Innovation: Technology Game Changers of the Past Decade
It’s hard to believe the end of the last millennium was over a decade ago, although when you look at the rate of technological change that has occurred since then, it almost seems a ludicrously short amount of time for so much innovation to have occurred.
While MP3 players had been on the market for a while, it was not until 2001 that Apple announced the first-generation iPod. The very first Blackberry came on the market in 2002, and was followed five years later by the must-have iPhone. Now it seems as if everyone has a smartphone so they can stay in touch with their online lives no matter where they are or what they are doing. The Android operating system and HTC Dream phone that ran it were both released in 2008.
Gmail began as an invitation-only beta in 2004 and was opened to the public three years later in 2007. Its easy-to-use layout and many innovations quickly made it the must-have email provider.
The MacBook Pro was released halfway through the decade in 2006.
Twitter was launched in 2006 and quickly took over the Internet with 200 million users at the current time. The micro-blogging site is a favorite with celebrities and ordinary people alike with all thoughts and pronouncements condensed to just 140 characters.
That mainstay of modern day Internet use, YouTube, was only invented and launched in 2005. Can you remember how we looked at videos of cute kittens and people falling over before it came along?
Version 1.0 of the web browser Mozilla Firefox was released in 2004, and Google Chrome is only a baby, first launched in 2008.
The first USB flash drives were offered for sale in the year 2000, and by 2005, few computers were manufactured with the floppy disk drives of old, as the capacity and convenience of flash drives had made them obsolete.
In 2000, only 6 percent of Internet users in the United States had broadband Internet access, but by 2007, it was over 60 percent.
Facebook was launched in 2004, and now the social networking site boasts more than 800 million active users.
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia beloved of bored office workers, students researching papers, and people trying to settle arguments, was launched in 2001 and now has over 3.5 million English-language articles on everything from online business degree providers and medical assistant careers to red pandas and deep sea squid.
It is amazing how many of the online tools and we use and the technological devices that allow us such easy access to the online world have only become available to us since the turn of the millennium. Hopefully by 2020 we will have experienced as many innovations and life-changing ventures.