We are all riding on computerized personal transport, driving intelligent cars, conducting business on our smartphones and finding ourselves permanently connected to the net.
We may be used to this now, but it showcases a series of massive technological innovations in the 21st century.
The rise of digital media
Back in the day, we could buy physical items with songs and movies on them that you put into a machine in order to play them on a television. These items still exists, but they are becoming pretty obsolete in a world of digital media.
In the early 2000s, CDs and DVDs were the convenient way to build a collection of music and film. This has all changed with Mp3 players, online streaming services and catch-up TV on mobile devices.
Everything is mobile these days, not just our music and movies.
Pretty much everything can be accessed on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. We use them for music, videos, web browsing, social media, cameras, gaming – the list goes on and on. Developments in mobile technology, through better displays, processors and other tech, means that we can do anything.
Apps really do rule the world. Online shopping and holiday booking has even shifted from desktops to mobile tech.
In the early 2000s we were still using physical buttons on hefty phones with no internet and the most basic game of Snake. Remember the Blackberry? Chances are that this corporate fad passed you by if you are under the age of 21.
Getting online is an entirely different process
On the subject of getting online, the way we do so has evolved significantly in the past 16 years. Children of the noughties are probably fortunate enough not to remember the screech of the dial up connection and the hassle of having to plan your phone calls.
Broadband was the savior, but this still had room for improvement. Then came Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi in a hotel room was once a luxury. Now hotels are rated poorly if they don’t provide it free throughout the building. Wi-Fi hotspots and compatible devices mean that we can get online pretty much anywhere there is a signal. The whole world is now connected.
Everything is also getting smaller
The phones have shrunk since 2000, although there is a trend for making them slightly bigger again. Computers have shrunk as we use slimline Macs and tablets for work. Cars have shrunk in urban areas and it is now cool to go for electric models (nobody would have predicted that in 2000).
Segways – a revolutionary idea of the noughties – became awkward and cumbersome and were replaced with the convenient Swegway “hoverboard”. Size is important with technological innovations in many fields, from computing to transport, construction and even surgery. Which leads to our final innovation in the 21st century.
3D printers could soon build anything we can dream off
This is an important place to end this discussion as it links in with so much we have mentioned. 3D printing was a pipe dream at the beginning of the century. Then large-scale, slow-moving printers started creating some interesting prototypes and it became a reality.
Now, just like everything else, these printers have shrunk considerably and are consumer items. Eventually, these machine will be used to build cars, hoverboards, surgical implants, smartphones and anything else we can think of.