A Technological Decade in Review

James Connor, Contributor

Technology is a dynamic field of study. It took fifty years for the internet to be created, implemented, spread, and developed on a scale never imagined by its creators. With the 2010s now behind us and the 2020s ahead, it’s interesting to look at technology development over the past ten years.

At the beginning of the decade, mobile technology was just becoming common. Samsung had released its new line of Galaxy smartphones only a year earlier, coinciding with the development of 4G technology. The iPad, which was developed a year later in 2011, quelled the desire for a combination of a smartphone’s mobility and computer’s capability. Compared to today’s constantly evolving iPhones and development of 5G networks, these mobile technologies seem simple and outdated. At the time, however, they were considered cutting edge.

Over the course of ten years, many things changed in the world of gaming. For instance, Steam, a program that held a monopoly over video game distribution for a long time, was recently challenged by the development of other digital storefronts. Epic Games announced the release of the Epic Games Store in 2018, which has since been viewed by some independent video game developers as a safer option due to benefits like guaranteed payment. Consoles have also changed drastically. The decade started off with the creation of the Wii U, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS and the Playstation 3 Slim model, but has ended with new consoles and services. The Nintendo Switch, which was released in 2017, is a prime example. Some of the decade’s most exciting developments occurred in its last two months, with the release of Google Stadia, a console based in the cloud, and the announcement of a new Xbox called the Xbox Series X. New video game technologies such as augmented, virtual, and mixed reality present the potential for exciting new games.

The last ten years have also seen a huge rise in social networking platforms and the use of memes. Vine, a platform used to publish short, comedic videos, was both created and destroyed within the last ten years. TikTok, another popular platform for publishing videos, has also risen to prominence after its original creation in 2016. Memes have taken over these platforms and virtually every other social media network. While they were first created long before 2010, they’ve become increasingly popular during this decade.

Along with the exciting developments above have come dangerous ones. Facial recognition, a technology originally developed for security at places like airports and train stations, has since been the subject of controversy, with its employment by the Chinese in violating human rights ,to privacy and San Francisco’s ban on its use by the police. Cybersecurity developments have taken the forefront in media in response to the Russian hacking of the 2016 election. Disinformation campaigns and election security have since been placed under greater scrutiny, with the Election Security Act of 2019 currently under deliberation in the United States Senate.

Technology is a force that has the power to grow, change and adapt. It controls nearly every aspect of our lives and is constantly evolving, with the past ten years being no exception. With many interesting, exciting, and unique technological developments behind us, the next decade looks bright for the future of technology.