4 inventions that have changed the world in the last decade
When we think about major inventions, most of us jump right to things like the telephone or electricity. And sure, those completely changed the world, but new products and services are being launched every year that also have major impacts. The past decade has seen a significant-tech boom and an increase in products featuring smart technology. Here are some of the most important and influential inventions since 2010.
1. Apple iPad
Given the ubiquity of Apple iPads – especially where kids in restaurants are concerned – it’s hard to believe that they’ve only been around since 2010. This tablet computer is a hybrid of a smartphone and laptop, providing a larger touchscreen interface that is used to control the device.
“It’s a tech innovation that without a doubt changed our lives during this decade,” Mike Satter, interim president at OceanTech and president at WipeOS tells Reader’s Digest. “The iPad completely changed our lives with a cross between having a mobile device that could be used for personal downtime to a hard-working machine that essentially replaced the business workhorse laptop computer. If you look around today you will notice children, coworkers, friends, family and/or a stranger next to you on a plane that depends on their iPad to help them through the day.”
2. Air fryers
Fried food is delicious, but unfortunately, it’s not very healthy. That’s what makes the invention of the air fryer such a food game-changer. The first air fryer as we know it hit the market in 2010 when Philips introduced what it coined “Rapid Air Technology.” The idea behind the device is to achieve the same crispiness as frying food in oil, but using extremely fast-moving air instead. The air fryer really started appearing on kitchen counters across the country when Oprah named it one of her “Favourite Things” in 2016. Though the food cooked in an air fryer doesn’t taste exactly like it would from a fast food shop, it is a decent option for those looking to eat healthier.
3. Squatty Potty
Though we have become accustomed to sitting on a toilet when doing our business, many places around the world squat over a latrine on the ground. And when Bobby Edwards’ mother became chronically constipated, her doctor suggested that she try using a footstool to raise her knees while she sat on the toilet. She tried it and it worked wonders, and in 2011, the Squatty Potty was born. This seemingly simple plastic stool that is stored at the base of a toilet has made Edwards and her family multimillionaires. Though sales were initially slow – $17,000 in 2011 – they hit $19 million in 2016 and continued to rise from there. Not only has the Squatty Potty changed the way many people use the toilet, it has also helped spark a wider conversation about digestive health and bathroom habits.
4. Smart speakers
Though different forms of voice recognition software and devices have been around since the 1970s, it wasn’t until the 2010s that the technology truly entered our homes. Well, first it came to our phones, when Apple introduced Siri, an electronic assistant, as a regular feature on iPhones in 2010.
At that point, people got used to pressing a button on their phone and asking a faceless woman all sorts of questions. Though Siri felt (and was) futuristic, the trend really took off with the invention of smart speakers, which had the ability to answer the same kinds of questions as Siri but also control certain elements of your home, like lighting and heating.
The most common smart speaker – Amazon’s Alexa – launched in 2014, and was soon followed by Google Assistant. Today, 66.4 million people — or 26.2 percent of the U.S. adult population—have a smart speaker in their home. Of course, with this technology came a new set of ethical issues regarding companies being able to listen in to your home and what happens to all the data this device collects.
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