Modern humans are obsessed with technology. It’s only taken a couple of centuries for people to fully-embrace electronics, with those in the past struggling to trust the products which use this resource, and a lot of failed attempts to create simple tools with it. Of course, though, nowadays, there are a huge range of devices and machines which fall into the category. Some are extremely complicated, while others are deceptively simple, though they all have the potential to change the world. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of the world’s most influential tools and devices from the last few decades.
To kick this off, it’s time to think about something which you use every single day. Microchips, or processors, are best known for their appearance in digital tools. Devices ranging from computers to children’s toys use microchips, and the digital age simply wouldn’t be possible without them, making them one of the most important inventions in human history. Using electrical reactions to solve complex problems, these small pieces of technology can be viewed as the brain in a lot of products. Of course, though, they’ve changed an awful lot since they were first invented back in 1959. Smartphones, computers, and other digital devices couldn’t exist without this sort of technology.
Steam engines have been around for quite a long time, with people figuring out that you could convert heat into kinetic energy all the way back in 1698. These engines are far too large and heavy to be used in things like cars, though, and this is why they aren’t used anywhere near as much as they used to be. Instead, combustion engines are used. Skipping the step of using steam as part of the process, these machines are powered by explosive combustion of fuel, creating a pressurized chamber which forces pistons to move in sequence. Of course, this makes them very complicated, but this is something which you can learn about online.
It’s easy to take the heating and cooling systems you have at home for granted, as you have been living with them for your whole life. In the past, though, fire was the only tool people had to warm their homes, and this has to change for humanity to reach its current population levels. Heating and air conditions don’t only keep you comfortable; they are saving your life. Of course, though, along with this, temperature control is also used in refrigerators to keep food from going off. This enables people to store food for far longer, while also making it possible to transport it before it is eaten. Along with this, a vaccine fridge can be used to keep medication fresh, and this is possibly even more important than controlling your food.
Most people take at least a couple of photos each week, with modern smartphones providing excellent cameras to those who don’t want to lug around something bigger. Of course, though, cameras have existed for a very long time, and the original concept for technology like this revolved around a small hole and dark space, known as a camera obscura. It didn’t take long for the film to be created, giving people the chance to preserve images caught like this, though this has since developed into digital photos. Cameras are used for loads of different jobs in the modern world, from taking selfies, to observing the furthest reaches of space, and this makes them a very important piece of technology.
The idea of measuring a room to make sure that a piece of furniture you want will fit is nothing special, though a lot of people don’t realise quite how difficult it has been to get to the point that measuring things is so easy. Ancient cultures, like the Romans, had their own ways of measuring things, though this would usually revolve around systems which could easily be changed. As time went on, more and more ways to take measurements were created, but it wasn’t until the modern day that this science was perfected. Nowadays, pretty much anything can be measured, from heat and distance to radioactivity and processing power.
Some people don’t like the idea of money, viewing it as something which slows progress and makes life harder. In reality, though, being able to carry around coins, notes, and cards makes life a lot easier. People of the past would trade goods with one another, using battering to get the best deals. A chicken might not be worth the same as a goat, but to someone desperate for a chicken a trade like this would be a no-brainer. It didn’t take too long for issues to arise, though, and money was designed by ancient cultures as a way to control the way that people trade with one another. Without money, it would be incredibly difficult for technology and science to develop as it has.
Finally, as the last of the inventions on this list, it’s time to think about one of the most important developments humans have ever made; the wheel. Before this simple tool was created, people would have to rely on rivers and seas to move large items, with taking them across the ground being incredibly difficult. From the chariots of Roman times to the cars which people use today, the wheel seems like a simple thing, though making something which is perfectly round takes a huge amount of work, and those in the past would often struggle with this. Modern people have a lot to be thankful for, and the wheel certainly falls into this group.
With all of this in mind, you should have a good understanding of the technology which has changed the world over human history. Some of the developments are modern, while others happened thousands of years ago, but they are all instrumental to life. As time goes on, more will join these items, and you may even be able to think of more which could be added today.