I apologize for the tardiness of Part 2 to the Top Ten Innovations in the Past 20 Years, but I needed to make certain I dedicated the appropriate amount of time to making it just right. If you missed Part 1, check it out first by clicking here! If you are caught, then without further adieu, I give you part deux.
Now technically we have had “robots,” in the generic sense of the word, since Leonardo DaVinci’s time. But robotics has reached a whole new level of complixity and efficiency that would make the the industrialization seem slow, cumbersome, and inefficient. Robotics can best be appreciated on the modern day car assembly line. Once where men and women stood to perform their individualized task, now robotic arms such as the one above perform the same task more quickly and with better precision. With speed and efficiency, the cost of goods drops, allowing more people to afford higher end goods. So even that Honda Civic, which I proudly own, wouldn’t be so affordable, and SAFE, with the use of advanced robots during it’s assembly.
Although renewable energy has still not achieved the level of infiltration we must reach in order to have a truly sustainable future, it is still worth mentioning the level of influence. As a society, we have realized that our current consumption of oil, coal, and other consumable sources of energy is limited. Therefore, we have taken steps to innovate our “green technology” so that we can minimize our reliance on fossil fuels. Wind farms have evolved from hundreds of small propellors to a handful massive towers; solar technology has become more efficient; storage and deliverance of electricity has helped minimize loss of electricity. Renewable energy is the future, and clearly worthy of the #4 spot.
If you look into your wallet, it’s almost certain you have at least one of these plastic cards. In fact, according to this source, the average number of credit cards per holder is 3.5! They have become such a staple in our economy that many businesses won’t even let you make a reservation without one. It is remarkable how technology has evolved to the point that we can get what is essentially an instant loan to pay for whatever we desire. But with any new form of technology, thieves find was to exploit the innocent. Credit card theft and identity theft are new problems we must vigilantly remain aware. Nevertheless, the credit card is still invaluable component of our modern economy.
Just like credit cards, cell phones have infiltrated society so deeply that even 5 year olds carry their own cell phones. They have revolutionized communication, allowing everyone to be easily reached within seconds from anywhere in the world. Cell phones are so ingrained within our culture that according to BankRate.com, 65% of young adults would feel MORE naked without their cell than their wallet. Additionally, the invention of the smartphone has combined many forms of technology such as the phone, a GPS, a TV, a computer, and a gaming console all into one seamless device. I look forward to seeing how cell phones evolve in the next decade….I can’t even imagine what they’ll be able to do in the future! I’m excited.
Now I feel it would be a waste of time and rather redundant to explain the influence of the internet on society. I could talk for days about the technology behind it, the evolution of the web, and the new culture is has created. I’ll sum it up by saying that I believe, in my humble opinion of course, that the internet is the SINGLE most influential invention in the history of man kind. Enough said.
Well that concludes that Modern Marvels Top Ten Innovations of the last 20 years. And once again, I urge you to watch the actual show because it is unbelievably interesting. (Or at least it is to curiosity nerds like me.)