Technological Advances That Have Changed How We Live
It is only about 30 years since the Internet appeared in our lives, but the technological changes that have come about because of it could not have been envisaged even at the time when it was first introduced. It has changed the way we shop, play games, handle our banking, communicate, and nearly everything else we do. There have been other innovations along the way, and computer processing power doesn’t always mean you require a huge box sitting on your desk. There is no going back now that these new technologies are here, and many of us now wonder how we managed without them.
The Explosion of Smartphones
When mobile phones were first introduced to the mass market in the 1990s, they were comparable in size to a house brick. Now they will easily fit into a pocket, and with the new cellular enabled smartwatches, some of you can wear on your wrist. But it’s not the reduction in size that has made the biggest difference. Originally you could make a call on them, and soon after their introduction, you could send text messages between mobiles. This was technology at its finest for that era, although each text could take quite a while to type.
Now, there is very little you cannot do on a smartphone, and very few people would buy a phone that does not do everything. With the latest Apple and Samsung phones being like mini-computers, and deals available with phone companies where you are not having to pay upfront for the handset, having a smartphone seems like the sensible thing to do.
They mean you no longer have to wait until you’re home and can sit in front of your PC to buy something new, make a bank transfer or perhaps check the odds to find the best casino for your favorite game. You can watch movies or TV on them, or listen to your favourite music. All of this can be done from wherever you happen to be at the time. Playing games of all types have become more popular now that you don’t need a TV or games console to take part, and that has brought a rise in the number of gamers, including the group called “casual gamers”, who play in brief, short bursts.
Some people think this has had a negative effect on personal social interactions, but research has shown the opposite is happening. Many of the games are multiplayer, so as they play their games, players are chatting with other players, perhaps from the other side of the world. Research also suggests it is not unusual for families to get together to play online games. There is no end to the types of games available, for children and for adults, most of them free of any charge. Education has also benefitted from the use of smartphones. There are apps to learn most things, from languages to how to change a wheel on your car, or how to make a particular dish you would only have had in a restaurant before. Now you can teach yourself so many different things, and all you need is your smartphone.
Social Media and Communicating
Without a doubt, the biggest change in the way we communicate with each other is social media. With nearly 3 billion users globally, this translates into over a third of the world’s population using some form of social media. Facebook is used by about 88% of 18-29 year-olds and is a pioneer of today’s social media platforms. Twitter has about 36% of the same age group as users, while Snapchat and Instagram have 56% and 59% respectively.
Since it was first launched in 2004, Facebook has catered to a need to share everyday things with friends and family. People that have not seen each other for years connect thanks to these digital platforms, and for most users, it takes very little effort. The world has shrunk even further now that you can easily find out what it’s really like to live in Germany, France, Australia or anywhere else around the globe you make social media friends. Stories shared about other countries can give an insight into that part of the world. It is also said that it has brought news back to the younger generation, as this is often shared on social media too.
How Live Streaming Has Changed The Entertainment World
As live stream advances, the need for a physical television becomes less and less. Some manufacturers have realized this and are making smart TVs. Live streaming has brought about a change in the way we spend our leisure time and entertain ourselves. It doesn’t matter what time a film is on, or when the football kicks off, you can live stream it whenever it suits you.
Sites like iTunes, Spotify, Link TV, Hulu, and Xfinity are free or inexpensive and make it possible for you to watch or listen to whatever you want, while you are on the move. It is not a problem if a sporting event you want to see, such as Formula1, is on in the early hours because of the race location. It does not matter if a world cup match is in the middle of the night, or tennis is being played when you are normally asleep. Live streaming allows you to watch them at any time, just avoid the results until you have seen them.
How Live Streaming Has Changed The Marketing Business
Live streaming is proving to be a very effective tool for marketing. This is in part because people are more likely to watch a video than read a page of text, so more viewers see adverts. When large high street names like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, General Motors, and many others are finding live streaming a successful tool for marketing their brand, the results speak for themselves. It is not just the success of advertising campaigns live streamed that attracts the companies. It can be much cheaper than traditional marketing methods. The reduced costs and the success of live streaming for businesses mean it is here to stay, and more and more advertising will be performed in this way.
The Next Big Changes: Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
With everything else being available on the Internet, it should be no surprise that there is also cash designed specifically for digital. Known as cryptocurrencies, the largest of them all at the present time is Bitcoin. This has been in the spotlight in recent months because of the way its value has risen higher than anyone could have envisaged.
There are other advantages to using cryptocurrencies, such as them being more secure as there is no middleman. Transactions are made peer to peer with no bank details stored anywhere that could potentially be hacked. Each time they are used, the transaction is instant and irreversible, so the chances of fraud are much lower. The technology used to achieve this is known as blockchain, and many businesses in the financial world are looking to see how it can make their transactions more secure.
The cost of payments made by the more traditional methods of debit or credit cards attracts fees. In the case of something like online casinos, for instance, they pay a fee every time a player makes a deposit and every time the casino pays winnings out.
Cryptocurrencies can reduce these costs dramatically and some of the businesses involved are passing part of this extra profit onto any clients that use this new method. This means that both the businesses and the customers are benefitting from using currencies such as Bitcoin.
It has also been realized that blockchain technology could be useful in many other fields, not just finance. Anything where more than one person is involved, such as contracts, could benefit from blockchain as it allows everyone to be looking at the same paperwork at the same time and any adjustments are instant.