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4 amazing, world-changing technological innovations from the 2000s

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The Apple iPod 2001

For years, technology evolved and developed at a glacial pace. However, the speed of this development has grown exponentially, especially since the early 1990s. As a result, the first decade of the 21st century saw some of the most ground-breaking, innovative tech products become mainstream, changing our lives forever. Here are some of the most seminal and notable!

The Apple iPod (2001)

In 2001, the iPod irrevocably changed how people can listen to music, podcasts and other audio mediums. While the MP3 had existed for a while, its storage capabilities were limited. The iPod, on the other hand, represented the first time that music lovers could feasibly carry their entire music collection wherever they went.

Facebook (2004)

The origins of Facebook are contentious; we all know that. But in 2004, Mark Zuckerberg officially founded TheFacebook. Facebook has been the driving force behind social media and its influence in changing the way we communicate, both socially and professionally. It’s a place to talk, share ideas and build communities.

Airbnb (2008)

Airbnb emerged on the scene in 2008 and was a clear sign that our tech industries were changing. Credited with ushering in the “sharing economy”, Airbnb has had a massive impact on how people view housing, zoning and land laws. Its rise in popularity has forced local, national and international jurisdictions across the world to rethink their land law policies. Its CEO, Brian Chesky, is worth more than $3 billion US.

Fitbit (2009)

The last entry into our list is the Fitbit. The device was one of the first “exercise” watches and has been praised for encouraging millions of people across the world to be more mindful of their daily exercise routines. While the device now faces hefty competition from other firms (like the Apple Watch), there’s no doubt that the Fitbit has had a massive impact on how we exercise and train.

I cover fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain and investing at Metic Press. I’ve also written frequently about leadership, corporate diversity and entrepreneurs. Before Metic Press, I worked for ten years at MMS, covering topics ranging from client consulting to talent management. I’m a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia Journalism School. Have a tip, question or comment? Please let me know.

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A beginner’s guide on the pros and cons of virtual reality

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virtual reality

For ardent gamers and tech-lovers, virtual reality (VR) represents one of the most exciting new developments in the tech world. However, the uses of VR are far-reaching, since the technology can be applied to a variety of sectors like gaming, education, entertainment, engineering, design, media and even medicine. Palmer Luckey, the founder of the Oculus Rift, is credited with reviving the industry. So, what are some of the pros and cons of this new technology? Read on to find out.

Pros

Starting with the pros, there’s no doubt that there are many. Firstly, owners of VR systems say that the experience is unparalleled. It’s immersive, fun and totally worth it. The level of detail is sublime, and for gamers, in particular, VR provides them with an experience that cannot be matched.

Furthermore, VR can be a social medium. It can connect you to thousands of people across the world and encourages teamwork and collaboration. You can play online poker with others, link up with a squad in a modern warzone or build your own spacecraft and explore alternate, virtual galaxies. And that’s just the gaming side of it – VR his proven to have many benefits when applied to other sectors.

Cons

As is the case with all great things, there are drawbacks. For VR, the most significant disadvantage is the cost. Because it’s still working its way into mainstream circles (in some countries and sectors it’s already there), the costs associated with purchasing a new VR system can be quite high. In Australia, an Oculus will set you back around $800, while the HTC VIVE will take $1300 off your bank balance.

Also, it can become incredibly addictive, causing users to detach themselves from their local environment. It’s also not as easy as it sounds – some people need proper, fully-fledged training in VR uses to get the most out of it. So, if you’re new to VR, be patient and take your time.

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Inside the career of Elon Musk

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Inside the career of Elon Musk

Elon Musk is one of the world’s most recognisable and famous entrepreneurs. He was one of the co-founders of Tesla Motors, before moving to aerospace manufacturing when he started SpaceX in 2002. Musk has had a turbulent career to date, drawing praise and criticism from fellow business leaders and politicians.

Where it all started

Musk was born in 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. At age 10, he developed a keen interest in computers, which continued throughout his adolescence. Believing that the United States was the only place where he could achieve his dreams, he relocated from South Africa shortly before his 18th birthday, against this father’s wishes.

Education

Musk couldn’t emigrate directly to the United States, so he remained in Canada while awaiting visa approval. He entered Queen’s University in 1989, before finally moving to the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, where he studied economics and physics. He graduated in 1997.

Early work

Musk had a couple of internships with Silicon Valley companies, including Rocket Science Games. In 1995, he founded Zip2 with his brother, Kimbal, while turning down a PhD program with Stamford University. Zip2 was a raging success, generating $307 million when it was acquired by Compaq in 1999. Musk’s 7% share generated $22 million.

SpaceX and Tesla

In the early 2000s, Musk was instrumental in the creation of SpaceX and Tesla. SpaceX was critical in reviving public interest in space exploration and is now the largest private manufacturer of rocket engines in the world.

Musk has also been critical to the success of Tesla, a company that specialises in the design and manufacturing of electric vehicles. Despite some ups and downs with Tesla, the company reached a market capitalisation of $206 billion, making them the globe’s most valuable automaker. Between July 2019 and July 2020, Tesla also registered its first four consecutive periods of growth.

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3 tech inventions that never really took off

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3 tech inventions that never really took off

Only a select few products or inventions go on to have great success on the market. Despite their perceived utility and quality, some products never take off, for whatever reason. Others are just impractical or expensive, making them unviable for many customers. Here are some of the wackiest inventions to have hit the shelves in recent years, only to fade into obscurity.

The radio newspaper

In 1939, excitement grew when news arose that households could have their newspapers transmitted to them. The premise was simple – the radio device would receive the information from a central transmitter, which could then be printed onto a 9-foot piece of paper. Each page took 15 minutes to print and then had to be cut and folded. Those days, 15 minutes was considered rapid; however, the premise never gained traction. The device, however, was instrumental in the development of an office gem – the fax machine.

Wink glasses

Masunaga, a Japanese tech manufacturer, developed a “revolutionary” pair of glasses that monitor how often your eyes blink. With people spending hours staring at screens (whether it be for work or recreation), eye health has become a significant concern for health professionals. The glasses would fog if you weren’t blinking enough, encouraging the wearer to blink at a quicker rate. Why didn’t it work? Well, the price was insane, and users complained of the device being impractical and annoying.

Boiled egg squarer

Who would have thought that this would exist? If boiling your eggs normally isn’t quite up to your speed, then check out the boiled egg squarer. Who doesn’t love a cube-shaped egg for breakfast? It’s easier to cut, won’t roll around on your plate and you can even line up the egg slices against the corners of your toast We still can’t fathom the value of this.

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