Since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, technology has fundamentally altered our societies and daily lives. From smartphones to social media and supercomputers, here’s a rundown of the technological revolution of the twenty-first century.
Before the twenty-first century, there were mobile phones. Although, in the last twenty years, their specs have vastly improved. June 2007 is when Apple launched the iPhone, the pioneer mass-market touchscreen smartphone, and the iPhone inspired a lot of other companies to follow the trend.
Although 3D printers as we know them today first appeared in the 1980s, the development of more affordable manufacturing methods and open-source software has contributed to a 3D printing revolution in the last two decades. 3D printers print spare parts, entire homes, medicines, bionic limbs, and even entire human organs.
Mass file storage and transfer:
The USB flash drive, first introduced in the year 2000 by IBM, allowed easy file storage, like photos or videos, with capacities that would have been insane and impossible a couple of decades ago. A 128 Gigabyte drive, which you can purchase for cheap now, has more than 80 thousand times the capacity of a 1.44 Megabyte storage floppy disk, the most famous storage disk during the 90s.
While Jaap C. Haartsen first introduced Bluetooth technology in 1999, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that manufacturers began to use it in computers and mobile phones.
“Make a backup of your files.” That was something we used to hear a lot. Because failing to back them up meant we were only a broken computer away from losing all of our important data—a terrifying thought. Cloud storage, on the other hand, has provided millions of office workers with peace of mind. When you create documents in web-based applications, your work is constantly saved.
How and where we get, our media has changed a lot in the last 20 years. At the beginning of the 2000s, many tech companies were still working on ways to improve communication at work, such as making bandwidth faster so that people could stream videos and use other media.
The founder uploaded the first-ever video to what is now the world’s most famous video-sharing site in May 2005. Whether it’s Harvard University lectures on quantum physics or your favorite TV shows recipes and tutorials, or even meme cat videos, YouTube offers free access to billions of pieces of content.
Facebook did not pioneer social media websites, having launched in 2004. However, because it is so easy to use, Facebook quickly surpassed existing social media and networking sites such as Myspace and Friendster. Facebook has transformed the way billions of people share news and personal experiences with one another, with around 2 billion users active monthly.
Skype, which debuted in August 2003, changed the way people communicated internationally. Before launching Skype, contacting friends and family in other countries was extremely expensive. Speaking with people in different parts of the world, and video chatting is now practically free.
Broadband and the Internet:
Many more people are online today than at the beginning of the millennium. Regarding broadband access, only half of Americans had it at home in 2000; today, that figure has risen to more than 90%. This broadband expansion was not solely an American phenomenon. On a global scale, similar growth can be seen; in 2000, less than 7% of the world was online; today, more than half of the world’s population has access to the internet.
Google’s search engine debuted in the late 1990s, but the company went public in 2004, resulting in its meteoric rise. Google changed the way people search for information online. There are over 228 million Google searches per hour.
Google released its navigation service in February 2005, redefining how millions of people travel. Google Maps, available on almost all smartphones, ensured that getting lost is nearly impossible.
Machines and Transport:
Curiosity, the Mars Rover:
Curiosity, launched in late 2011, is trying to discover signs of life on Mars. When the rover discovered water beneath Mars’ surface in 2014, it became one of, if not the greatest significant space breakthroughs of the millennium.
Electric cars were not invented in the twenty-first century, but they did not become widely available until the later 2000s. Commercially accessible electric vehicles, like the Tesla Roadster and Nissan Leaf, are charged by plugging them into any outlet or socket. These cars no longer rely on fossil fuels.
Google announced in mid-2012 that its driverless vehicles had driven around 300 thousand miles without an accident. These cars are currently being run through testing, but if overzealous regulations do not hamper the technology, they will most probably be available on the market within a few years.
Blue Origin and SpaceX, two different private corporations, landed their reusable rockets successfully in November and December of 2015. This advancement significantly reduces the expense of accessing space and brings space travel being commercially available a step towards reality.
Take a minute to celebrate the incredible advancements of the last two decades, and keep in mind that regardless of what you see on TV or read on the daily news, humanity continues to rise to greater heights and innovate the world.