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Technology- what’s next?

January 27, 2022   ·   0 Comments

by BRIAN LOCKHART

When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, it was considered a huge leap in technology.

Imagine being able to speak to your friend in the next town from the comfort of your own home – even if your nosy neighbour was eavesdropping on the party line.

It seems advancements in technology comes in spurts, and I think we are in the midst of technological growth that is going to greatly change our world.

Much of the leap forward began with the industrial revolution that changed the way industry operates. Those changes didn’t happen rapidly; it took around 80 years for that transition.

Over the next 50 years, technology continued to advance as scientists, inventors, and entrepreneurs invested in research and built on other people’s success and failures.

Contrary to common belief, the Wright Brothers did not invent the airplane. They used information from other inventors and scientists who had already been working on the problem for years. They may have been the first to actually lift off, but if it wasn’t for the experiments of others and the papers written, they would not have been able to do it.

The same goes for people like Thomas Edison. He may be credited with many inventions, but history shows he did build on the work of others.

The Second World War and the years following provided a huge boost in technology as scientists ramped up their research.

Of course, it wasn’t all good. The Atomic bomb may have changed the world, but you probably don’t want to have one anywhere near you.

The 60s issued in another new era of advancement. The concept of a transistor and the first working models were invented earlier but it wasn’t until the 1960s that they really became widespread and changed a lot of things. 

When digital technology began to be known, there were a lot of skeptics. I recall a professor in college showing us his new state of the art digital sound recorder.

The feeling at the time was that in no way could digital technology ever replace camera film or sound recording. When was the last time you bought a roll of Kodachrome?

There have been so many advancements over the just the past ten years that many are rolled out to consumers without people even realizing what great achievements they are.

I bought a new electronic keyboard last year. This thing is incredible. My old keyboard had a huge amount of features, but this new one requires some kind of advanced classroom training to figure out how to use all the functions.

It replicates a grand piano better than an actual piano and has the capability to replicate and record an entire orchestra.

Many cameras are quickly becoming obsolete as iPhones now have the ability to take a high-resolution photo that is just as good as many high-end cameras, although they do lack certain features that come with lenses and the ability to control shutter speed and aperture. 

But for the average consumer, they are more enough to record your adventures and travels.

I was talking to a camera guy from a television station a couple of months ago. He was using a small palm size camera that could record well enough for broadcast. He also said he has recorded video on his iPhone that also made it on air. 

Then there’s the auto industry. Wow, what your car can do for you these days. There is a sensor for just about everything. From tire pressure to the windshield washer fluid, your car will tell you what it needs.

The GPS systems available in most cars have pretty much destroyed the old fold-up paper map.

Add to that the new driver assist functions and the car will tell you that you are going out of your lane before you realize you swerved when you tried to grab your coffee.

All these advancements are a lot of fun for the average person, but other advancements are truly incredible.

Elon Musk and his company, Space-X are doing things that NASA couldn’t achieve.

While NASA may have put a man on the moon 53 years ago, they haven’t done much since.

Mostly because they are limited by government funding.

Space-X is its own company and they can spend their money anyway the want.

That accounts for Captain Kirk being launched into a sub orbital flight just for fun.

It also accounts for the incredibly futuristic StarLink system that will eventually have several thousand satellites linked together to provide internet service to countries around the world.

While all this has been going on, there have been huge developments in artificial intelligence and robot design over the past few years.

It will be interesting to see where this all takes us over the next ten years.

Maybe having a robot butler might be achievable in your lifetime.



         

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