10 years of tech

FROM SIMPLE SMARTPHONES TO VIRTUAL REALITY, JON BOND TAKES A LOOK AT HOW TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED SINCE 2008…

Looking back, it’s incredible to see just how far we have come in the past decade when it comes to advances in technology. We can hardly imagine life without some of our favourite gadgets, let alone without apps, which is a reality we faced back in 2008 when this magazine launched. Here are our landmark tech turning points that have changed the way our world works…

2008 THE IPHONE 3G
The iPhone had been around for a year, but its 2G-only signal meant it couldn’t really be used for the internet. This all changed with the launch of the iPhone 3G, which gave access to faster mobile networks and made using apps
on-the-go a reality. That’s assuming your area had 3G, of course…

2009 SPOTIFY
What is now the world’s biggest dedicated music streaming platform launched in the UK on a secretive
‘invite-only’ basis in February 2009. Now available to all, Spotify boasts 60million paid subscribers, and streaming services have been lauded for saving a music industry that was crippled by piracy.

2010 THE IPAD
Tablet PCs had technically existed for years, but nobody cared until the iPad made them cool. This beefed up iPhone shifted 3 million units in its first month and it’s still going strong – most people using them as an alternative to a laptop but some inexplicably as a camera…

2011 SIRI
In 2018 it’s hard to imagine your smartphone without its sassy personality, but back in 2011 this idea was revolutionary. We’re still not sure the pocket assistants are particularly useful, but they have certainly shifted the way we think about our technology.

2012 NETFLIX
The average broadband speed in the UK finally climbed above 8Mb/s, paving the way for streaming services such as Netflix to start beaming HD content to our homes. After launching in 2012, Netflix officially overtook BBC iPlayer as the top streaming platform in the UK this January.

2013 FITBIT FLEX
Would you cope if you weren’t literally tracking your every heartbeat? Probably, but life is much more fun with an hourly reminder that you have barely moved all day… right? The Fitbit offered exercise fans a new way to monitor their fitness levels, and saw the humble wristwatch become a thing of the past – now there are even Fitbit scales so you can sync your daily weight to your device.

2014 ELECTRIC CARS
Until 2014, electric cars were purely the domain of eco-enthusiasts and, quite frankly, not very cool. The introduction of much beefier batteries and proliferation of charging points revolutionised the market, with cars such as the Mitsubishi Outlander and Tesla’s Model S breathing new life into the eco dream.

2015 AMAZON ECHO
Catching on in 2015, the Amazon Echo has made sci-fi a reality, and it’s now possible to control every device in the house  using your voice. Not many  of us have the full set-up,  but even just changing  songs completely
hands-free is a novelty that has yet to wear off .

2016 VIRTUAL REALITY ˜VR°
VR headsets hit the market in 2016, and although developed around gaming, creators are working on tools that adapt the devices and may yet change the way we think about communicating in the future. Whether these devices move beyond just a fad is still undecided, but for the time being this futuristic concept offers a great deal of potential.

2017 THE NINTENDO SWITCH
When Angry Birds was at the height of its fame back in 2009 (yes, really!), many predicted the end of consoles in favour of mobile gaming, and yet the Nintendo Switch, launched in March 2017 is the fastest selling games console of all time. In the last decade we’ve seen plenty of games consoles, but while good, only the Switch is special. This gadget has taken high quality graphics and innovative controls and managed to do something nobody has ever done before: revolutionise home and portable gaming with one device.

The future SLEEP TECH
This last decade we’ve sped things up, made our lives easier, healthier and more fun too. Despite the fact we spend one third of our lives in slumber, this is one part of our existence that is, so far, untouched by tech. In January this year, we were introduced to the Jupiter ‘smart mattress’, which tracks your body while you sleep. It’s able to regulate the bed’s temperature, wake you up at just the right moments in your sleep and even connects to your smart-enabled technology, automatically raising lights and brewing coffee for the exact moment when you wake up. Available now in the US, this is one gadget we cannot wait to see on our shores.