Technology is a wonderful thing, right? It enables us to do things we never thought possible. It allows us to communicate with people who live thousands of miles away. It proves that nothing is impossible.
We are learning more and more about technology on a daily basis, which is why we thought we’d aid the learning process by providing you with some unbelievable technology facts that’ll blow your mind.
The internet was created right here in the UK by Tim-Berners-Lee and was introduced to the public in 1991. However, despite this fact, 9 million adults in Britain have never used the internet. Crazy, right?
Have you ever wondered why the keys on a keyboard are in a certain order? Well, that’s because the original layout caused the keys to jam when a person typed quickly. The “qwerty” layout was developed by Christopher Sholes back in 1874, as he wanted to slow typists down to prevent jamming, so put the letters in hard to reach places. New technology has basically prevented jamming anyway, but the layout proved to be a hit so is still the one we use today.
Back when radio was as big as the internet, producers would hire people to make background chatter by repeating the words “walla” over and over again. This gave listeners the illusion that a crowd of people were talking in the background. The effect is still used on radio and TV today, but in Japan they repeat the word “gaya” due to the different languages and accents.
The First Interactive Kiosk
Interactive kiosks are a new thing, right? Wrong. You know those self service kiosks you see in supermarkets? Or those wayfinding ones you find in airports and shopping complexes? Well, they wouldn’t be with us today if the first self-service kiosk wasn’t developed back in 1977. This innovative invention was created by a pre-med student, Murray Lappe, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Auto tune is believed to be one of the worst inventions ever made, as it’s an invention that can make really bad singers sound good, whilst also making great singers sound a bit robotic. Therefore, it can create music that should never greet our ears. It’s so bad that Time Magazine added it to their list of The 50 Worst Inventions.
Just like touch screens, you probably thought that GPS were a relatively new invention, right? When in fact they date back to 1974 and were originally called “Programmed Driving”. They could therefore navigate a car to any destination in a city. While it was never as successful as the GPS, they were an effective way to head to one location to another.
The Stock Market
Technology is a wonderful thing. So wonderful that it can manage our stocks better than we can, as 70% of the US and European stock market is automated. It all started in 2006 when 1/3 of all stocks were traded electronically by specially designed algorithms. The systems therefore select timing, price and the quantity of order – and there’s no human input required whatsoever.
The Furniture Assembler
On top of helping people communicate with others across the planet, making people sing terribly and determining our stocks, technology can also help put our flat pack furniture together. Roboticists at MIT University have created a robot that can place together IKEA furniture all by itself. It even has a specialised hand to grab the pieces. Amazing!
Did you know there is a watch out there that cost £300,000 yet can’t tell the time? It was invented by Romain Jerome, a Swiss watchmaker, and tells the wearer whether it is day or night. The day feature works for 12 hours during daylight and the night time represents 12 hours of dark hours. What’s remarkable about the watch is that it is created from steel from the Titanic; with other parts taken from the shipyard it was structured. It sold out in just 48 hours!
Robert Metcalfe, the co-inventor of the Ethernet, said in 1995 the internet would be dead by 1996 or he’d eat his words. As we’re all well aware – unless you’re 1 of the 9 million people in the UK never to use it – the internet is alive and kicking today. So, in 1997, during his keynote speech, Mr Metcalfe took a copy of the published column, popped it into a blender and drank the pulpy paper.
Do you have any funny technology facts you’d like to share? Drop us a comment below.