Do you want to know how has technology changed in the last 20 years? If your answer is yes then this blog provides you all information regarding this.
Technology has advanced in leaps and bounds over the last 20 years, and we’ve witnessed things we couldn’t have predicted at the millennium’s start! Take a look at our breakdown of the most significant technological advancements during the last two decades.
Today, your phone is almost always within arm’s reach, but things were very different 20 years ago. According to research by the Office for National Statistics (UK), just 47% of UK households had a mobile phone in 2000, and unlike the phones we have today, they were severely limited in their capabilities, largely limited to SMS texting and calling.
Everybody has a cell phone nowadays, but it’s no longer just a cell phone! Today’s smartphones include internet connectivity, high-definition cameras, gaming capabilities, music storage, and a plethora of apps that allow users to do everything from booking a taxi to locating a date in minutes.
Although it’s difficult to envision a future without cameras on our phones, they didn’t first exist in the 2000s. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, Nokia and Motorola controlled the market. The first-ever configurable ringtones, appearances, and games were introduced in the models released between 1998 and 2000, with the first smartphones appearing between 2004 and 2006 thanks to GPS capabilities.
Throughout the 2000s, flip phones were very popular, with Samsung being the most well-known manufacturer. Although the original iPhone was released in 2007, it did not immediately become as popular as it is now. Blackberrys, on the other hand, were popular owing to their physical keyboard with single letters, email capabilities, and instant messaging system known as ‘BBM.’ Physical keyboards are becoming increasingly rare as touch screens become the standard. In 2000, just 47% of homes had mobile phones; by 2018, that number had risen to 95%.
TV & Shows
Because there was no catch-up capability on televisions back then, VHS tapes were extremely popular in the early 2000s as a method to watch movies that you had purchased or to record programs that you were going to miss. VHS tapes fell out of favor around 2002 as people shifted to DVDs because of their superior quality, and by 2008, VHS cassettes were almost obsolete. People rarely buy physical copies of movies anymore since streaming sites like Netflix are the most popular way of watching movies and TV episodes. Netflix began as a DVD rental service, and it wasn’t until 2010 that they added streaming services!
In terms of television, more than the normal five channels were uncommon in 2000, but today satellite boxes can provide hundreds of channels to view, possibly even too many to pick from! You can also use the broadcaster’s on-demand services to catch up on shows you’ve missed, saving you the trouble of programming your VHS player to record your favorite shows while you’re away.
People are also watching less traditional television as a result of the arrival of streaming services like Netflix, Now TV, and YouTube. Instead, they prefer to watch shows online, where they can pick and choose what and when they watch.
Since the millennium, the gaming industry has made enormous strides, boosted by faster internet connections. The PlayStation 2 was released in the year 2000, and it was a watershed moment in gaming culture since it was the first machine to appear mature.’ Previously, gaming consoles were mostly targeted towards children and teenagers, with popular titles such as Super Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog being played on N64, Xbox, PS1, and Sega consoles.
The Nintendo GameBoy was popular in the early 2000s, while the Nintendo DS, which introduced a touch screen to the portable gaming industry, was released in 2004. With consoles like the Nintendo Switch and Google Stadia – which allows you to stream games over wifi and play them on a PC, smartphone, or tablet – gaming systems are more portable than ever before.
In the previous 20 years, gaming graphics have progressed dramatically, progressing from color blocks to pixelated visuals to the near-lifelike quality of imagery we see today. As we approach 2020, a plethora of gaming consoles is accessible, including motion tracker technology and virtual reality headsets that allow you to feel as if you are actually playing the game rather than just watching it! This is facilitated by the development of realistic 3D images and game physics that mimic real-world events. The Nintendo Wii, as well as mobile gaming, used this technology to broaden the appeal of gaming by reaching out to elderly “non-gamers.” Finally, thanks to platforms like Steam and online app stores, which have given indie developers a true presence in the business, there is a considerably broader choice of the game content available today.
Music was kept on cassette tapes and CDs, which were purchased in stores and played on stereo systems and portable Sony Walkmans in the early 2000s. In 2001, the first iPod was produced, allowing users to upload their CDs into iTunes and keep them on a portable device that could be used anywhere.
