Hardware and Gear

Published on May 17th, 2019 | by Michael Newman

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Cool Technology We All Take For Granted

Image: https://www.pexels.com/search/retro%20technology/

 

Technology has come a long way in the past decade or so, looking back to the way we lived then feels positively ancient in comparison. And it’s even more interesting to think that in another decade, we’re likely to look back at the way we live now and feel the same way! Technology is ever advancing, making our lives better and shaping the way we live our lives- but it’s so easy to take for granted. Here are examples of things we use every day without giving a second thought to.

 

Smartphones

Almost everyone in developed countries now owns a smartphone- in America for example over ninety five percent of the population aged over eighteen has one. Smartphones are essentially powerful little computers that we carry around in our pockets and are much more than devices to make calls on. They’re our notebooks and calendars, our alarm clocks, our cameras, our maps, stopwatches and so much more. They keep us connected to the world and enable us to contact anyone from across the planet with the click of a button. Mobile phones over the years have changed in a big way, it was only twelve years ago that the first iphone was launched. In that time our experience with smartphones has been shaped dramatically, but it’s only when you look back you can realise just how incredible our devices are.

 

Smart home/ voice assistant

Amazon’s Alexa assistant was released in 2014 on the Echo device, and since then the other big companies have put out their own versions. These days, having a voice assistant to play your music, turn your lights on and off, control your heating and hot water and turn plug sockets on and off is pretty standard in many homes. Despite the technology not being that old, it’s already something we’re accustomed to. When you think about it, it makes you wonder how we ever got by without them!

 

Sat navs

There was once a time, not even that long ago that if you wanted to get from A to B you’d have had to look on a map, or read road signs. It’s seems crazy to think now, but people really did manage to get around without sat navs. The first portable sat nav device was the Garmin StreetPilot released in the late nineties, so as you can imagine they’ve come a long way since then. You don’t even need a specific device, you can use Google maps or download an app. How often do you jump in your car, pop in the details into the nav and head off thinking nothing of it? In the not too distant past, this luxury simply didn’t exist!

 

Contactless payments

Previous to chip and pin which was introduced in 2006, if you wanted to pay on card then you’d write your signature on the receipt which the cashier would check. However, many places didn’t even accept card, and paying for something meant going to the bank or a cash point first. These days, contactless payment either by card or with Apple/ Android pay is so easy- it’s hard to think back to a time when this didn’t exist even though it was only widely used after 2016.


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