Technologies That Seemed Crazy But Are Now A Part Of Everyday Life


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Just Imagine Having To Go To The Store Every Time You Wanted To Buy Something

It seems like technologies across the board are only ramping up in terms of just how fast they continue to evolve. ChatGPT sprang on the scene on November 30, 2022, and made tidal waves across the tech industry. What was once taken to be another attempt at artificially generated content like articles and images, quickly took on a life of its own. 

We want to look further back though, and pay respects to the technologies that initially seemed too advanced, niche, or unusual to become widely embraced, but have now become part of our daily lives.

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1. Smartphones

As you very well may be reading this from your handy smartphone, it’s only fitting that we kick this list off with smartphones. In the early 2000s you could see the shift occurring where what was once viewed as a borderline obnoxious luxury, quickly evolved to be a commonly used technology. 

The first iPhone made its debut in 2007, and  Android released their operating system the following year. From there the smartphone movement caught on like wildfire. These days, you’re either committed to not having a smartphone for financial or health reasons (mental and/or physical), or you’re one of the world's estimated 4.8 billion smartphone users who is just trying to keep up with the times. 

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2. Wi-Fi

Back in 2007, the groundwork was laid for a world where Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones would become commonplace. What had began as a status quo-challenging technological invention to provide people the ability to use the internet without dial-up or using an ethernet cord, became nothing short of common practice. 

By 2012, Wi-Fi was present in at least 25% of the homes across the world. Now, not only are you usually counting on having Wi-Fi in your home, but even a nice coffeeshop will lose your business if they don’t have reliable Wi-Fi.

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3. Online Shopping

As hard as it may be to believe there was a day not even in the distant past where if you wanted that new jacket or pair of shoes, you definitely had to make a run to the store or mall that had your wish list item in stock. Then, around the mid-1990s the titans of the online marketplace industry upended the world as we once knew it. 

By February 2005, a company like Amazon that began only selling books, evolved to sell pretty much anything that you can think of thanks to their launching of Prime subscriptions. Even at their launch they had over 1 million in-stock items. Suffice to say, that number can’t hold a candle to where things are at for them nowadays. 

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4. Social Media

Nowadays, you’re going to inspire some confused and occasionally dramatic reactions when you share with someone that you aren't on social media. What once began as a novel and foreign technological innovation through mediums like Friendster, MySpace, and LinkedIn back in the early 2000s quickly spiraled out of control. A large part of that can be attributed to Facebook making its big splash in 2004. Then, it was a perfect storm. 

With smartphones already gaining in popularity in the early 2000s as well, and social media apps taking up space on those smartphones, it came as no surprise that social media would end up consuming so many people’s attention. Now, with a social media app like Instagram and TikTok, people are earning obscene amounts of money for sharing videos that sometimes, honestly, make no sense at all. 

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5. Contactless Payment Technology

If you were to travel back in time to the early 1990s or even early 2000s and suggest to someone that contactless payment systems would become more popular than using cash or a physical debit card (that wasn't contactless) to make a purchase, they would’ve rightfully called you crazy. People are always going to get shaky whenever there’s talk about changing the traditional order of things when it comes to how their money is handled. 

Well, now you’re bound to walk into many stores in cities and towns alike and be able to easily make a contactless purchase by using a service like Google Pay or Apple Pay. Or you can just use your debit/credit card that’s been designed to handle contactless payments. It’s pretty wild to think that contactless payments only arrived in the U.S. in 2014 when mobile wallets were launched. 

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6. Electric Vehicles And Self-Driving Cars

Even though you’re not going to see waves of self-driving cars hitting the roads just yet, they are beginning to become noticeably more common. In fact, by as soon as the year 2030, it’s predicted that up to 12% of new passenger cars will be sold with the specialized L3+ autonomous technologies. You can imagine the potential for a surge in popularity from there. Additionally, companies like Tesla (they have their own autopilot self-driving software) as well as Google’s Waymo are pushing the movement for the adoption of autonomous vehicles with the steady production of numerous self-driving cars each year. 

Then, we have electric vehicles (EVs). EVs are beginning to hold their own in terms of market share. Hey Car, which is a car dealership based in the UK And Europe has reported that electric vehicle sales shot up by 40% in 2022. 

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7. Voice Recognition Technology

When we first were told back in 2013 that we could issue voice commands to machines that would understand and carry out instructions like queuing up a go-to playlist, it did take on a certain kind of Sci-Fi tone. Since the dawn of popular voice recognition technologies like Siri and Alexa, we’ve only seen a steady evolution. 

Now you have easy access to virtual assistants with built-in voice recognition technologies that have revolutionized common everyday occurrences like how you would shop or take the fastest possible route to the airport to catch a flight.

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