It’s almost the end of 2020 so we thought we’d look back on the past 20 years to see how far we’ve come, especially in the tech sector. We’ve seen many crazy inventions in 2016 and we’ve made a list about that already, but this time, we’re going to be even more selective and choose products that have made a considerable impact on our way of life in the present and especially in the future. Take a look at our list of most useful tech innovations of the decade.
1. CRISPR CAS9
Allow me to geek out on this a little bit. To be honest, the idea of the CRISPR system has been around since the late 90s. However, its innovation from 8 years to the present time was so amazing that the breakthrough caused the 2 leading female chemists, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna, to win the Nobel Prize this year.
So what is CAS9 all about? Basically, the 2 scientists were able to develop a method for genome editing aka editing DNA of any creature with life here on Earth! This has opened the doors for thousands upon thousands of studies that could help us rework our genome to be better protected against viral diseases (yes, just like COVID-19) and other issues. It can also be used not just for medicine, but other sectors like agriculture and food technology.
Let’s move onto a much more consumer-friendly innovation. Who here doesn’t know Venmo? You might be using it for years on end but you may still be clueless about how it all began. Venmo was launched back in 2009 as a mobile payment service designed to help millennials split the bill. This paved the way for the development of online transactions and helped shape the fintech revolution we now know today!
3. Solar Power Innovations
Solar power or the renewable energy sector in general also saw a great improvement over the past 20 years. One such improvement is the creation of solar farms in different states. Laws were being passed since around 2007 to allow for the building of such large-scale solar grids that power entire communities and essential establishments.
What’s so great about solar farms or community solar systems is that you don’t really need to deal with figuring out and installing solar panels on your roofs to tap into solar energy. Plus, apartment dwellers are given the chance to use renewable energy in their homes, too.
When the iPad first came out in 2010, people didn’t really know what to think of it. But Steve Jobs’s vision was clear: to create something bigger but better than smartphones, and yet smaller than regular laptops at the time. Hence, he created a new product altogether that paved the way for the tablet industry to be born.
5. Mobile Facial Recognition
The system for Facial Recognition was slowly developed over the years from the late 90s to the early 2000s. But the idea of using this technology in mobile phones started back in 2005 in Japan. A company named OMRON Corporation first introduced the idea to use the user’s face to verify his or her identity through the phone camera.
Of course, this was introduced on a larger scale by Facebook in 2010 so that users can tag photos of their friends and families. Then, the function returned to smartphones as an additional security measure for its users.
One year after the iPad came out, Apple gave birth to the first mobile virtual assistant named Siri. Siri was launched together with the iPhone 4S model, which, of course, has gone several iterations until we’ve reached the iPhone 12. It wasn’t until 3 years later that Amazon came up with their very own intelligent virtual assistant named Alexa.
This list encompasses just a few of the technological innovations that have been invented and developed in the last 20 years. I’ve barely scratched the surface of how far mankind has come since the invention of the wheel. I’m certain that as you’re reading this, some other scientific genius is creating another innovation as we speak. But I do hope that with this list, you are able to realize that humans have progressed exponentially over the years, and for that, we must always be thankful.