When the Internet first made its appearance back in 1995, it was the realm of academics, script kiddies and programmers. Few people saw any need for such a medium in the real world. Ask any business owner at the time if they had a website or were planning on having a website and you’d be met with bewildered looks.
Fast forward to 2020; what we take for granted now – a business without a website is a rarity. We have instant access to news, information, film and TV streaming services, online gaming and HD video calling on a completely mobile Internet. All were concepts yet to be realised just a couple of decades ago and most were the stuff of science fiction movies.
Let’s take a look at tech in 2020 and how it is shaping our lives and our future.
Where do we start with mobile phones? Mobile phones were the size of dwarf planets when they were first introduced in the early eighties. Okay, so I am exaggerating their size. More the size of an average briefcase complete with a handset, the tech would set you back three or four thousand dollars at least. Only the uber rich or businesses could afford or justify owning one or more.
Unlike today, where an all singing and dancing Smartphone fits neatly in to the back pocket of jeans or shorts, the mobile phone of the early eighties came complete with a carrying handle, just as a briefcase would. The ubiquitous rubber ducky aerial of early mobile phones could neatly fold away when the phone was not in use – which would be often, given the patchy coverage, even in large conurbations.
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Today, mobile phones are pocket sized computers, capable of more than just keeping us in touch with each other. Many online business models are geared for mobile phones. Online clothing stores like Next depend on online sales; entertainment sites such as Netflix are built on a business model with mobile streaming as part of its core strategy. Indeed, online betting websites such as www.casino.com/nz/live-casino/ derive a large percentage of their client spend from mobile players.
As you can see, mobile phones continue to evolve, so much so that SMS texting and calling on mobile phones will be of secondary or tertiary concern to phone users. Mobile phones are now a window on the world, where instant connectivity and gratification is demanded by users.
TV And Entertainment
TV sets, up till about 20 years ago were clunky, big and were more a piece of furniture which would be positioned in the corner of a room. They were TV sets – that is all. They were entertainment centers, but not in the sense that modern TVs are. They were only able to receive live programming from TV stations if they were connected to an antenna. Movies and other entertainment recorded on VHS tapes could be replayed on to the screen, but only if you had a video player connected to the set.
In 2020, flat screen TVs the size of football pitches now hang on the walls of millions of homes around the world. Internet enabled, the days of needing an antenna to watch movies and TV programming are sliding in to the entertainment footnotes of history. Complete with multi screen capability, high definition displays with access to streaming services, TVs are play, entertainment and gaming centers in their own right.
There have been huge advancements in the gaming industry. Increasing internet download speeds and improved, sustainable bandwidth availability is driving the industry forward. The year 2000 was huge for gaming as this was when the PS2 was launched. This marked a turning point for gaming culture. The PS2 was one of the first consoles which actually looked grown-up. Before this, gaming consoles were aimed at kids.
Classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog and even Super Mario were launched and they were available on the Sega and PS1 console. Where portable gaming was concerned, the Gameboy was very popular; it was more portable than anything else at the time. Now portable consoles can be connected to Wi-Fi and games can be downloaded online, not reliant on discs or cassette.
Of course, there really have been so many changes made to the tech industry and as time goes on, even more changes will be introduced. It is going to be very interesting to see how these changes end up impacting not just the gaming industry, but the connected world in general..