A Decade In Technology
People usually summarize when they finish a stage or cycle. So it’s not surprising that this year, at a decade’s end, we are doing so. And technology isn’t out of the picture. Technological advances were constant in this decade. Some impacted our lives more than others, which went unnoticed. But certainly, at the end of these ten years, all of them, successful or not, have changed our world.
Below, we will list the most important advances (and setbacks) of this decade in technology.
iPad: The device created by Steve Jobs’ company, somehow revolutionized the way to access the Internet and electronic content. Their design took advantage of its size to read digital books and newspapers, watch movies and easily navigate the Internet. As with other gadgets, the Cupertino’s company set the pace for other companies to follow.
The Cloud: Although the concept (and some services) were born in the previous decade, this is where the Cloud became part of our personal and professional life. Just think about email (Gmail) and office applications (Office 365 / Google Docs-Sheets-Slides). You only need an Internet connection and a web browser to access them. And on an enterprise level, cloud applications (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) allow cost savings and flexibility of use.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): This is another technology that is increasingly impacting our lives. Present in things as simple as virtual assistants Siri or Cortana, it is increasingly appearing at the enterprise level as a trend analyst (on big data), manager of digital social communities and also in the relationship with customers – the well-known chatbots.
Robotics: The advances in this decade allowed the robotic devices to interact more and more with the human being. They allow us to get rid of repetitive, low value-added and even dangerous tasks. But this technology has gone further. They collaborate with us in our daily lives, in factories and operating rooms, doing more complex operations.
Blockchain: Although we all associate this technology to Bitcoin cryptocurrency, it has certainly achieved a life of its own in recent years. Currently it’s used in financial applications, real estate, intellectual property and supply chain, among others. Thanks to its multiple benefits, augurs a promising future within the technological spectrum.
Autonomous Vehicles: In this decade the development of cars that imitate human driving and control capabilities took their first firm steps. Big companies like Google, Ford, Volvo, Daimler AG and BMW are already working intensively, not only on the topic of the autonomous vehicle itself, but also on improving the characteristics of road safety and cybersecurity.
Expansion of communication networks: The exponential development of the capabilities of smart phones and tablets led to the need to increase the networks’ transmission capacity as well. Thanks to this, today we can enjoy the Internet in a ubiquitous way, not only at a personal but also at a professional level.
Electronic cigarettes: For a long time it tought that e-cigarrettes were less harmful than their tobacco cousins. Therefore, a strong vaping business emerged (from the tobacco companies themselves). Following a strange lung disease caused by them, which led to dozens of poisonings and even deaths, their value as a replacement for tobacco was questioned. Even in some countries its use is already banned.
Facial recognition: While the intention is, in general, good – to achieve a rapid identification of criminals or terrorists – it is no less true that the proliferation of facial recognition systems raised several questions about it. Right to privacy, use of collected data or false positives are some of them.
Galaxy Note 7: Perhaps the decade’s mobile phone fiasco. Launched with much fanfare in August 2016, the Korean company’s flagship phone soon posed serious problems. It burst. Samsung decided to replace it, but those phones also took on fire. After several months of the company’s attempts at damage control, they finally decided to withdraw it from sale. It was later learned that the problem was with the lithium-ion batteries and a poorly soldered battery. The Note 7 debacle cost Samsung three billion dollars in profits.
The iPhone 4 AntennaGate: The other big player in mobile telephony was also not without its problems in this decade. Launched just at as the decade beginning, the iPhone 4 revealed signal reception problems. Apple was forced to release a quick solution (despite having relativized the problem) in the form of software patches. Although the problem wasn’t as severe as the one with Note 7, this proved that no company is free of problems in its technology.
Social networks and fake news: Social networks registered a remarkable growth in this decade. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tinder are just some of them. They clearly favored interaction between people, erasing distances and gaining immediacy. But they also brought problems. Slander, virtual harassment, even allowed to witness live massacres. One of the main problems is and was the fake news. These are intended to generate clicks to gain potential customers as well as to influence public opinion. The issue became so serious that governments and companies themselves had to put their hands to work to alleviate this difficult situation.
This list of the good and bad in this decade in technology does not pretend to be complete. Surely the reader will find many other examples. We believe that those quoted reflect a little of what these ten years were in terms of technology. In conclusion, we will return to an old saying. Technology is just a set of tools. It can be for better or worse. What is undeniable is its utility. Thanks to it, our world is a better world. Let us hope that in the decades to come, this concept becomes a reality.