Technology has become a big part of everyday life. Right now, you’re reading this on a computer, tablet or smart phone. That alone shows how technology is intricately woven into many aspects of modern life. While some innovations could have been predicted, like automation or virtual reality, others have been the opposite. Here are three technologies that consumers could have never known where coming into their lives.
Before the internet, data transmission was pretty basic. Telephone, radio and morse code were the only ways to send a data transmission until the advent of satellites in the 1950s. Still, consumers never could have known that one day electronic transmissions, like email and text messages, would become such a big part of their lives. In fact, the internet is so pervasive that it’s hard to imagine life without it. For generations born during the internet age, it might be even harder to imagine.
People have been smoking tobacco for hundreds of years, but no one could have predicted that smoking would go digital. E-cigarettes, as they exist today, were invented in China in 2003, but tobacco companies have been trying to develop something similar to them since the 1960s. However, the invention was first thought of as early as the late 1920s by Joseph Robinson. Today, you can find a vape shop in every town, but it’s hard to say whether Robinson could have foreseen the invention’s popularity.
The post-WWII era saw a lot of developments in the home appliance market. One invention, however, really surprised and delighted consumers: the microwave. Before the microwave became a part of the modern kitchen, there was no way to speed up food preparation. Defrosting meat, for example, would take hours rather than minutes since there was no way to thaw the meat without cooking it. So, when microwaves hit the market, they were lauded as the latest futuristic innovation that would revolutionise how people prepared food. Interestingly, they were right. By the 1970s, 10% of households had a microwave. Today, you can find a microwave in 90% of households.
These inventions could be considered everyday innovations because they impact our daily lives. However, most people couldn’t have anticipated how these technologies would alter everyday life. It makes you wonder what other developments are just on the horizon that could change the course of human history.