In the past decade, most of us bought mobile phones that can be used for more tasks than just telephony. We also invested in digital cameras and GPS has long ago replaced the map in the car compartment. Our computers are now wireless and the Internet is an everyday reality in a way that couldn’t be foreseen in the past decade or two. We are not just recipients of our lives, now we tell about our lives in blogs and social networking sites like Facebook. We can also design our own media with podcasts and RSS- feeds, in front of the screen we can perform banking services and shop in peace.
In the past ten years, most of homes around the world, have received flat screens. Recordable DVDs replaced the VHS and on our shelves, we have movies in the BlueRay format – 3D TV is not far away.
On the other side, development in the other areas is much slower. For example, cars are still powered by gasoline and diesel, but there are bright points. Mass production of electric cars is beginning and at the end of May 2010, the Japanese electric car traveled 1003 miles on a single charge.
Although the batteries are improved, their life expectancy is not much extended. New mobile phones and portable computers are using more elctricity, so they still need new technology in the field of batteries and this is likely to come, perhaps in the next decade.
GPS was once expensive niche market, but today anyone can afford it. The main reason for this is that in 2000 the U. S. military released the GPS system so that the GPS equipment for private use suddenly become much more accurate. Only from that time on, it could seriously be used for navigation.
Ten years ago it was slightly awkward to use the Internet at home. It took a long time for the web site to show, but today most of us have broadband connection which among other things, allows downloading music and watching movies online.
Mobile phones has developed from the device with which we communicate with other people, into a veritable center of communication and entertainment. With this small computer we can receive email, crawl the web, take pictures, listen to music and watch videos.
Digital music players have experienced a major breakthrough. We get the first well-built music player with a lot of space when the first of Apple’s iPod appeared in 2001. Nowadays, people tend to have music in their mobile phone.
The newly developed solar cells from Caltech in the U. S. are made up of 98 percent plastic, and 2 percent silicon microscopic threads. This is one of the steps forward in the use of solar energy, for which will the solar cells in the next decade, be affordable.
Over the last decade, the prices of flat screens have decreased substantially. Company DuPont has recently proved that the 50-inch OLED can be print in two minutes, so the screens will grow even bigger and cheaper.
After robots which were made for the industries and the military, the company iRobot believed that next destination is home. On the market has appeared robotic vacuum cleaner Roomba, which has since then been sold in more than two million copies.
What was your favorite technological/scientific achievement of the past decade?