There’s only 12 days left until 2020, and that means it’s time for our decade in review. Join us as we look at the most iconic and influential innovations of the past 10 years.
2010: Microsoft Azure
Launched on February 1st, Microsoft’s cloud computing service revolutionised the building, testing and managing of applications. Providing Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Azure kicked the decade off to a flying start. Still in wide spread use to this day, Microsoft Azure hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down in 2020.
2011: Mobile Banking
It feels like a lifetime ago when the only way to check your bank balance was with a visit to the ATM. Nowadays it’s a far easier task, a simple glance at your phone can tell you all about your Christmas spending. Thanks to RBS, back in 2011 the first banking app for phones was rolled out across the globe. With over a million users and more than $1 billion transferred in its first six months, mobile banking took the world by storm and has seen the rise of alternative banking options like Monzo and Starling Bank.
2012: Google Project Glass
It’s easy to point and laugh at Google’s attempt at Alternate Reality glasses, we’ve been doing just that since their launch back in 2012. Priced at $1,500 for pre-orders, Project Glass flopped but Google are nothing if not trendsetters. With Microsoft’s HoloLens and Facebook’s Spark AR looking for a successful launch in 2020, it seems Project Glass has had more of an influence than initially expected.
2013: Crypto currency
Whilst not technically invented in 2013, Bitcoin was thrust into the media spotlight after its value leapt from less than a dollar to £1,000 per coin. Currently accepted by big brands like KFC, Etsy and Subway, the astronomical rise of Bitcoin in 2013 has made us reimagine the boundaries of our currencies. Whether that’s finally the end for loose change, we’ll have to wait and see.
The queen of voice assistants saw her coronation in 2014 when Amazon unveiled their echo smart speakers. Present in almost every home by 2019, Amazon’s Alexa spread like wildfire and introduced the normality surrounding voice assistants. Now competing against Google Assistant and Siri, Alexa has powered through her fair share of controversy. But if you choose to ignore the glaring privacy issues, Alexa is more than happy to help ... and listen.
2015: Apple Watch
It’s like a phone, but on your wrist. Building on the foundations of previous wearable technology, Apple thrived where Google Glass failed, they actually made a product people want to wear. Safe to say Apple made quite the impact, certainly rattling Google enough to spend over $2 billion acquiring FitBit. Nowadays it’s rarer to see an analogue watch than a piece of wearable tech, and Apple are certainly responsible for cementing this trend in modern society.
2016: Fake news
More infamous than iconic, 2016 saw the start of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. With a rise in fake news articles across social media platforms, the orange elephant in the room ushered in the ‘post-truth” era. Thanks to the unregulated wild lands of Facebook and Twitter, fake articles like The Political Insider’s hit piece on Hillary Clinton generated over 800,000 engagements in the US alone. Whether it’s hypothetical Clinton emails or big red political buses, fake news is here to stay as 2016’s contribution to the list is the standards set by technology companies in their regulation.
2017: Self-driving cars
After Total Recall offered a glimpse at self-driving cars in 1990, we were left waiting until 2017 for them to actually hit the streets. Led by Waymo’s fleet of fully autonomous Chrysler Pacifica’s, the surge of self-driving technology has only grown these past 2 years. When Elon Musk isn’t busy with space travel or twitter fights, Tesla has expanded on Waymo’s work, selling the Model S with self-driving capabilities for a meagre £85,000.
Now this is a big one. The latest iteration of mobile networks came out the gates swinging. Promising to be faster and more reliable than its predecessors, 5G is here now and ready to impress. With 2-hour films downloading in less than 10 seconds and an expected worldwide investment of $17 trillion by 2035, there’s no worries about 5G’s longevity. Expect to see a lot more on this, 5G is here to stay.
2019: Quantum Supremacy
It’s not unfair to say that Quantum Supremacy is one of the lesser known news stories of the year, but we’ll be hearing of Google’s accomplishments for decades to come. That accomplishment, when a quantum computer can solve a problem that a standard computer couldn't in our lifetimes, has been on the horizon for years. But this year, for the first time, researchers at Google used a quantum processor called "Sycamore" to solve a random sampling problem. Sycamore took three minutes and 20 seconds to spit out an answer; the best of our current supercomputers would take 10,000 years.