Another innovation that is already in the starting position but needs to take a few more years to become convenient and safe for everyday use and thereby change the world is self-driving cars. Today, the technology is so mature that experts consider a future impossible without a self-driving vehicle. Here, the circle closes in 1886: could Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler guess at the time what his motorized carriage would lead to? And who knows what future technologies will bring…