With each day seeing a new gadget or technology being introduced, it is obvious that some are going to be ignored. While there’s no way we can stop some newly launched products from being totally sidelined by consumers. Strangely, there are also several examples where we tend to not give any credit to the technology we use every day. It can be understood that one doesn’t give a lot of credit to consumer goods such as soaps, toothbrushes and flush toilets (regardless of how instrumental these were at shaping our civilization). But even in this technologically advanced age when we’re all about digital technology, we aren’t thankful enough for some technologies that we cannot live without. No, we’re definitely not talking about you Smartphone. Here are some technologies that we don’t give a lot of credit to.
Whether you consider this an esoteric conspiracy that everything we buy is ‘marked’, but did you realize the level of convenience it caused? Before barcodes, manufacturers had a lot of trouble in maintaining a list of their products. This was a problem that plagued industrialists and retailers well during the industrial revolution and the World Wars. However, barcode was invented way before it’s industrial adoption during the late 1940s. The credit for its invention goes to a graduate from Drexel, Philadelphia Bernard Silver, who developed the system for a food chain to automatically read product information during checkout. Although there were early hiccups in its adoption, the idea soon hit home run and became an essential technology for retailers and manufacturers worldwide.
2. Credit/Debit Cards
The definition of wealth has changed for eternities. From owned lands to a stash of gold, there are countless ways how money has changed. Although banknotes and coins have remained the two most well-known icons to denote money or wealth, the strangest change came in the mid-1940’s. Brooklyn banker issued bank cards to his clients that could be used for purchases from local stores. This idea later turned into ‘Diners Club Card’ and was finally adopted by American Express as a credit card in 1958. The first debit card was introduced by Lloyds Bank in 1972, pretty much changing the very concept of ‘Monetary Wealth’.
Did you know that the humble looking ‘print screen’ button on your keyboard is nothing less of a technological marvel as sliced bread? Without the ability to take images of your screen the world would’ve been way different. People might argue about the lack of artistic depth in screenshots as compared to photography. But no way you could boast about your favorite video game moments without ability to capture the screen. The meme industry wouldn’t be half as cool and your girlfriend could never show you the bad stuff you told her when angry without screenshots (this would’ve been a good thing actually).
Despite of being one of the most revolutionary advancements in communication technology, emails do not get even an ounce of respect the technology deserve. Used as the primary form of official and personal communication worldwide, emails are often noted for either being a spam gateway or a security concern. But for the technology that put thousands of mailmen out of work, emails were not only revolutionary but are far better and more reliable than most consumer technologies that exist today.
5. Binary Code
One of the most important discoveries of all time was the invention of the personal computer. But none of that could’ve been possible without the binary code. Yes, the same data encoding method formulated during the 17th century, which became the primary language for processor instructions. Without this method of assigning a string of binary digits to a character or instruction, digital technology wouldn’t have been a possibility.
6. Satellite TV
Sure Netflix and Internet TV have changed things, but we know that our lives would’ve never been the same without satellite TV broadcasts. This was not only a major step in information technology, but has also played a vital part in the development and spread of popular culture and showbiz. From MTV, to cartoon shows to sitcoms, the world would certainly be living in the middle ages if it wasn’t for Radio and TV.
Some might argue that the abovementioned list contains things we didn’t ask for. Well, we didn’t ask for bombs and taxes, but they’re still being used in plenty across the globe. Thus the next time you get free Wi-Fi access, kneel down and thank the creators for this wonderful invention. Like always, if you have anything to add to this list, please feel free to provide your suggestions in comments.