I always find it interesting to review technology developments at the end of a decade. This week I plan on not only listing, but talking a little bit about the top new technological developments in the last decade. The years between 2010 and 2020 brought about some of the most amazing technology in history.
For the first time in history we have a generation of people that never knew life without a computer, or the internet. Everyone under the age of thirty has probably had access to a computer of some kind for their entire lives. Over the last decade the computer has not only been a device that most people have access too, but a device that most of us depend on for everyday life.
The new technology has been surprising with advancements in artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, robotic lawyers, and real time language translation just to name a few. The technologies in this article are ones that I feel we will still be using and talking about well into the next decade.
In the 2000’s Facebook started the social media trend and held the top of the social networks until the early 2010’s. in 2010 Instagram became the most popular among the Gen-Zers, mainly due to the large influx of the older generation onto Facebook, bringing with them new media, marketing and politics. Instagram became the preferred method for sharing personal lives on social networks. In 2012 Facebook purchased Instragram and the network has grown to over a billion registered users.
In 2011, Spotify took the market by storm offering the largest collection of music for streaming on demand. This brought about a massive decline in online music piracy. With free services that stream all your favorite music and collect revenue through advertising to pay the music producers, the need to pirate music dropped tremendously.
In 2012, there was the introduction of the Tesla Model S, electric car. This seemed like a major release in transportation technology, but the most impactful change wasn’t a new car. It was car sharing through Uber. Uber rolled out it’s ride sharing service across every major U.S. city and around the world. Fundamentally changing how people get around the city. Lyft also launched their ride-sharing service in 2012, making this the year of shared transportation.
In 2013, Chromecast came to the scene, allowing people to stream video services to any device with an HDMI port. Chromecast is not really all that useful today as the technology is integrated almost every device with a screen today, but it was a top selling product in 2013.
2014 was the year of the smart watch, with the release of the Apple Watch, which in all respects was an iPad in a tiny watch form factor. This first model had all kinds of issues, but as Apple worked to resolve them it has become the best smartwatch on the market today.
Amazon Echo started the smart speaker trend in 2015 as online voice assistants moved from the phone to the home. This device incorporated Bluetooth technology as well as machine learning and speech recognition. The Echo held the market share in smart speakers until nearly the end of the decade when Google released a competing device, Google Home.
Airpods came on the scene in 2016 releasing us from wired ear buds and allowing freedom to move away from our audio devices. There was worry of them getting lost easily when they were first released in 2016, but the freedom they give to the user has greatly decreased that fear and they are now nearly as popular was wired ear buds.
The Nintendo Switch changed the gaming console forever, with the ability to use the system both as a stationary game system tied to a large screen TV and take it along with you on the road. The main controller included a screen that allowed game play to continue on the road. The release of the Switch in 2017, brought a new approach to gaming hardware.
2018 was the year of the shareable electric scooters, that have seemed to become a permanent fixture in many major cities. They have had an impact of city ordinances and been removed by law in many cities. As a result of this legislation, the technology has lost any of it’s staying power, but the tech in the vehicle sharing has spread to the sharing of electric cars in a similar manner across several U.S. cities.
Last, but not least, is the release of Tik Tok in 2019. As Gen Z kids break into adulthood, this is the most likely platform to become the main method of communication among their peers. This short video sharing service is currently the top contributor to internet content storage and results in close to 15% of all the data on the internet today. It is expected to grow beyond 50% of all online data within the next couple of years.