Inspired Innovations in Modern Tech That Changed the World
The World Wide Web
The most important advancement in modern technology, when Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web he propelled the world into a brand new chapter that has changed everything.
While the World Wide Web is often confused as a synonym with the Internet, the two are actually different things entirely. The World Wide Web is as an advancement of the Internet’s capabilities, allowing for the transmission and access of information via the Internet. In layman’s terms, it’s a platform that has been built on top of the ‘net, albeit a particularly large platform that we all utilize. The introduced of the World Wide Web fundamentally changed the Internet’s primary usage, introducing hypertext and links that would enable users to browse multitudes of webpages throughout a browsing session. It has formed the foundation on which each major online advancement has been built, and without it an inordinate amount of the businesses and services we enjoy today would simply not be here.
When Tim Berners-Lee opted to not license the Web, he effectively ensured the creation of a free platform in which to distribute information and an outlet for developers to program and create any way they saw fit. Berners-Lee eventually formed the World Wide Web Consortium, an organization which steadily introduced the web standards that has seen it grow into what it is today.
First implemented by programmer Raymond Samuel Tomlinson as a communications tools for the APRANet, the packet switching network that would later form the basis of the Internet, email has now become a regular part of our professional lives.
While its strength as a communication tool has since been usurped by social networks, emails are still the go-to method for business communications, with the digital mailing system serving as a launching point for the interconnected web that we have now. Prior to the popularization of emails the act of conversing with others through the Internet was non-existent, and the concept of online communication that the email spawned eventually led to the creation of chat rooms in the ’80s, which of course led to modern social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Email is now part-and-parcel of the lives of modern workers, ridding the world of the fax machine and negating the necessity of incessant meetings and phonecalls between employees and employers in favor of the swift, direct communication that the web provides.
Where would we be without GPS? Probably heading in the wrong direction, that’s where.
While the technology has technically been around since the ’60s, with a crude satellite-based system called TRANSIT used by the military, the first commercial available GPS systems were made available in the ’80s. However, the military interfered with their signals to make them imprecise, ensuring that the government’s satellite navigation systems were the only ones of use. After then-President Bill Clinton passed an act in 2000 that made it illegal for the military to interfere with the GPS systems of civilians, the technology its first real steps into the consumer market, and driving hasn’t been the same since.
Whereas prior to the advent of GPS technology drivers would be forced to take a map with them in order to successfully reach their destination, GPS systems placed all that information onto a device. Later models would enable internet access in order to ensure that the information stored in them could be updated, thus taking into account the building of new roads and buildings, with them seeking to not only guide users to their destination, but to also highlight places of interest along their travels such as restaurants, gas stations and the like.
The technology would later be introduced into smartphones, with users able to turn on their GPS location and allow their device to serve both as a map and as a tool for explaining the various destinations within the user’s surroundings. Currently smartphone users can look up places to eat, drink, entertainment venues and much more by allowing their device to access their location, showing the distance between them and these places along with the fastest route of travel. GPS technology has become ubiquitous in modern society, evolving from a tool that simply took users from Point A to Point B, to becoming a tool which can actively improve their personal and social lives.
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