Technology has come a long way. It’s hard to imagine that all of this started from our ancestors simply using sticks and stones for hunting and preparing food. With the invention of agriculture and language, we have made gigantic strides during the last thousands of years in human history. Whether it’s mere curiosity, uncertainty, or convenience, humans have gone all-in in developing technologies that would benefit future generations. We are the latest generation of benefactors of this long history of research and development.
But are we done? No. Far from it.
More and more discoveries are made every day, researches are completed, and inventions are disseminated to the public for various uses in society. The 21st Century is evidence of how humanity has used science for stuff that, in the past, can only be seen in science fiction.
Here are some of the best technological strides that we have witnessed during the last 20 Years:
The manufacturing process of many devices and machines is long and lengthy. Making booklets, brochures, and business cards take different print technologies like a booklet maker or/and digital cutting table. Even sculptures take time with the extreme need for precision and accuracy for creating the perfect figure.
Enter 3D printing technology. With 3D printing, many projects that were hard to do outside the bounds of factories are now easily made. We can even make an entire smartphone if we have the blueprints for it. We can use different materials for 3D printing. These include carbon fiber, plastic, resin, powders, metal, nitinol, and even paper.
Even in the medical field, it has been a helpful tool that helps doctors create cast designs that were otherwise impossible to make using human hands. Even organs and body parts benefit from this technology. There are ethical concerns regarding this technology because it can be used for less wholesome purposes. A regulatory committee must examine such blueprints before being passed to the public.
Entry-level printers can cost as much as $200 – $500, while professional ones fall somewhere between $1,500 – $6000.
Perhaps the most widely used and accessible invention in this list, the smartphone by itself is truly a technological marvel. It’s indistinguishable from its ancestor, the satellite phone.
The first touchscreen smartphone was released in 2007 by Apple, and ever since then, it has been a mainstream tool for anyone living in the modern world. Because of its success, many other companies took inspiration and made their smartphones with their unique functions.
By now, there are billions of smartphones in circulation, and it’s not hard to see why. It can be used for communication, data preservation, social media, gaming, and so much more. Of course, the smartphone is not without its faults. Many arguments between teenagers and their parents can be attributed to its existence. Unlike the last generation, we are a society of convenience that makes us rely on our smartphones for personal or monetary needs.
There is also a large number of people who think that they NEED to have the latest smartphone model when this really isn’t the case. They spend up to $1000 each year buying the latest model as soon as it comes out when their current phone still works perfectly fine.
With this being said, there are also plenty of people who look on sites like eBay for used phones that still work perfectly. Often, people sell their old phones when they upgrade, meaning they can be bought for a much lower price. Add to this the fact they can find coupons on Raise and they can save up to $500 when compared to buying a brand new phone.
I am not saying this is a bad thing, but this can lead to unnecessary spending as well as lots of waste.
It’s not a common term, but we would recognize its use if I mention the word Bitcoin. That’s right, most e-currencies, including bitcoin, employ the service of blockchain technology. Data mining and online ledgers are parts of this process. Now we won’t get into specifics on how it works, but digital currency is now changing the financial scene as a whole.
Many private companies and countries see it as the “Future of Finance.” As we speak, many governments and private individuals are now in a race to develop their digital currency version. Maybe one day regular ATMs will become redundant, and we could be seen conducting all of our transactions through a Bitcoin ATM instead.
While virtual reality has existed as far back as 1968, only during the last 20 years did we see breakthroughs in its use and improvement? Virtual reality was initially used for training and simulation for the US Military and NASA. As time went on, it gradually became available to the public, opening new roads to entertainment, education, and even environmental simulation.
Gaming companies, in particular, have shared their great interest in tech and are now aiming to create entire dive worlds that include auditory and optic sensations and touch, smell, and taste. Haptic feedback suits and headsets are used to enhance the user’s experience.
Moreover, businesses and other tech companies are also adopting virtual reality to optimize it and use it in their specific industry. For instance, a company may approach a vr development enterprise to create a virtual platform to train their new employees. Such technology can also be used to guide technicians through the usage and working of machineries in a secure environment.
The idea was popularized by novels such as Sword Art Online and books such as Ready Player One. It will take a long time, but this will be the most significant development in VR technology if successful.
Technologies developed in the past have greatly affected our present, and those that are developed today will be instrumental to our children’s future. While exciting, it is essential to remind ourselves of the global impact and repercussions these inventions can have on our livelihood and culture.