ERP Software, Mobile App, Software Development, Web Development Major technological advances of the last decade
It is a fact that 201Xs has been a tremendous decade for technology, with both end services and businesses benefitting from a wide range of new products developed in the last 10 years. To mark the end of the era, Stimes Qatar asked several tech consultants what they think have been the biggest technological advances or breakthroughs made in the last 201Xs.
As we stand on the precipice of another great industrial revolution, we will look back at key developments from 2010 to 2019 and predict some of the technologies set to dominate the next. Our list spans a wide range of categories, including transportation, fitness, food, finance, and even dating apps, etc.
1. Business Collaboration Platforms
As we have seen many co-working spaces introduced in the last decade, few examples are more significant than Slack, which was launched in 2013. The instant-messaging app is one that has drastically transformed the way people communicate in business and transformed the world of remote work by creating a kind of hub for communications, file sharing, team group chats, and more to maximize efficiency no matter where in the world employees are.
While the workplace is certainly the space that has been most affected by the launch of Slack, that’s not to say it’s the only place. There are many other platforms that help in the business operations such as Basecamp, ClickUp, Trello, and more have made it easier to see who’s doing what and by when.
2. Emerging Temporary Social Shares
In the same vein as Instagram, Snapchat is one of the other popular social media platforms that has become so prominent in a modern network culture that it’s hard to remember a time before its existence. Snapchat, which initially launched as Picaboo back in 2011, is interesting as one of the only social platforms of its kind to replicate real-time communication in the sense that it’s fleeting. The idea behind the app was that it would be a place where people could send disappearing images to one another.
Today, a number of features—including Snapchat Discover, which features short-form ad content from brands; Lenses, which add filters to photos taken with the self-facing camera; and group messaging—have made the app one of the most popular social networks for casual users and marketers alike.
3. Virtual home assistants & Smart Homes
When Amazon Echo launched back in 2014, it brought with it a new kind of “smart home”—and a new association for the name Alexa. The smart speaker basically acts as a virtual assistant, with the ability to do anything from telling you the weather for the day, to update you on the latest headlines, to play your music.
All it takes is a simple “Hey, Alexa” to summon the speaker, after which the built-in voice recognition can process different questions and commands from users. The first-of-its-kind speaker ultimately set the stage for additional smart speakers to come.
4. Wireless earbuds
It was not too long ago that most people were still bound to their phones by headphone wires, but Apple shook that up in 2016 with the introduction of the AirPods. Though wireless Bluetooth-enabled headphones were hardly a novel concept at the time, they quickly rose to insane popularity and became the mainstream wireless headphones by far. Thanks largely to their crystal clear sound, their (mostly) problem-free connecting, and their quick charge time, the AirPods have basically taken over— even if they’ve also gotten their fair share of mockery and meme action in the process.
5. Self-driving cars
Formerly called the Google self-driving project, which actually started back in 2009, Waymo, a self-driving tech company, came into existence in 2016 under Alphabet. The company has since focused on the development of autonomous vehicles.
Waymo launched a fully self-driving minivan in partnership with Fiat Chrysler in 2017, and in 2018 in Phoenix, the company rolled out Waymo One, the first fully operating self-driving service where riders can hail autonomous cars like they would an Uber or Lyft.
6. Huge advances in VR
This decade brought us a new wave of virtual reality gadgets that have totally changed how we interact with tech and the world around us. One of the biggest players in the VR space, Oculus (a division of Facebook), came to the stage in 2012, introducing its first product—a VR headset called the Oculus Rift—a year later in 2013.
The company has since launched a number of additional headsets that have been used in many applications, with gaming as one of the biggest.
You may not necessarily see everyone riding around on hoverboards just yet, but 2015 saw us enter into a tech phase that is at least one step closer to “Back to the Future.” The first-ever hoverboard, named The Hendo hoverboard, made its debut in a video on Kickstarter in 2015 after the husband-and-wife team Greg and Jill Henderson created a functioning prototype using the modern technologies available.
8. Upgraded Fitness Trackers
If you ask anyone how many steps they ought to be taking every day, chances are they will quickly spit out “10,000.” The widely accepted minimum daily step count is one that has become a major focal point over the past decade, in large part thanks to a trend of fitness trackers that started with early iterations like the Fitbit Ultra, which launched in 2011 (though Fitbit itself has existed since 2007).
This initial version of a pedometer that syncs up to your smartphone set the stage for a whole slew of fitness trackers that have emerged over the past several years, some of which have incorporated aspects of competition to help encourage more activity. Overall, this tracker set in motion a movement of wearables that have largely changed the fitness industry.
9. Virtual payment systems and wallet payments
A lot has changed in how payments can be made over the years, but Square is one of the biggest products to evolve out of the past decade. It is an incredibly easy-to-use credit card processing system that offers a range of features and options in a high-quality free point of sale (POS) system.
Of all the ways that Square has positively impacted payment options for businesses, though, one of the best is the opportunity for small business owners or budding entrepreneurs. The Square Reader—a small card reader that can plug into a smartphone—makes it easy for people to take card payments anywhere, which is a game-changer.
Wallet apps have functioned to make exchanging money easier—the app is now used for everything from splitting those dinner bills to paying rent—it has also created an interesting social culture around payments thanks to an activity feed that displays payment activity (but not payment amount) between people you know.
10. The rise of artificial intelligence and 5G
We assume the main two key technologies will be stepstones in the developments coming in 2020: the next-generation data network known as 5G, and new frontiers in artificial intelligence (AI). Despite the predictions, 5G hasn’t yet managed to provide much enthusiasm among consumers. We can experience to be speedy (between 10 and 100 times faster than 4G), but that prospect alone hasn’t yet caught the public response. It’s only just rolling out, coverage is sporadic, and there are currently a limited number of devices able to connect to it. As we expect, 2020 will begin to give us a much better idea of what it’s like to live in a 5G world.
We’ve no doubt that this generation has seen significant advancements in technology over the past decade, and 5G is putting us on the top of the next wave of innovation. We predict that 5G will be the catalyst for various technologies that have been on the brink for some time. Though these advancements won’t happen overnight, 2020 will undoubtedly be the beginning of a new technological era.
Kindly comment below if we missed any of those you think it has impacted the tech development in the last decade.
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