TechTechnologies that turned the world upside down

Technologies that turned the world upside down


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Over the past 20 years, the world has seen the emergence of technologies and product categories that have significantly changed the way we live. These disruptive technologies range from cloud computing and lithium-ion batteries to 3D printing and container virtualisation.

Mobile Internet, 4G/LTE

Mobile internet is something we can’t do without in everyday life. Texting, Googling something or even visiting a casino site UK. 4G is the fourth generation of wireless mobile infrastructure used in most modern smartphones. The name LTE stands for Long-Term Evolution, a standard for “wireless high-speed data transmission for mobile phones and other data-enabled terminals (e.g. LANs)”.

These two technologies have helped smartphones and other mobile devices gain popularity. They have created an entirely new platform for computing, Internet commerce, communication and more.

Cloud computing

Before the advent of cloud computing, companies had their own networking equipment that needed to be maintained no matter how often it was used. If servers were overloaded, they had no options. Companies like Amazon Web Services offered an alternative approach, namely cloud computing.

Organizations could rent a server of the right size and capacity at any time. A fee was charged for the use of the server. As soon as it stops working, the customer stops paying. With this innovation, companies of all sizes have access to cost-effective computing and storage services, and startups can take advantage of them at a significantly lower cost.

Cloud computing has proved so revolutionary that even companies such as Netflix are using Amazon Web Services servers. Individuals store data on remote Dropbox and Google Drive servers and can access it at any time.


The first touch screen was invented back in 1965, but the technology didn’t become widespread commercially until the release of the iPhone in 2007. Subsequent iPods, iPads and smartphones from other companies also used this technology. Nowadays, touchscreens can be found almost anywhere engineers can put them: at self-service kiosks for museum tickets, in gaming machines and on ordering tables in restaurants.


Of all the disruptive technologies, it’s Wi-Fi that has gone from “non-existent” to “ubiquitous” the fastest. The broadband connection used by most Wi-Fi networks originated in the United States in 1985, and then the Wi-Fi Alliance organization was formed, which helped develop the technology itself. Although Wi-Fi technology was introduced in the 1990s, it didn’t achieve popularity until the 2000s, when virtually every laptop or electronic device was equipped with Wi-Fi. Around the same time, routers and wireless streaming started to develop, and more devices supporting Wi-Fi connectivity at higher speeds began to appear. Thanks to Wi-Fi, the Internet has become an integral part of our everyday lives.

Virtual reality

Fictionists have long dreamt of virtual reality, but it’s still a long way from being widely commercialized. Nevertheless, technology has evolved considerably in recent years.

The latest generation of smartphones is compatible with budget versions of VR devices like Google Cardboard. Advanced gadgets like the Samsung Gear, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift have made the virtual reality experience more vivid, whether it’s watching a live performance or playing a game. Start-ups such as Lucid VR offer consumers devices to create VR content, such as a handheld camera for shooting in virtual reality.

Clearly, virtual reality is not yet a dominant field, but its applications are expanding. VR is not only used in entertainment, but also in B2B services such as employee training, shop planning and in medicine (for rehabilitation and patient training).

Andrew Edney
Andrew Edney
I am the owner and editor of this site. I have been interested in gadgets and tech since I was a little kid. I have also written a number of books on various tech subjects. I also blog for The Huffington Post and for FHM. And I am honoured to be a Microsoft MVP since January 2008 - again this year as an Xbox MVP.

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