Inspired Innovations in Modern Tech That Changed the World
It’s somewhat disconcerting to think that the interconnected, always-online world we enjoy today simply did not exist even two decades ago, and how the technology we all take for granted today is the by-product of the ideas brought to life by a multitude of people who have catapulted us into a new era of tech with alarming swiftness. We are living in the information age, where it feels like the world and all of its stories are accessible through our fingertips, though such was the rapid pace in which the world moved in this direction that it’s easy to forget what brought us here.
With that being said, let’s take a look back at a selection of the most important innovations that marched the world into this current generation of infinitely accessible information. Here are the inspired innovations in modern tech that changed the world:
The advent of social media has changed not only the way we interact with our friends and acquaintances, but also how we interact with the wider world and key events taking place within it. Though more often than not we find ourselves swamped by stories of social media being used as a means of bullying and an outlet in which the hate-filled fire off anonymous abuse into the ether, it’s also an incredible and vital tool for the circulation of news, with key stories often controversially overlooked by the mass media still making their way into the public consciousness by way of the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
While accusations of bias and bigotry were flung in the direction of major news networks following the shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent Ferguson riots, Twitter users were busy circulating video and photographic evidence of what was really happening in the Missouri city. Politicians have been forced to be held accountable more than ever before due to their comments and actions being dissected by the Internet hivemind, while news networks have actively pulled their information from sources on the web whilst struggling to compete with the swiftness in which information can be circulated on social media.
The likes of Facebook and Twitter have made the world more connected than ever before, allowing for relationships to be forced between people from opposite sides of the planet, whilst also enabling global news to be delivered directly to our smartphones with a rapidity that the likes of CNN and FOX can never match. Social media has dramatically altered the way we consume news and the way we lead our lives socially, and there’s no going back.
Digital distribution, whether legal or illegal, has completely altered the way in which we experience music, film, TV shows, video games and even books/magazines. The technology has made an indelible impact upon each industry, opening up new ways for consumers to access content and forced monolithic corporations to alter their approach or risk becoming obsolete.
Apple is perhaps the greatest example of a company who saw the future in the distribution method, with the introduction of its iPod and the unveiling of the iTunes Store causing a paradigm shift within the music industry, steadily nullifying the need for physical releases of albums and singles, therefore dramatically impeding their sales.
The popularization of the iTunes Store coincided with the rise of online piracy, with MP3 players such as the iPod greatly contributing to more people looking online in order to download music, with peer-to-peer file sharing programs such as LimeWire posing an even bigger threat to the music industry than the iTunes Store.
While piracy is still undoubtedly a problem for the entertainment industry, companies have steadily found ways to bring their content into the hands of consumers in ways that seem even more appealing than downloading them from the internet for free. Digital distribution has led to the birth of streaming platforms such as Netflix and Spotify which offer a vast library of films, shows and music for a nominal monthly fee, while Valve’s Steam has gone from strength to strength due to its ease-of-use, allowing both major and independent developers to release their games on a platform that is both pro-consumer due to its plethora of sales and discounts, whilst also being a viable source of revenue for the companies that create its content.
Despite there being obvious problems with digital distribution, such as it granting companies the ability to effectively lock customers out from their paid content if they choose to do so, it is impossible to envisage a future where it isn’t considered the industry standard, with physical releases likely to fade from existence over the course of the next few decades.
One of the biggest yet least discussed innovations in modern tech has undoubtedly been cloud-based storage.
Not only has it enabled easy storage for users beyond the fixed capacity of a hard drive or other such data storage device, it has also revealed plenty regarding our current ambivalent attitudes towards our own privacy, standing as a symbol of how much of ourselves we’re willing to put onto the internet for the sake of ease.
We’ve put everything into the cloud, from work documents, to personal information, to photographs and much more. We’ve even seen the iClouds of celebrities being broken into and their private photos being widely distributed online for the entire world to see, yet we dismiss such events as unfortunate but unique incidents that couldn’t possibly happen to us.
Cloud storage not only changed the way we store our data, it also served to change our relationship with our own privacy. When cloud storage was first announced, we were presented with the question of whether or not we trusted these corporations to keep our personal data secure. For better or for worse, we unanimously decided that we do.