Blogs similar to the one you are reading right now were practically non-existent 20 years ago.
Gathering information was a tedious task before Google came into existence. Even after arriving on the horizon, it took Google a few years to establish a monopoly in the search engine kingdom.
Today, all of us treat long conversations with family, friends, girlfriends, and better halves as a daily task- all thanks to mobile phones. But before mobile phones made their presence felt, people had to literally turn the dial on the telephone multiple times and wait for their turn in order to listen to the sweet voice of the person on the other side.
Also, the presence of only a handful number of telecom operators meant these calls came at a royalty fee thus making sure the duration of these calls was short no matter how long people waited to get in touch with their near and dear ones.
Ok, truth be told we are not here to give you some sort of inferiority complex.
All these examples are not meant to put into perspective the struggle of the generations that came before us either.
Instead, these examples will act as a premise for what’s about to come next- A list of innovations that changed the world of tech and made our life easier for good. Read along. We promise it is going to be a fun ride.
This is a no-brainer. The impact the Internet has had over our lives in the last 25 years (give or take 5) is something that even the founding members of the internet (Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn) may not have fathomed the moment they went ahead with the idea of putting forth the TCP/IP protocols that determine the way data moves through a network.
Today the Internet is the reason people
- Talk to their loved ones over video calls
- Gather information within a matter of seconds
- Billions worth of transactions happen in the blink of an eye
- Conduct meetings, webinars, lectures, remote examinations, etc.
- Follow the trends and news that's happening across the world
- Stay updated with trends & people
- Obtain education from well-renowned instructors around the world.
- Education has become widely accessible - people from one part can learn from anyone else with no restrictions
Heck, recently when the whole world shut down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the Internet that came to the rescue and helped people stay connected and get through the tough times.
These are just the surface-level applications of the Internet that have made the lives of common people easier. If we dive deep into advanced applications of the Internet we would come across the Internet of Things (IoT) which is a prime example of the extent of the involvement of the Internet in our daily lives.
To put into perspective the role of the Internet in our lives, we have compiled this list of the 9 most interesting applications of IoT. Read about them here.
The computers that we use today just about fit on our lap. This is a monumental shift in scale when we look to compare the first-generation computers that used to be large enough to occupy an entire room. The reason for the first-generation computers occupying such a lot of space was the vacuum tubes that were bulky, unreliable, and consumed a lot of power.
Now when we look at transistors they are devices that are made of semiconductor materials (germanium and silicon) that can conduct as well as insulate electric current.
Transistors are very small in size as well and this is the sole reason transistors made it possible to significantly scale down the size of computers.
The age before transistors saw computers that consisted of vacuum tubes that were bulky and unreliable. With the transistors coming into the picture it became easier to build computers that occupied less space, and power and performed the same functions.
April 25 1961 was the date when the world of computers started changing. Actually, to be more precise, the world of computers started shrinking, courtesy of the integrated chips that were invented by Jack Kilby who was completely unaware of the fact he had got his hands on that one invention that would go on to change the tech landscape.
An integrated circuit, also known as a monolithic integrated circuit, is a collection of electronic circuits that are built on a flat semiconductor material such as silicon. All of the circuit's elements are electrically interconnected and associated in an integrated circuit.
The rising popularity of integrated chips resulted in the rapid adoption of electronic devices and machines worldwide. Also, integrated circuits brought with them a wide range of applications thus allowing them to be available in the market at low costs.
The use of integrated circuits in computers made them compact enough to be kept on top of the table and affordable enough for people who aspired to get their hands on a computer.
Apart from compact superfast computers, integrated circuits are the harbingers of the majority of the technological advancements that we see around us today.
Integrated circuits made banking processes fast and limitless. Electronic banking made it easier to do banking operations through electronic networks that had no geographical restrictions.
It’s been more than 60 years since Integrated Circuits arrived on the horizon and literally changed the way we use technology. Everything from microwave ovens, and juicers, to the bar code scanner in the supermarket, has integrated circuits embedded inside them.
With the coming of integrated circuits, computers became small enough to be put atop a table. But little did people know that they were about to become even smaller come 1971 when microprocessors announced their arrival on the stage.
Microprocessors are computer processors that contain the logic, math, and control circuitry required for the central processing unit (CPU) of a computer to function properly. A microprocessor's primary function is to receive, process, and store input instructions, as well as to output the results.
Earlier used in calculators, microprocessors performed the functions of a computer’s central processing unit. Today, microprocessors find application in washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens as well as automobiles.
Because of their central role in personal computers, microprocessors have had a significant global impact on communications, publishing, entertainment, and politics.
Personal computing was made possible by the microprocessor. The hardware foundation was laid in the 1970s, economies of scale were implemented in the 1980s, and a diverse range of devices and user interfaces became more accessible in the 1990s.
