It’s time I stop taking technology for granted. I came to this realisation after blowing the mind of a Tesco shop assistant by paying for my avocados (I’ll never be able to afford a mortgage) with an apple watch.
“Technology is amazing, I had no idea you could do that”, she confessed to me.
I awkwardly laughed and explained to her that it was only like using a contactless card. That’s when it hit me, paying for my shopping with a watch is amazing.
The rate of technological growth over the last 10 years has been staggering. Much of that can be chalked up to the release of the first iPhone, announced in January of 2007 by Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple. To many, the first iPhone was perplexing, ‘Wait? It has no buttons? How can I use a phone that has no buttons?’.
Nowadays, very few of our phones come with a numerical keypad or a keyboard. The iPhone X (pronounced 10 because of course it is) has even dropped it’s home button on the front of the device in order to obtain an edge to edge display. A giant screen and few physical buttons has allowed for one device to transform into any number of devices. Along with Android, the open source and free to use google operating system which is installed on every other phone that doesn’t have an Apple logo, the iPhone kickstarted the touchscreen revolution. Since then, computers have been making their way into watches, fridges, washing machines and cars, allowing all your devices to be a smart device connected to the internet. Think about it, soon your toaster could play songs from Spotify, show you news updates while you make breakfast, or talk you through your day, all in something that, up until recently, could only make toast.
When Star Trek first aired in the 1960’s, the show had to create futuristic gadgets that the crew of the SS Enterprise could use. They created basic concepts for the mobile phone and tablet computers, with surfaces that became computer monitors. In the 60’s that felt like a far off dream, but now this vision is a reality. We carry around Star Trek style communications around with us, but nobody bats an eyelid. Technology has become mundane to us. We’ve become used to it.
That’s why I think it’s time to celebrate what we have. We can contact anyone at anytime, anywhere in the world. We have access to hundreds of hours of entertainment, from music, to TV and Films, to books all of which can be downloaded to our devices in seconds. We can pay for our shopping by using pieces of plastic or the phones in our pocket. Electronic banking has also lead to the rise in e-retail, allowing you to order an item and receive it 2 hours later. You can ask google a question about that weird rash you have and actually find the answer (or more likely that it could be cancer). That’s just a few ways your life has changed, the list could go on.
Suffice to say that our lives have changed so much in so little time that we haven’t had time to reflect on the immense changes that technology has made to our lives. Next time you hold your glass slab, accessing the world’s knowledge whilst sitting on the toilet, just think about the great technological leaps the human race had to make to get to this point. Now excuse me while I complain about the lack of home button on the next iPhone.