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8 Developments That Have Shaped the Last Decade of Technology

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Technology is moving at a faster pace than ever before, and it looks like the changes keep coming in by the day at this point.

Many fields have changed drastically over the last years as a result of adopting advanced technological solutions, and it looks like we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg with regards to what’s coming up in the future too.

And having just closed a decade in our history, it’s the perfect time to reflect on some of the most major changes that the market has seen over those last ten years.

1.     Artificial Intelligence

There’s no denying it – AI is the main driving force behind many technological innovations right now, and it looks like it’s going to continue making a strong impact on many fields.

The last decade has been particularly fruitful for those working in the field, and things like machine learning have proven to have a very important place in certain industries.

The average person now has access to those solutions as well. And we have every reason to believe that these positive developments are going to continue well into the future.

Some of the many examples of fields that have been affected strongly by AI include:

  • Healthcare
  • Finances
  • Marketing
  • Automotive
  • Customer service
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2.     Cryptocurrencies/Blockchain

Cryptocurrencies are a controversial topic among tech geeks, and some still see them as nothing more than a gimmick. It’s getting harder and harder to maintain that position though, as we’ve seen some very real examples of how cryptocurrencies can impact our markets.

And like with AI, it looks like we’re barely scratching the surface of what this technology has to offer. Blockchain was initially associated exclusively with cryptocurrencies but has taken on a life of its own in recent years after it proved to be a viable solution to many specific problems.

3.     Smart Assistants

Another topic that gets a “love it or hate it” attitude by most people, smart assistants are in many people’s homes these days, and no matter if you like them or not, they’ve changed a lot.

From making the lives of people with disabilities easier to helping parents and other people going through difficult times, smart assistants have proven to be fantastic devices that are surely going to see even more attention and development in the coming years.

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4.     Lean Manufacturing

It’s hard to talk about manufacturing issues these days without someone bringing up the topic of lean. And for a good reason – it’s a field that has changed a lot in manufacturing, and many people have established lucrative careers on top of it as well.

A lean manufacturing certification from an institution like Kettering University can go a long way in your career in this line of work these days, and it can help you out quite a lot if you’re trying to optimize the work of your company.

It’s not a simple field by any means either, which has left it wide open for specialists with a lot to bring to the table.

Some of the primary values of the lean methodology are:

  • Reducing waste – not just in the sense of unnecessary output, but also in terms of optimizing routines, physical layouts, and more
  • Ensuring that every component of the project has a direct impact on the bottom line
  • Removing unnecessary complexity

5.     Electric Vehicles

Even though Tesla is largely responsible for popularizing the concept of electric cars and making them truly mainstream, it’s far from the only company actively involved in this market nowadays.

The last decade has made it clear that electric vehicles are beyond a simple gimmick, and they’re definitely here to stay. Not only that but with environmental concerns being a hotter topic than ever in the past, it’s clear that electric vehicles are going to enjoy a lot of attention in the future.

Hopefully, the trend will spread fast enough to compensate for some of the damage that we’ve already done to the planet before it’s too late.

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6.     Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality

A pair of VR goggles is quite affordable these days, and the market is in a very healthy state with lots of competition and active development. The barrier of entry is getting lower and lower, and it looks like we’ve almost reached the point where this technology will be truly mainstream.

But even now, there’s a lot to explore in this corner of the market. It’s not just about entertainment either. VR has proven to be an amazing solution to various problems in many industries. The tech is being used for things like:

  • Training people to work with complex, hazardous machinery
  • Training medical professionals for complicated procedures
  • Therapy for phobias and PTSD

And the more we work on it, the more uses we’re going to see as well. It’s one of the most amazing developments of the last decade that’s just starting to receive the attention that it truly deserves.

7.     The Internet of Things

There’s been a lot of talk about “the internet of things”, and yet not many people are quite aware of what that means exactly. Put simply, it refers to the new trend of all devices being connected to the internet, and often coming with some smart capabilities too.

This is particularly prominent in industrial settings, where it has led to the development of the so-called “Industry 4.0”, largely based on the use of a large number of small, interconnected devices that all work together to optimize a facility and improve its performance, while giving operators access to more data to analyze and work with.

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8.     3D Printing

3D printing is both fun and useful, and the field is actively evolving in both directions. It has transformed certain sectors, like healthcare and construction, allowing people to cheaply produce parts and supplies for projects without having to spend a lot of money on them.

It’s also great for promoting creativity and experimentation, and it has created some peculiar situations in certain markets that used to be stagnant due to a lack of manufacturing competition.

Just take a look at board games, especially the “Warhammer” series and similar titles that feature lots of minifigs, and you’ll quickly get the idea.

Here are just some of the things that you can print with an average, consumer-grade 3D printer nowadays:

  • Tools and utensils
  • Replacement parts for plastic tools and furniture
  • Personalized gifts
  • Toys
  • Art
  • A detailed mini model of yourself!

Many of these changes are still actively evolving, and we’ve just started to see their true benefits. It will likely take some time before some of these fields stabilize properly, but until then, there’s definitely a lot to explore for those who want to always be at the forefront of new developments.