The development of more customisable and portable devices helped people fulfill their need for connectivity thus making computers almost a necessary part of our lives.
The discovery of optical fiber has been a key breakthrough in the technology landscape. It is now possible to transmit massive amounts of information at record-breaking speeds, with minimal interference.
All of this is due to a natural phenomenon in which total internal reflection allows a light beam to travel hundreds of kilometers down a glass fiber or a shorter distance down a plastic version.
The sheer speed with which this can be done and the amount of data that can be transmitted with the help of optic fiber have opened the doors to many new inventions across industries such as medicine, manufacturing, and communications.
Connecting the elements of the internet in a safe and reliable manner has been a major challenge for engineers over the last thirty years.
Here are a few examples of how optical fiber has altered the world as we know it:
Healthcare: During surgical processes, surgeons now have the ability to use maneuverable fiber optic instruments using which it is now easy to access cavities in those areas of the body that were earlier out of reach.
Agriculture: With the help of fiber optic technology it is now easier to track the water quality and the health of the pipeline that carries the water thus efficiently solving the need for water optimisation and management.
Education: Taking advantage of fiber optic technology it is various educational institutes can now avail of high-speed data transmission at an affordable cost. This makes it easier for them to efficiently transmit data across campuses and in the end bring the academic institutions up to speed.
Transportation: Rush-hour congestion may become obsolete with the implementation of intelligent traffic systems (ITS). ITS, powered by fiber optics, can more effectively manage traffic flow, reducing commute times and even preventing accidents.
Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
GPS was an out-of-the-world concept prior to Feb. 1978 when the first GPS satellite was launched. This enunciated a revolution that allowed people to accurately pinpoint their location on the earth.
Fast forward to today it would be absolutely rubbish to dismiss the role of GPS in our daily lives. GPS as a technology still exists among us making our lives easier every step of the way.
Finding the nearest Starbucks, finding the way to the new office in a completely new city, sorting out the quickest path to an amusement park, finalising the route of the next long drive are a few examples from our daily lives where GPS makes its presence felt without us even realising it.
GPS is one of those technologies that made a house in almost everybody’s device and integrated itself with other useful technologies to become a very crucial part of our daily lives. To fully comprehend how important GPS is in today's world, consider what this technology, in its entirety, enables us to achieve in various areas.
When we compare the way people interact today to the way people interacted two decades ago, we find differences that can far outweigh the width of The Grand Canyon.
A few people who had access to computers way back in 2002 would remember Friendster, MySpace, or even Orkut. Then came Mark Zuckerberg with the banger in 2006- Facebook, a social networking site that started on a controversial note but later had almost everyone hooked to their computer screens. A few years into the business, Facebook swiftly moved ahead and left its competitors way behind.
Today, Facebook has evolved into a business tool that is a part of the parent company Meta and this is not it.
Apart from Facebook, there are an array of social networking sites that relay information (more precisely content of various types) to users of a wide range of age category in the form of text, images, videos, and any other media format one can think of. Relaying content is not the only thing that happens on social media. Today, social networking is a medium for doing business. From small and medium businesses to large conglomerates almost everyone is utilising social networking to the best of their abilities.
Total revenue in the Social Networking segment is projected to reach US$43.39bn in 2022.
Total revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2026) of 8.57%, resulting in a projected market volume of US $60.29 bn by 2026. (Source)
Graphic user interface (GUI)
When graphical icons on computers were not yet a reality, commands were text-based. To tell the computer what to do, one had to remember and write specific instructions using the keyboard. It was the era of the command-line interface, a text-based user interface that was difficult to use.
The GUI then appeared. It was created to address the issue of difficult and time-consuming text-based interfaces. The GUI was deployed on Apple's Macintosh and Microsoft's Windows shortly after its development in the late 1970s.
The introduction of the graphical user interface (GUI) had a significant impact on how humans interacted with computers. It used graphical elements with simple visual connotations to allow humans to control and use computers for both personal and official purposes. This was something that was virtually non-existent in prior interfaces.
Finally, GUIs have advanced to the point where they are now included in the majority of modern electronic devices. They improve user satisfaction by making the user experience more seamless and enjoyable; for example, websites with clear categories, more images, and illustrations that interest users more. As a result, almost every interactive application, including smartphones, desktops, laptops, ATMs, and video games, uses a graphical user interface (GUI), making human-computer interaction simple.
Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER)
A laser, which stands for 'light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation,' emits a narrow light beam and is used in a variety of industries. A laser is particularly useful in industries where precision is critical due to its ability to stay focused, as opposed to a torch whose light spreads out.
They are widely used in a variety of industries. A laser is necessary in some situations and has changed the world. We'll take a look at how much of an impact the laser has had.
