There is always something new on the horizon and modern technology keeps unfolding and evolving. New technologies such as smart phones, genetic engineering, machine learning, automation, and emerging field of Nano technology and everything on-demand, make it difficult to remember what life was like only a few decades ago. The automobile, telephone, television and air travel accelerated for a while transforming the society but soon stabilized into a manageable rate of change. These technologies all have staying power and affect the economy to varying degrees.
When the Walkman was invented, people could carry their music or audiobooks with them wherever they went with it. The invention of the Discman or CD Walkman changed things up a bit as it was now possible to skip to a particular track and it offered a better sound quality. The MP3 player soon arrived to disrupt the music scene as it offered the chance to listen to several albums using a device that fits in your pocket.
Today, we literally have the world at our fingertips. It is now possible to listen to entire music selections, download new tracks on the move, watch music videos on YouTube or TV, look up any information about the artist on the internet, all at the click of a button via our smartphones, cameras, mobile devices, among many other small devices and applications.
The continual small size of these ‘magic wielding’ devices is not such a mystery to science. From as far back as 1936, Paul Eisler invented the first printed circuit board (PCB). These circuit boards are what make it possible for devices to become smaller yet more functional. He made a significant contribution to the modern electronics industry with this invention because without the printed circuit board, the development of the first Walkman would have been impossible. Since then, scientists and inventors have developed and keep developing more and more ways of improving the minute technology that has become a part of our daily lives.
Imagine someone slipped into a coma in the 1980’s and has just woken up. It would be very difficult trying to explain how to use a smartphone to this person. He or she may want you tested for insanity! When Guglielmo Marconi, the first person to use radio waves to communicate announced that he had created a means to transmit messages between people across thin air, many people were skeptical. He was soon hauled to a mental institution to be tested for insanity. He is only one example of a discovery that in its time was so unique and far-reaching that it was hard to integrate into the known reality.
The next time you use an electronic device, be sure to remember Eisler and his printed circuit board and all the other scientists and inventors that keep working to create these excellent inventions that make our lives better. Making predictions about the future of technology is somewhat an exercise in futility as modern technology keeps advancing. Surprises may come from a number of different fields and new innovations are continually on the rise.