10. LCD/LED High Definition TVs.
Even though this hasn't got into middle class homes of India, here in US, many people have moved to the latest technology of LCD/LED HDTVs. Unlike 1980s and 1990s where we had small improvements in technology, this sector has gone through a big technological revolution both in mass production and in high-end in last 10 years. (Eventually highend today is gonna reach the mass in another 5 years as we have seen in the past). TV Channels also require a special mention here, as we saw hundreds of new TV channels getting started in India in last 10 years.
9. Orkut,Facebook,Twitter and etc...
Again still within a small group of people, but these social networking sites are making a change of how we view our social life. Our society is changing, Now my society doesn't stop only with the people who are my close relatives or who live in my town, my society also includes my orkut friends,my twitter followers.
Is it gonna be good or not? I don't know. Till now it has helped me to be in touch with my schoolmates/collegemates, old friends whom I might have lost contact if there was no orkut. Irrespective of good or bad, this segment of social networking will always be part of our online life.
Though the revolution in this technology started before 2000,it has hit the masses big time in this decade.It made photography easy. With the push from social networking asking us to share the moments of life, I can can only see this segment becoming more and more cheap and high-end. Today we are in 12 Megapixel Cameras which is clearly the best you will need, if you are printing the photos. But i see scope for improvement in this section in terms of more waterproof, shockproof cameras which can handle some rough handling.
7. Gaming tools
Gaming industry is fast changing from old video games to today PS3 and Xbox 360. They have become more intensive and they have even got middle aged people to play. One important device that is worth mentioning in this segment is, Wii. I was never a gamer. Even in my school/college days when i had friends who were hard-core gamers, I was never into gaming. Believe me, I bought Wii just a month back and I am now addicted to it. Big difference is, it doesn't make you a couch potato. It helps you to move and keeps you fit. Oh yeah, believe me gaming is not that bad today. :) Wii's important customer group is old age people. That is something that we never thought of 10 years back.
Though in India, this is still looked upon as an Pirated video streaming website, worldwide it is really becoming the next technology to deliver the content legally. it is a really a "You"tube in America, where you can see people their own videos, mostly for friends and sometimes for the public to enjoy. Soon you will hear stories of next generation director identified by a producer based on a youtube hit video. A band getting popular without travelling to cities. One interesting piece of information : The new Hindi movie "3 Idiots" will be released in youtube after 3 months. India is also moving towards the online legal movie streaming.
5. Laptops & Netbooks:
Processing power and hardware technology in Laptops and Desktops have gone wild in last 10 years. A 6 GB hard disk/64 MB RAM was an expensive item at the start of 2000. Today Laptops on average has at least 250 GB HD and 4 GB RAM. (Basically my HD size in 2000, is today's RAM. Will i see a 250 GB RAM at the end of 2020? Quite possible).Unfortunate that INTEL dropped the scheme of "Laptop per child', but I pray that soon we get into that situation with every one in developing world has some kind of access to Computers. Netbooks/Tablets are just picking up. They are not really the success of this decade, but worth mentioning for their First generations. (I call them proof of concepts).
4. Blogs and Free information tools like Wikipedia
For lot of people, blogging is an easy way to express themselves. A lot of "Tea shop discussions" among people now happen in blogs. Like youtube, this is another user generated content platform and even in a place like Tamil Nadu where internet penetration is just 8%, mainstream media is giving respect to bloggers. Collaboration between unknown people to preserve the knowledge that we have as human is kind of unknown at the start of this decade. But today Wikipedia is best example to show that we as a group can be more productive than anyone would imagine. One more example, is listed below. It has a huge collection of tamil classical books. (Some were written 2000 years back).
3. Broadband services
Youtube, orkut, twitter, all have to say their thanks to the broadband technology that is established in western world and is quickly getting popular in developing world. Many people are getting connected around the world. compare the webcams that we had in 2000 and the latest ones, thanks to broadband, we can send very clear images and virtually create a conference where other person can talk to you and see your body language as if they are talking to you in person. For people like me,who live abroad, this is a big advantage to talk to near and dear ones.
There were mp3 players when we entered year 2000, but nothing was popular like ipods. Something that made music reaching the mass every easy. Many of us might have used some mp3 player other than ipods in last 10 years , but I think market for them also is created by the craze of ipod. This will go as one of the remarkably historic invention of this decade. Ipod touch is creating a revolution by packing more things into your mp3 player than what we thought it will do. Starting in 2001 with bulky(those days they weren't bulky, but today they look bulky) ipods, today you have ipods as slim as match sticks. Hats off to Steve Jobs.
1. Mobile Phones and 3G Technology
Mobile phones are the real revolution of this decade across the world. Start of year 2000, the market was not saturated in western world and was not even mature in developing world. But today, market is completely saturated in markets like USA and it is still a big growth engine in developing world. it is not just the elite who got benefited as in many of the other technologies listed in this blog entry, it is everyone. When i say everyone, it is everyone including middle class housewives like my mom, business persons who are on always on run to find the products at cheaper price, college students whom their parents wants to know where they are, farmers who get their weather updates in SMS. List goes on.
Smart phones have got into the market and they will be the future soon. 3G is getting popular in western countries and will very soon catch the developing world as well.
On top of all this, there is one technology, which can't be compared with any of this, which is ruling the world. Which changed the way we look at internet. Which said don't be afraid of this sea of information, I will be your guide. It is quite possible, if not for this tool, that I may have hated internet for its closed, unopen doors and might have moved away from it. It is none other than GOOGLE. Today google knows my taste more than my mom. There are arguments of whether it is good or bad. Nevertheless, we are already in the hands of google and till today I like it. When it knows that I bought a Wii, it gives me the list of Wii accessories that I might like as an advertisement. I buy them and they get paid for suggesting them to me.
Many might not agree to this and tell me that I have lost my mind or I am exaggerating, but I am proud to say that "Google is my very best friend which can understand all my needs, all my moods. Google helps me to find new friends, keep in touch with my old friends and tells me the best advice when I need one". Google will become integral part of this world for next few decades and sure to be a great companion to me, for rest of my online life.
Hats off to everyone in Google.
P.S: One thing I noticed is that all these technological advances took some time to come to India. Hope at least in next decade we get the fruit of the inventions at the same time as western world.