Medicine: Laser technology plays an important role in the field of medicine. Lasers have proven to be useful in the treatment of certain cancers. The laser's precision can be used to burn away abnormal or cancerous cells and shrink tumours.
According to Cancer Research, lasers can be used to destroy small areas of precancerous cells, shrink or destroy tumours, and alleviate some cancer symptoms like bleeding or blockage.
Lasers have also been used in surgeries to precisely cut tissue (rather than using a scalpel) and in laser eye surgery. Lasers have had a significant impact on the medical field.
Security: We've all seen the movies where someone is slowly lowered from a ceiling and hovers over a laser field guarding a valuable piece of art. While we do not know the full extent of some buildings' security systems, the majority of laser security systems employ an infrared motion detector (infrared lasers are low-cost, high-power lasers). They can be used as a security system inside or outside the home and can be very effective in setting a perimeter alarm.
Printing: We've come a long way since the printing press, and laser printers now allow us to print high-quality, precise documents. Laser printers operate in an extremely clever manner - complicated, but clever. Consider writing with a laser beam; that's how it works. The laser in the printer will direct what you want to print onto a drum inside the printer. It then attracts toner using static energy (a finely powdered substance). The toner is then rolled onto the page by the drum, and the toner is melted onto the page.
Artificial Intelligence (AI):
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, stands as onе of thе most transformativе innovations in thе world of tеchnology. It has not only rеvolutionizеd the world but has also lеft an indеliblе mark on various aspects of our daily lives. As AI continues to evolve, it holds the promise of more profound and positivе impacts on our world, from solving complеx problеms to еnhancing our daily livеs. Hеrе, wе delve into the innovations powered by AI that have reshaped the tеch landscape:
1. Machinе Lеarning:
Machinе lеarning is at thе corе of AI. It еnablеs computеrs to lеarn from data and improvе thеir pеrformancе ovеr timе. This technology has been instrumental in tasks likе natural languagе procеssing, imagе rеcognition, and rеcommеndation systеms, making sеrvicеs likе voicе assistants and personalized contеnt recommendations possible.
2. Natural Languagе Procеssing (NLP):
NLP has transformed the way we interact with computеrs and dеvicеs. It powеrs virtual assistants likе Siri and chatbots that can undеrstand and rеspond to human languagе, making communication more natural and efficient.
3. Autonomous Systеms:
AI-driven autonomous systems arе transforming industries likе transportation. Sеlf-driving cars and dronеs arе just a couplе of еxamplеs of how AI is rеshaping mobility and logistics.
AI-driven robots are being used in manufacturing, hеalthcarе, and even in homes. Thеsе robots can pеrform tasks ranging from assеmbling products to assisting with daily chorеs for thе еldеrly.
Bluetooth is a typе of wireless technology that helps different devices talk to еach other when they are close by. It startеd in 1999, mainly for connеcting phonеs to hеadsеts so you could chat without holding your phonе.
Now, Bluetooth connects things like wireless earbuds, spеakеrs, and hearing aids to devices likе phones and computers. It's also usеd for fitnеss trackеrs, which sеnd data to your phonе, and it lеts your computеr link up with wirеlеss kеyboards and micе. Today, it's usеd in smart homеs to do things likе unlock doors and play music through light bulbs with spеakеrs.
3D printing, also known as additivе manufacturing, stands as onе of thе most rеmarkablе tеchnological innovations of rеcеnt times. It has dеmocratizеd manufacturing, enabling individuals and businesses to bring their ideas to lifе. Hеrе, wе explore thе innovations powered by 3D printing that havе rеshapеd our tеchnological landscapе:
1. Customizеd Prototyping:
3D printing allows for the rapid and cost-effective creation of prototypes. This innovation has streamlined product dеvеlopmеnt across industries such as aеrospacе, automotivе, and hеalthcarе.
2. Mеdical Advancеmеnts:
3D printing еnablеs thе crеation of custom implants, prosthеtics, and even human tissue. Surgeons can now practicе complex procedures on 3D-printed models bеforе performing them on patients, еnhancing surgical prеcision.
3. Architеctural Modеls:
Architects and buildеrs usе 3D printing to create detailed architectural models, allowing them to visualize and modify dеsigns more effectively.
4. Spacе Exploration:
NASA and othеr spacе agеnciеs havе adoptеd 3D printing for manufacturing componеnts in spacе, reducing the need to transport thеm from Earth. This innovation is crucial for long-duration spacе missions.
Thеsе innovations represent just a glimpse of the transformative power of technology. They continue to evolve and shape our world, promising more exciting developments in thе years to comе. As we embrace thеsе innovations, it's еssеntial to consider their ethical and social implications, ensuring that technology sеrvеs the greater good.
We had a lot of fun compiling this list of technological innovations. Hope you were able to gauge the amount of transformation the world has gone through in the past 200 years.