The arrival of a new decade allowed us all the take check on the past 10 years from both a personal perspective and also that of society. Of course, there are some noticeable changes to everyday life from that of 2010 to 2020, but if we were to go back 20 years, the changes are substantial. Here’s how technology has helped change the way we live our lives in 2020.
Mobile Phones – The Rise of Smart Phones
One of the biggest influences on modern day life is the rise of the smart phone. In 2000 3G was implemented on the first ever mobile phone, allowing the world to access the internet from their mobile device. Although, only those with heavy pockets could get involved with this because of the extortionate price of mobile data at the time.
Mobile technology took its greatest leap In 2007 when Steve Jobs’ Apple released the Iphone. Not only was this the most impressive touch screen phone on the market it was also the first mobile phone that offered an internet browser like those on a desktop.
Suddenly internet usage for mobile phone users became an affordable thing and millions of people worldwide began using it. The rise of video calling allowed all of us to keep in touch with our loved ones who were perhaps on the other side of the planet. While the introduction of apps meant you could do anything from shopping, to social networking, watch movies or your favourite TV shows all in the palm of your hand.
The evolution of mobile phones in the past 20 years has had huge impacts on modern life and mostly for the best.
Movies / Video Streaming – Netflix Dominates
Almost everybody in Western civilisation owns or has access to a Netflix account, right? But how did we get to the point where Netflix dominates the video streaming world?
In the early 2000s video rental stores were still all the rage with Blockbuster the flag flyer in that space. By the mid 2000s a new phenomenon had emerged with postal DVD and Blu-ray now being offered by providers. UK based company LoveFilm were one of the leaders of this and they had reached 100,000 subscribers by March 2005. However, LoveFilm’s initial boom was short lived thanks to the rise of online video streaming services and in particular Netflix.
What perhaps you didn’t realise is Netflix themselves started off as an online DVD postal rental service but, unlike LoveFilm, they made the bold but ultimately game changing decision to move to online streaming in 2007 allowing their subscribers to access a library of films and TV shows on their computers.
By 2009 Netflix was available for people to access via Blu-ray players, Internet supported TVs, Xbox 360, PS3 and TV set-top boxes. Netflix was available everywhere. Despite Amazon also offering a strong video streaming service through Amazon Prime, Netflix is still the clear market leader in this space. With over 150 million subscribers in over 150 countries, Netflix is dominating the online streaming industry.
Just 20 years ago if you wanted to watch a particular film, you would have to venture out to your local video rental store or take a trip to your local cinema, now you have thousands of movie and TV shows available to you on the move or in your living room, showing just how much technology has changed the way we keep entertained.
Video Games – From Two-Player Local Play to Online Battle Royale
While online PC multiplayer gaming has been around since the late 1990s it wasn’t until the release of Steam in 2003, that it really took off.
The Xbox was the first console to really grasp online console gaming on its release in 2002 along with Xbox Live. Halo has had a huge influence on online console gaming, as the franchise was so popular amongst gamers and played so well in a competitive multiplayer environment. The earlier PlayStation 2 did have network capabilities through an added on adaptor but the number of players who got involved with this was minimal compared to today’s standards.
With both consoles now offering their own unique online gaming product, Xbox with Xbox live and PlayStation with PSN, this allowed millions of gamers across the globe to connect and compete against one another. Many games have extraordinary online offerings, such as Call of Duty which now has a battle royale feature where 150 players around the world play in the same map, or the Rockstar Grand Theft Auto franchise, which is one of the world’s most popular single player games and now has an incredible open world online mode, where you play alongside other players in Los Santos. This is taken to another level by the fact you can style your online character out with haircuts and new outfits, you can even play in The Diamond Casino & Resort with your friends.
Then there is of course Fornite which is one of the newest crazes amongst gamers and there was even a recent World Cup for the game with the winner taking home a cool $3 million. Proving how much gaming has changed over the past 20 years.