They say technology moves abundantly fast. Just how much as changed in the past ten years or so? A lot, I’d have to say. Dating back to when I was very little, I remember rewinding VHS tapes to rewatch them and having to wait for someone to get off the phone to keep using the computer. Now I’m rewinding movies on the internet while on my phone, all at once. Technology has changed so much, and here’s some of the most substantial changes over that time frame.
The Touch Screen. As we approach the Apple iPhone’s ten year anniversary, it’s important to note how much the touch screen has been a landmark in modern technology. Smartphones are now the norm for mobile phones, with flip phones and blackberries being extremely rare these days. People are replacing their laptops with tablets, and now laptops themselves are touch-screen. Nintendo has embraced touch screens with their latest gaming devices, the 3DS, Wii U and Switch. Companies are also finding new and innovative ways to include some sort of touch feature, like the touchpad on the Playstation 4 controller or the touch bar on the latest Macbook Pros. A large, freeform pad to touch and draw on is a huge component of modern technology.
Powerful Wi-Fi. Remember when you had “the” phone and “the” computer? Now you have four phones and three computers in the house, on top of a few tablets, a pair of smart TVs, a gaming system, a smart security system, wireless lighting, and a toaster that tells you the weather. As more and more technology becomes wrapped up into our networks, they need to become even stronger than ever before. Instead of just a modem and a router, houses now have Wi-Fi extenders, or even better, whole-home Wi-Fi systems and mesh networks. Eliminating buffering and waiting and maximizing your ability to connect your home together is crucial in today’s world.
Bluetooth. Being able to connect everything wirelessly is huge, but before it was typically based on an internet connection. Now, that connection is not needed for products like headphones and speakers. Companies like JBL, Beats, Bose, Altec, and Apple are taking full advantage of bluetooth technology. Apple is even modeling a lot of their technology based on a wireless world, with their iPhone 7 releasing without a 3.5 mm auxiliary port. Products like the Powerbeats Wireless and the UV Boom are becoming increasingly popular with bluetooth technology, and we’re just at the tip of the iceberg. Bluetooth is improving every year, and eventually we’ll live in a world without cables.
Voice Assistants. With programs like Siri, Alexa and Cortana, we can now talk to our technology as if they were living beings with us. Being able to schedule a meeting and set a reminder with just your voice is a powerful thing. We live in an age where tons of information is available to us at any time on the internet, and this is just a new, easier way to access all of it.
Virtual Reality. This is something extremely new, but was starting to be introduced in a way with 3-D televisions being available for your own home. Now, you can take it to the next level with a fully immersive virtual experience. Lots of people have experienced virtual reality with the inexpensive smartphones headsets, like the Samsung Gear VR, but the true experience is in products like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive, where you need a very powerful computer to run them. They’re not cheap, but it’s technology like we’ve never seen it before.
Technology is ever improving, and looking back at the past few years, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come. It’s even more daunting to imagine what’s yet to come in the coming years, in the coming decades, even. With the ability to control your entire home from your phone, from cameras and lights, and the power to experience worlds unimaginable with virtual reality, technology is now taking us to places once only seen on the big screen in the movie theater.
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