Technology, software, and our digital lives have evolved exponentially over the past decade due to new inventions. Everything from our social lives to our work lives has been affected by the revolutionary technology discovered this decade. As we welcome 2021, here are some of the most notable things from the past decade:
1. Google Chrome
Google Chrome is a web browser that was initially released in 2008. Companies that implemented Chrome into their organization found that it helped improve productivity through the ability to use it across devices, centralization, and control. Chrome also improved cybersecurity and tech support while reducing costs, therefore, adding strain on Google’s competitors, such as Internet Explorer. The technology behind Chrome sparked innovation for new browsers that were more “privacy-friendly” resulting in the creation of Brave and Microsoft Edge. Since its initial release, it is no secret that Chrome has grown and become mainstream. Recent studies have shown that Google Chrome holds 64.92% of the global market share of web browsers
Square is a web-based Point of Sale (POS) service, typically used by small businesses, as it can efficiently be used anywhere. Square conveniently collects data from your customers, such as their email and phone number. The system is very user-friendly and easy to update. By allowing businesses to accept credit and debit cards without a costly traditional POS device, Square has helped SMEs improve their sales drastically. Business owner Tod Wilson states that square makes it possible “…to help a fledgling one-person business expand without compromising on personalized customer experience.” Since its invention in 2009, the company has grown to offer other services such as; inventory services, team management, appointments, and more. As customers and businesses seek more flexible, lightweight methods of transacting, Square is poised to grow into the future.
Kickstarter – the popular global crowdfunding program was invented to “help bring creative projects to life”. Kickstarter has been extremely useful to entrepreneurs with bright ideas and a lack of cash by sharing their ideas with an audience who appreciates and supports them. Companies such as M3D, which offers a “truly consumer 3D printer”, were funded on Kickstarter where they were able to raise over $3 million in funding. Kickstarter has created a network to help nurture a future where anything is possible. Kickstarter continues to foster an online community that enables entrepreneurial risk-taking and pushing the bounds of the possible.
5. Smart Tablet
In March of 2010, Apple announced the release of their first Smart tablet, the iPad. Ever since then, the tablet has had a major impact on man industries, but mainly the education industry. It has become a staple of the modern classroom. Both teachers and students have found many benefits to using tablet technology to aid in learning both inside and outside the classroom. Apps have made it easy, fun, and convenient for children to learn in this era. Apple’s flagship tablet, the iPad, has captured 75% of the worldwide education market and 90% of the Canadian education market. The total amount of smart tablets “will increase from 1.64 billion units at the end of 2019 to 1.77 billion by the end of 2021.” The future of smart tablets continues to grow. Steve Jobs was a business leader of his time, read more about business leaders here.
Ring is an innovative doorbell that enhances home security. Ring allows homeowners to see who is at the door through motion sensors and even can capture footage of door front activity. Smart doorbells were invented in 2012 to make neighborhoods safe. The company’s mission is to “reduce crime in communities” and they aim to “provide meaningful security at its core.” Since its launch, it has been debated if the product helps fight crime, however, a study in 2015 determined that smart doorbells helped reduce 21% of burglaries in only 10 months. The home security market is estimated to be worth $78.9 Billion by 2025.
7. Raspberry Pi
This innovative computer was created to spread computers across the globe to improve digital literacy. The original intention behind the Raspberry Pi was to be used in countries to teach programming (read more here). The Raspberry Pi and many of the various Pi products are also the foundation for many Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructures. The Raspberry Pi is used all around the world and is not only easy and practical but is extremely cheap too. The Pi Foundation continues to push the limits of microcomputing, check out their latest released all-in-one keyboard PC.
Slack is a communication tool that offers organized chat rooms based on topics and groups. Educational institutions and workplaces, in general, have been utilizing Slack in their everyday lives. The chat feature allows for easy communication within and between departments. In 2019 it was reported that over 12 million people and 135,000+ companies use Slack daily. Slack’s recent outage that occurred at the start of 2021 showed how much people rely on the app. The communication channel was down and many people realized the essential role it plays (read more on the outage here). Salesforce recently bought Slack for $27.7 billion. Marc Benioff, the CEO of salesforce says “this is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world.” The app has helped reduce time spent on emails and improve communication in general, and this merger hopes to bring more agility and flexibility into the app in the upcoming years with the new merger.
9. Amazon Alexa
The AI assistant Alexa can be used for many versatile functions such as entertainment, communication, and home security. Alexa is Amazon’s brand of smart speaker – a voice command device that wirelessly performs tasks. Families and individuals have incorporated Alexa into their daily lives to do simple tasks, from quickly making phone calls to controlling your smart home. In 2020 it was reported that 26% of Canadians own a smart speaker. The voice-activated assistant is seen as extremely valuable as it is “particularly useful for people who prefer to be hands-free or those who might have mobility issues or those who prefer listening to reading.” Although useful, there have been many speculated concerns regarding the AI assistant. According to Forbes, “in just one click, a user could have given up their voice history, home address and control of their Amazon account.” Voice technology is becoming increasingly popular, in 2021 Alexa is adding new features like paying for gas and auto mode, but there are still concerns regarding its safety.
10. Smart Watches
The start of mainstream wearable technology begins with Smart Watches. The SmartWatch allows you to have the world at your fingertips, it allows you to read texts and make calls more easily than before. Apple launched their first Apple Watch in the spring of 2015 which offered groundbreaking performance. It was invented to reduce the need for phones and have technology be more accessible. Although mostly well-received, some people believed it would kill cell phones or fail from the user interface perspective. The introduction of smartwatches has spurred the invention of many other wearable technology devices such as Smart clothing from brands like Adidas. As we approach a new year, wearable tech is more popular than ever. Our home and office lives revolve around various IoT devices.
This list is by no means exhaustive and doesn’t even begin to mention all the social media platforms, video games, game consoles, and other technological inventions of the decade. The past ten years have been full of innovative inventions which have versatile uses – by easing our workflows, improving communication, and just being cool, we are moving towards a more digital future. Who knows what’s to come in the next decade?