Modern technology has to be the eighth wonder of the world. I hate using this analogy because you can’t very well top the first seven wonders. Look at the great light house. A beacon of it’s time (literally). The Egyptians made something so spectacular, far ahead of it’s time. But instead of making things larger, our society is about optimization. Let’s make things smaller, without compromising usefulness and integrity.

Let’s look at smartphones for a minute. When I was a child, every house had a phone. Most were attached to a wall, meaning you couldn’t move more than five feet from the location of the phone if you wanted to talk. My house was blessed with the portable phone. These phones were remarkable. You were able to move anywhere in the house and still be able to talk on the phone. Even with portability, you were still limited to the uses of the phone. Today, phones are not just phone. This is in large part due to AT&T, Motorola, Nokia, RIM (Blackberry), and Apple. For the longest time, we accepted the fact that we could only talk on the phone. Through innovation, we have created new ways of using phones.

In 1973, the first commercial cell phone call was sent out by Dr. Martin Cooper of Motorola. I say the first commercial cell phone call because we have been using radio phones since the 1950′s. AT&T and Motorola were the first to utilize cell phone towers in the commercial sector. Since then, the cell phone industry has booming. Everyone and their mother has a cell phone. My 80 year old grandmother has a cell phone.

With people dumping money into the cell phone pot, great innovations have come about the cell phone industry. Any young man or young woman can tell you about texting. Texting refers to a short written message sent over a fixed network. In this case, the network is comprised of the cell phone network. Texting has revolutionized the way we communicate almost as much as the way e-mail has changed the way we send mail. You no longer have to call someone to ask if they want to hang out tonight, or if they are planning on going to a party during the weekend. Texting has given us a way to communicate, at our convenience similarly to e-mail. In part from e-mail, texting is faster but imposes limits on the length of the message.

Microsoft first coined the phrase tablet in reference to a pen-driven x86-based laptop. Later forms of the tablet were given the use of full touch screen instead of forcing users to use a digitizer pen. These new touch screens were large and rather bulky, until Apple revolutionized touch screen devices. With their invention of the iPhone, you saw a huge increase in the production of touch screen devices. The quality of screens has also increased. Instead of bulky, overweight screens, you have smaller, lightweight screens. Dell has created a new design for the tablet screen in their new Inspiron Duo. This tablet has a hinge that converts the screen from laptop, to tablet mode as opposed to a swivel bracket.

These innovations are what makes the world a better place. Sometimes there’s a small innovation that makes a device work better, but then there is that big innovation that changes the way we interact with the world. I guess modern technology is not the eighth wonder of the world; Innovation is the only wonder of the world.

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