Technology is constantly evolving. Historically, tech has helped to make our lives easier and more efficient, but over time its role has expanded to aid in many other areas of our lives. It provides entertainment, furthers scientific advancements, facilitates financial transactions, and takes us to new places we’ve never been to before. And with this growth has come affordability. Technology once used solely by the government or large corporations is now at the hands of consumers meaning there’s an increase of interest among tech enthusiasts.
It has also shaken up some of our financial markets. New companies have continued to spring up, some of which have gone public and caught the attention of investors. Others remain private but have impacted companies on the exchange.
3D printing is one of the most beneficial tech contributions of our time. These powerful machines have revolutionized nearly every industry today, and the possibility of what can be printed is limited only by our imaginations. While the technology behind 3D printing was invented in the 1980s, it wasn’t used commercially until the early 2000s. Even then, options of what could be printed were limited. In fact, a few years ago, most printers could only print using 7 different types of materials, all of which were plastic based. Now, with the ability to print metals, glass, sugar, chemical compounds, and even human tissue the ways to improve humanity seemingly endless.
2. Voice Search
Voice search is not only making our lives easier, it’s making them safer and more productive. Want to hear your favorite song while driving? Or maybe you need to make an important phone call. Voice search makes it easy to do so without taking your eyes off the road and your hands off the steering wheel. Since the prevalence of cell phones, car accident injuries, related to distracted drivers, average well over 300,000 every year, but with the emergence of voice search, these numbers have the potential to decrease. And safety is just one benefit to voice search. The ability to call upon one of our virtual assistants, whether it be Siri, Alexa, or Cortana, to complete mundane tasks for us, is making our lives more productive and organized. Scheduling meetings, sending emails, and searching Google are all made easier by voice search technology.
It may be surprising to some that the technology behind our modern drones isn’t exactly new. In fact, the very first remote controlled unmanned aircraft was invented over 100 years ago by Nikola Telsa, only 16 years after the Wright brothers took flight. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that drones were used for something other than military purposes. Nowadays, there are used to fertilize crops, help put out fires, deliver packages, and most famously, take footage of our world from above. And the options don’t stop there. China is currently working on making passenger drones a real thing, which could completely change the way you take a taxi in the future.
When many people hear the term cryptocurrency, their minds often turns to Bitcoin, and while they’re not wrong, Bitcoin is really just the beginning for virtual currencies. The basic idea behind cryptocurrency is to establish a universally accepted form of currency, eliminating the use banks and other financial institution backed by the government. Virtual currencies make transactions fast and secure and make it nearly impossible to counterfeit through the use of cryptography. Though bitcoin was made popular by its ability to make anonymous transactions across the dark web, the first cryptocurrency transaction was actually a sale of two pizzas in exchange for 100,000 BTC, equaling roughly $366,000,000, at the time this was written. There are now thousands of different cryptocurrencies in existence, many of which hold market values in the billions, so it’s no wonder why this popular search ranks among the top.
5. Virtual Reality
If you’ve experienced VR before, you know this tech trend is unlike any of the others listed above. Being immersed in a computer generated, three-dimensional world is a very surreal experience. The world you choose to explore feels so lifelike that new users often lose their sense of spatial awareness while wearing the headset. I know I certainly did when quite literally hitting the wall while attempting to chase down a gang of aggressive robots. But video games, movies and other entertainment options are just one way in which we can explore the virtual world. The scientific community has started using VR equipment as a valuable training tool in the areas of healthcare and engineering, giving students a virtually realistic trial to experiment with and learn from.