The first iPod had a 5GB hard drive that could store 1000 songs in MP3 format at 160 kbps. From March 2002, a 10GB option was available, bringing the total number of songs to roughly 2000. Even iPods and other MP3 players have become nearly obsolete in the last five years, as mobile phones’ memory capacities have increased to the point that they can store your entire music collection.
Data visualization with a flourish.
Only 44% of UK households possessed a home computer in 2000, according to a report issued by the Office for National Statistics (UK). Computers were huge, heavy, and took up a lot of desk space twenty years ago (monitors might be more than 30cm deep!). They could be unreliable and slow, with graphics that are much slower than what we’re used to. External hard drives were widespread since computer memory was restricted.
It’s difficult to envision a world without computers nowadays. The percentage of people with home computers had doubled from 44% to 88 percent by 2018. They’re smaller, faster, and more convenient than ever, and we use them at work, at home, and on the go. Instead of taking up a whole desk, computers may now be carried in a purse as a tablet or notebook. They also have a greater memory capacity than previously.
Although laptops were originally introduced in the 1980s, they did not surpass desktops in terms of sales until 2005. Hot desking and remote working are now possible thanks to laptops. A laptop today costs a fraction of what it did in the early 2000s, yet it performs vastly better.
Messaging & social media
In the late 1990s, the first blogging sites became popular, kicking off a social media craze that is still going strong today. Blogger and LiveJournal were two of the first blogging websites. MySpace was one of the first global social media sites, and it was popular among young musicians as a venue to publish and share their tunes when it was created in 2003. When Facebook began in 2004, it had 1,000,000 monthly active members by the end of the year.
We now have a plethora of social media sites, such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, LinkedIn, and others, that cater to various social networking niches. It’s rare to meet someone who doesn’t use at least one social media platform, and Facebook has 2,499,000,000 monthly active users in the third quarter of 2019, making it the most popular social networking platform on the planet.
MSN Messenger was the first widely used instant messaging network, and it was popular among teens in the early 2000s as a method to keep in touch with classmates after school. It began as a text messaging service, but it has now expanded to include photo sharing, video calls, and games. It had 330 million users in 2009, but it was shut down in 2014 when Microsoft replaced it with the freshly purchased Skype. WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app today, with 1.5 billion users and 450 million daily users in 2018.
The speed of the internet
Dial-up, which used a telephone line to connect to the internet twenty years ago, was the internet connection of choice. This meant that you could only use one of the phone lines or the internet at a time, which resulted in a significant increase in the frequency of disputes in teenage houses! Dial-up connections may take up to a minute to establish, and the modem would make a succession of melodious beeps, screeches, and boings as it did so. Dial-up was notoriously slow — 56kbit/s, compared to 22 Mbps in the UK today. To put this in perspective, a 6MB image would take 15 minutes to download over dial-up, yet only 2 seconds on the internet today.
We can now access the internet wirelessly from anywhere. WiFi was first introduced in the early 2000s, but demand skyrocketed when WiFi-enabled phones hit the market in 2007, and people began looking for public WiFi hotspots to use when they were out and about. We also have internet access via 4G on our mobile phone networks, and 5G is being gradually deployed, which will further improve our online access.
The storage accessible now is a far cry from the storage available 20 years ago. People used floppy discs and Compact Disc Rewritable (CD-RW) to store documents and images twenty years ago, and despite their vast physical size, they couldn’t hold much data. USBs had just been introduced around the turn of 2000, and they contained about 8MB of data – enough for two ebooks or a 90-second low-resolution film. We now have USB-C drives, which can hold substantially more data than USB drives and transport data twice as fast, all while shrinking in size.
SD (Secure Digital) cards are also widely used these days, and they come in a variety of sizes to fit your various devices, ranging from the size of a stamp to the size of your fingernail! It’s also not uncommon to see SD cards with capacities of more than 250GB today – a significant improvement from the 32, 64, or 128 MB cards available 20 years ago! On a 64MB card, this translates to ten 12 megapixel photographs, whereas a 250GB card can store roughly 30,000.
As cloud storage has grown in popularity in recent years, we’ve steadily moved away from storing data on physical devices. Cloud storage eliminates the need for us to carry around memory devices by allowing us to access data from any place with an internet connection. Instead, our data is saved on massive servers located all over the world, with nearly infinite capacity. However, because this puts your files in the hands of third parties, many people prefer to save them discreetly on memory devices.
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