I was trolling through Reddit recently, as I do when I have free time, and I came across a GIF that was simply titled “the evolution of the desk”. It really caught my attention and got me thinking about all the technological advances we, as humankind, have made in the last in 30 years or so. It’s really fascinating to think of how each of the above day-to-day necessities are now all available to us in one handheld device whereas the generation before us had to go through a rigmarole to access the same information and how now we have access to even more information that they would not have had.
From the founding of technological giants Microsoft in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen (Microsoft, 2015) and Apple in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne (Blumenthal, 2012) we have seen the world transformed. With the advances made with the Internet from 1983 onwards and a “network of networks” being created and then with the invention of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 we began to see the online world taking a more recognisable form that we are well accustomed to today (Andrews, 2013).
For myself and a lot of people who grew up in the Internet era, we cannot imagine life without access to any information source we may need at our fingertips. It was this need to have everything easily accessible that saw this new generation of tech savvy children make countless new advances. This can be seen especially with the likes of YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook which were all formed in the mid-noughties creating a space where people could share news, inform their loved ones and people similar to them of what’s going on in their lives, and create new things to be seen by anyone who may want to view it. It was this phenomenon of sharing new ideas and news about yourself that influenced the likes of Instagram to be launched which allowed people to share their lives in photo format with small captions and therefore creating somewhat of a online photo album with unlimited space.
However, it’s not just new companies that are growing and creating new things for the world to enjoy. The founders of this age are still continuing to break boundaries and bring new ideas to the table. This is truly the case with Apple and their 2007 launch of the Apple iPhone, one of the world’s first smartphones which ran on Apple OS (iOS) which allowed people to connect with people through calls and text while also having the capability to surf the web and take pictures, hold music, and store applications (Wikipedia, 2015). This was truly a revolutionary step as it took everything a person would need in their everyday lives and put it into a compact, handheld device. iPhone’s still do very well in the market today even with competition from other companies such as HTC, LG, and Samsung who release products running Android OS at similar intervals to that of Apple. Each year Apple release a new product with even more functionality and a user friendly interface that brings customers back to them year after year. It could be a case of original is best that causes customers to come back time and time again or in fact, the products are so good that they continue to be sought after. All we know for certain is that the Apple iPhone will be seen as a milestone in the technological age for years to come.
Overall, all of these things and more have seen the average person’s desk be transformed from a hub of files, magazines, diaries, fax machines, and papers to simply a laptop, mobile phone, and a few pens strewn here and there. I suppose you could say “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
- Andrews, E. (2013). Who invented the internet?. Available at: http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/who-invented-the-internet [Accessed 31 December 2015].
- BestReviews.com (2015). The Evolution of the Desk.gif. Available at: http://bestreviews.com/ %5BAccessed 31 December 2015].
- betanews.com (2015). All-iPhones.jpg. Available at: http://betanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/All-iPhones.jpg [Accessed 31 December 2015].
- Blumenthal, K. (2012). Steve Jobs; The Man Who Thought Different. New York: Feiwel and Friends, p.61.
- Microsoft (2015). A history of Windows. Available at: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-IE/windows/history#T1=era0 [Accessed 31 December 2015].
- Wikipedia (2015). iPhone (1st generation). Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPhone_(1st_generation) [Accessed 31 December 2015]
- worldomep.org (2014). 96259.png. Available at: http://www.worldomep.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/96259-1.png [Accessed 31 December 2015].