It is impossible to predict what tech will look like 10 years from now. But as time goes by, it is important to reflect on the best innovations that 2010’s brought us, like new apps, devices, and tech-driven societal shifts that have radically changed the way we live our day-to-day lives, for better or worse. Even with the pandemic and the so called “new normal”, we can identify many changes that happened in the 2010’s that made these challenging times more bearable.
The 2010s have steered in an incomparable era of cloud computing and artificial intelligence, a pack of new devices and hardware innovations, 4G networks powering a new generation of connected apps and services, and a lot more. Many of these developments became so quickly embedded in our daily lives that they often went relatively unnoticed, and their impact all but forgotten.
Read below the best innovations and try to discover how each has influenced your life.
4G Networks: The rise of 4G networks over the course of 2010-2011 ushered in a new wave of mobile innovation. Combined with the rise of smartphones, 4G created the opportunity for apps like Uber, Spotify, Google Maps, Twitter, Snapchat, and countless more to not only exist, but also thrive. The 4G technology is a foundational structure for a range of mobile applications that forced users away from their desktops and let them stream music and videos, shop on e-commerce sites, and use social media, all on the go.
Microsoft Azure: Amazon Web Services launched its cloud-computing platform in 2006, but the 2010s are when the market exploded, becoming the core infrastructure underlying the modern internet and all our digital experiences. Microsoft Azure appeared onto the scene in 2010 and has grown into a key pillar of Microsoft's business, its biggest win in closing the significant ground between it and AWS came when Microsoft won the Pentagon's $10 billion JEDI contract to modernize the military's cloud infrastructure. Historically, enterprises and consumers stored data and software locally on desktop hard-disks or distributed to on-site servers. But as datasets grew more complex and faster network connections facilitated the rapid transfer of data over the internet, off-premises storage and web-based software programs became more attractive. Cloud-based storage, for example, offers easily scaled data capacity, while permitting for remote and more flexible access across countless devices. The software industry has also migrated from physical CD-ROMs to the software-as-a-service business model, where companies collect subscription revenues and are able offer real-time software updates, remote access, and centralized data storage. In 2010, over 90% of data was held in local servers. By 2019, public cloud storage was expected to take over around 30% of this share. The current situation we are all facing by having to work from home most days, show us how important it is to have an app like Azure to help businesses work seamlessly.
Minecraft: Minecraft is maybe the most iconic game of the past decade, boasting millions of players and spawning countless sandbox creation games trying to emulate it. There is a reason Microsoft bought Minecraft developer Mojang for $2.5 billion back in 2014. This game has captivated many teenagers and set the direction for many games to come, attracting an audience till this day.
Microsoft Surface: Two years after the release of the iPad, Microsoft debuted the Surface as a 2-in-1 workstation to bridge the gap between a laptop and a tablet. There was some concern that this innovation was biting the hand that feeds it—PC makers—but after a bumpy rollout, Microsoft has carved out a space in the market with modern machines, like the Surface Pro 7, an Editors' Choice.
PlayStation 4 and Xbox One: In 2013, Xbox and PlayStation went head-to-head for the future of console gaming. Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One initiated a new era of games and countless think pieces, though PS4 got the last laugh when it came to units sold, but 2021 is here with new versions of both consoles with many awesome new features for these two devices. Which one you think will get most sales?
Apple Watch: The Apple Watch was not the first smartwatch, but it changed the wearables market and has slowly carved out a healthy user base compared to the iPhone, even with all the reasons to buy or not to buy the wrist-worn device. Google's deal to buy Fitbit shows how much smart watches are the next best thing and with so many options out there is hard to say which one is best, especially because they are all very similar even though they come with different features. But one thing is for sure, if you are a practical person and love to exercise, smartwatches are a great way to modernize yourself.
Pokémon Go: Pokémon Go took over the world for as soon as it was launched. The geospatial amplified reality game showed the potential of smartphone-based AR, and still enjoys a large user base of dedicated Pokémon trainers. Yet the real-world impact remains the most fascinating part of the craze. Thousands of people wandered around outside catching Pokémon, living in a superimposed world on top of our own. Till today the game has fans, especially with the pandemic, where outdoor activities are preferred. It has set a precedent for other games out there, even Harry Potter has got a version of geospatial game.
Cybercrime: Another less positive development has been the advances made by criminals and hackers in the digital space. Cyber threats are getting much smarter and pose a grave danger to our online world. With that said, it’s important to stay alert, get a good antivirus software, implement 2-factor-authentication to every password you must use, among many other important measures you can take to avoid a cyberattack. Read more here about Phishing Attacks, Ransomware, and Brute Force Attack.
Many of these advances are applied in our everyday life, some help more than others making one thing clear, our lives may seem the same as they were 10 years ago, but the technology and the easiness of it all is completely different. Which one of the items on our list you feel has had a bigger impact in your life?
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