It is easy to think that in the past decade, technology has only brought us pain and conflict. Social media has been accused of spreading fake news. You can as well find malicious fake videos that have the power to destroy the lives of celebrities and ordinary citizens. Even the inventor of the Internet, Tim Berners-Lee, acknowledged the bad aspect of the Internet and vowed to make it better. Contrary to the above introduction, in this topic, we will be discussing 6 ways technology has improved the world.
6 Ways Technology has Improved the world in the Past 10 Years
Technology, like electricity, is basically neutral. the important thing is what you do with it, and technology has done a lot of good things.
Obviously, technology is enriching our daily lives in various ways. In the past 10 years, many innovators and entrepreneurs have been using technology to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems. In some areas, they have succeeded. Here are a few areas where technology is actively helping to improve the lives of people around the world.
1. Bionic Technology
In 2011, Time magazine named Hugh He, the leader of the Biomechatronics Group at the MIT Media Lab, as a “leader in the bionic era.” As an outstanding rock climber and two-leg amputee, Hull’s work in the field of biomimetic prosthetics has set him apart from others who have lost limbs in sports.
But Hull’s work is not an anomaly. In the past ten years, the development of artificial limbs has made rapid progress. Thanks to robotics, they have become cheaper, easier to wear and use than ever before. In addition, new technologies such as 3D printing have made prototypes cheaper.
Early metal prostheses were too heavy for children to wear, and they were basically unaffordable. The major reason is that children were always growing up and their limbs needed to be replaced regularly. But British company Open Bionics, founded in 2014, wants to change all that.
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The company makes cheaper prosthetics for children and works with Disney to customize superhero-themed robots for them.
In light of this, the company has won multiple awards and has partnered with the British National Health Service to help many children live the best lives. The next step in prosthetics includes improving feedback and making people feel tactile. Apparently, this is already happening, and there will be more in the next 10 years.
2. Technology is helping in Keeping People Safe
According to the Anti-Domestic Violence Coalition, 10 million Americans suffer from physical abuse by their partners each year. In some ways, technology has helped. Spyware installed on mobile phones and other devices can be used to track people and their activities, exacerbating the situation.
Additionally, technology provides people with new tools to fight attackers. Discreet apps like SmartSafe guide people to various resources and provide tips on how to stay safe online and on your phone. They also allow users to record photos and videos, take notes and even capture voice and audio recordings. All of these are time-watermarked and stored securely in the cloud.
The Vodafone Foundation(UK) also has a similar application and has been providing specially-modified smartphones to victims of abuse. At the press of a button, it will alert the police and begin recording what is happening in the current environment.
Furthermore, application-based services are increasingly enabling people to protect themselves in many different scenarios.
In 2017, a group of teenage girls in Kenya developed an app called i-Cut, which allows girls to call the police and medical institutions with a panic button when they feel they are in danger of female genital mutilation. Female genital mutilation is illegal, but it is not uncommon in Kenya. These are just some examples of how to use technology to ask the outside world for help when people are in danger.
3. Refugee lifeline
For another group, over the past decade, they have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and other dangers. In the summer of 2016, many websites widely reported how technology helps refugees.
We saw how people stick to Wi-Fi networks. The importance of technology for refugees in Germany can not be over-emphasised. In Germany, refugees use technology to learn languages and find jobs. And housing; find ways to integrate into their new homeland.
Similarly, in Greece, the Vodafone Foundation is deploying its portable instant charging technology. This power source that can charge 66 mobile phones at a time. It allows people who have ventured across the border from Turkey and North Africa to connect with loved ones and tell them they are safe.
Furthermore, the foundation uses its instant classroom technology to provide educational resources in the form of tablets, laptops and projectors, helping more than 60,000 young refugees in the Dadaab region of Kenya.
4. Technology has helped the world in the Area of Disaster Response
In addition to helping to resolve the refugee crisis, the Vodafone Foundation has applied the technology to natural disaster sites in the United States, Asia, and Africa. The foundation’s instant network can quickly and effectively bring much-needed connections to the scene in times of crisis.
In some disasters, where there are difficulties in accessing the affected areas, technology has been helpful. With the help of search and rescue robots, the situation is salvageable. This is with reference to areas where humans are unable to assess the damage and identify and locate victims.
The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan suffered one of the world’s largest nuclear disasters after the 2011 earthquake. Over the years, more and more powerful robots have been sent there to try to determine the true extent of the damage and whether there will be any recovery in the future.
In addition, a variety of applications have emerged to help you navigate in almost all scenarios.
5. Technology and Anti-poaching
When it comes to protecting vulnerable groups, not only humans are at risk, animals are a valuable part of our ecosystem. But, many species are increasingly threatened by human poachers.
From anti-poaching drones equipped with night vision systems to cameras built into rhino horns, technology has been used to protect animals in a number of clever ways over the past decade.
In Central America, where almost 90% of turtle eggs are stolen by poachers, scientists have come up with a particularly effective way to combat illegal turtle egg smuggling. InvestEGGator is a GPS-GSM tracking device. It is 3D printed and looks like a real turtle egg. These eggs are housed in lairs that poachers may steal, and they can provide real-time maps of egg transport routes to help track and arrest criminals.
In 2018, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Pinterest, Alibaba, Baidu, and 15 other global technology companies joined forces with the World Wildlife Fund, the International Animal Welfare Foundation, and Traffic, a non-profit organization that monitors trade in wildlife products, to create a Global Alliance to end online wildlife trading. Together they pledged to close an open network of illegal wildlife trade, hoping to protect species for future generations.
6. Let everyone be accepted by the world
Unfortunately, many people with various disabilities and chronic diseases are still excluded from society in 2019. One of the most important contributions that technology has made to the world over the past 10 years is that it has proven to be a great equalizer.
It helps people better build smarter home environments for injured veterans and the ageing population. An app called Wayfindr is helping people with visual impairments to pass the London Underground smoothly, thanks to audio and beacon technology.
Real-time subtitles and live transcription help people who can’t hear to participate in the conversation in real-time augmented reality technology brings storytime in life for deaf-mute children and allows patrons of the deaf-mute theatre to experience the joy of live performances without having to attend a specially signed meeting.
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Technology has improved the way people with disabilities live, and the contributions of big and small tech companies are impressive. We can’t wait to see what happens in the next ten years.