In the digital age, if we want to hear a dial-up-modem, we have to listen to Skrillex on our iPods. We don’t have to develop film to show others what we ate for lunch. And we definitely don’t miss maps and magnifying glasses on road trips. Technological advances, beginning with the Internet, have become so integrated into our everyday lives that we often forget the older, less convenient alternatives. Check out these 10 cool technologies we take for granted.
Touchscreens Navigating devices has been simplified with the magic of touch. Quick and precise gestures can cue actions unlike any buttons, and the multifunctionality brings work and play to another dimension. Try playing Angry Birds on a Blackberry.
DVR We no longer have to worry about taping over our recording of Weird Science. Cable and satellite services offer built in recording so you don’t have to miss a single minute of The Voice, er, game. You can also pause live TV, which not even the fanciest VCR can handle. Welcome to the future.
Digital Photography Hauling off rolls of film and disposable cameras to be developed is now a thing of the past. Modern software allows for professional quality photos and editing in the comfort of your own home. So go on, take as many ill-advised naked photos as you want.
GPS Let’s face it, GPS is a serious upgrade from printing off heaps of MapQuest directions and far ahead of toting around an atlas. Like your own personal co-pilot, turn-by-turn maps and directions are things we often forget to be thankful for. That and saving tons of printer ink.
Instant Video Driving to the video store is so passé. Subscriptions like Netflix and Hulu offer thousands of movies, games, and TV series with the click of a button. Instant streaming brings popular culture to straight to your eyes and ears, so you don’t have to leave the couch.
MP3s Considering you can store thousands of albums on a device the size of a deck of cards, collecting dust on stacks of records and 8-tracks these days should land you on Hoarders. Apple’s release of the iPod in 2001 has revolutionized the way we consume music, so perhaps, sometimes, smaller is better.
Wi-Fi Wireless internet has become so commonplace in current society that even planes and McDonalds are equipped for web surfing. Nearly every gadget on the market is Wi-Fi capable, which is good because dragging an Ethernet cable to Starbucks would just be odd.
Video Chat Being able to have a face-to-face conversation with someone across the globe is quite a luxury. Services such as Skype keep deployed soldiers in touch with their families, students abroad in contact with friends, and music fans connected with Lady Gaga. No, really.
Instant Messaging Modern digital conversation is wildly different from the day the first e-mail was sent. Instant messaging is exactly that—instant. No phone tag, e-mail lag, or carrier pigeon drag.
Smartphones This one device boasts a combination of the technologies above, making it a modern-day superhero. The advancing accessibility is mind blowing—just bumping devices to transfer data or asking Siri the score of the Bears game was unthinkable a few short years ago…