The term evolution of technology means how technology has evolved with the timeline from the early human tool prior to the latest modern technology. Since the “big bang” event which took place over 13.4 billion years ago from later on our universe has gone through constant evolution and significant changes. Following the radical physical, chemical, and biological evolution and now finally we are experiencing technological evolution.
Technology has helped us to conquer modern civilization where we all stand today. Technology always evolves and becomes more advanced, sometimes it is ahead of our time. Men have come up with revolutionary ideas and innovations over centuries together with creative ways to utilize those ideas into reality which is later known as technology.
All technologies are born to serve purposes, like the man who crafted and designed the earliest human tools (could be an arrow, hammer, or knife) made the tools purposely to meet his demand like hunting and surviving. The trend goes on and now we have technologies that are far more advanced than the previous one and are solving our day-to-day problems.
Technology has reshaped the course of human history from the invention of wheels to the industrial revolution all that has made mankind reach the ultimate milestone. With the core of technology, man can now travel to places that were previously unknown and discover countless scientific endeavors over time.
To be frank, it is not quite possible to cover all the extent of technological supremacy over time. But, here in this article, you will get a complete outlook of how technology has come so far and shaping the future of tomorrow.
Technological Evolution from the Prehistoric to the Medieval Period
The word technology comes from the Greek words ““techne” and “logos” which in short means artifacts or applied arts. That time technology was described as “the method or activity to imply new ways to improve the everyday environment”. But time has passed and technology is now defined as, ”the implementation of scientific knowledge for the overall development of human life”. Early evidence of mankind utilizing technology dated back to the stone age(1.5 million years ago) when sharp flakes were used as knives and stones were used to set fire. Since then notable innovations were made and technology evolved with time.
Now let’s have a look into some of the important ancient discoveries in the field of technology that happened thousands of years ago and how they influenced society.
Paleolithic period (2.3 million years ago)
During this prehistoric period of time also called “before stone age” humans constructed the earliest means of human tools( knives, hammer, scrapers) from stone, wood, antlers, and bones. These early technological innovations were tied to hunting, survival, and food preparation.
Lower Paleolithic period ( 1.3 million years ago)
Historian believes that one of the prominent technological breakthroughs, the discovery of “fire” originated more than 1.3 million years ago during the lower paleolithic period. The discovery of fire allowed humans to cook food and visibility at night.
Neolithic period ( 12,000-15,000 years ago)
During the neolithic period, humans invented some key technologies like agriculture and animal farming and harvesting techniques. People began to live in large groups and laid the foundation of modern-day society. Mud and clay were used to build houses and localities. In the neolithic period, humans also made fabrics from animal skin, fur to create cloths.
Copper and bronze age ( 6000 BC)
Copper and bronze age is an era of great technological advantages. Humans began to extract material such as copper and bronze for making tools. Copper smelting technology allowed humans to create more precise, polished, and exact shaped mechanical tools.
Iron age (1200 BC-2000 BC)
During this particular period of time the introduction of iron ore smelting and forging technology allowed to make more efficient, lighter, stronger, and cheaper tools and weapons thus replacing tools made from bronze and copper.
Mesopotamia (800-1800 BC)
Mesopotamia pioneered the discovery of wheels. Writing practices were first invented in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia witnessed some significant technological advancements like the first true arc construction, water transportation, and irrigation, and many more. The true civilization began from Mesopotamia.
The Roman empire (25 BC – 390 AD)
A crucial development in technology was carried out during this time. The Roman empire was economically developed and productive thanks to advance engineering and scientific knowledge. Concrete, glass blowing, dam, reservoirs, advanced building technology are some notable Roman inventions. Some structures from the Roman empire even stand today.
18th &19th century: the era of modern technology
The first industrial revolution of the early 18th century driven by the discovery of the steam engine set an important aspiration of modern technological evolution. In the 18th century, important technological breakthroughs took place. The 19th century also saw the development of one of the prominent technological advancements of the modern era, the invention of computers has brought the age of digitalization. The development of rocket science has put a man in space and for the first time, mankind was able to land on the moon. In the late 19th century the introduction of the internet and world wide web has initiated the term global village and brought the communities even closer than ever.
Let’s look into some of the major technological innovations of this period.
First Industrial Revolution ( 1600-1820s)
During the first industrial revolution, numerous inventions were unveiled. Minerals like Coal were used to generate much of the energy for the industry. The industrial revolution began with the textile industry, manufacturing processes were transformed from hand to hand to machine production. Steam-powered locomotives accelerated mobility and introduced railway transportation.
The invention of Photography (1825)
In the early 1820s, the invention of the photographic camera by “Joseph Nicéphore Niépce” demonstrated a new approach in optical technology. The invention of photography revolutionized culture and communication in society.
The invention of the Telephone (1860)
In the midst of the 18th century, the invention of telephone by Alexander graham bell enabled people to communicate to distant places.
The invention of the Automobile (1880)
The invention of the automobile is widely considered as one of the key technological discoveries in the course of human history. The first automobile was powered by an internal combustion engine. Automobiles have influenced the social, cultural, and economic perspectives since then.
Second Industrial Revolution ( 1860-1930)
During the period of the second industrial revolution new industries emerged, mass manufacturing revolutionized industrial production. It paved the way for rapid industrialization. Numerous technological developments in steel, petroleum, chemical, and electrical industries were conducted.
The invention of Airplanes (1904)
Humans have always dreamed of flying in the sky. When Wright brothers flew the first airplane in 1905 then later on notable technological advancement was seen in the aerospace industry. Airplanes have enabled us to fly to places that couldn’t be done before.
The invention of the Computer (1930)
What started as a calculative device is now known to be a major discovery in modern human civilization. Since the introduction of the very first computing device “ENIAC”, the computer industry has gone through revolutionary technological advancements. Computers can perform multiple tasks at a time. Supercomputers have the ability to perform complex and critical operations within seconds.
Future trends of Technological Evolution
The legacy of technological evolution has been seen as no bounds in the 20th century. Technology is now getting more sophisticated and more advanced than their previous generations. The evolution of technology from the early prehistoric period until the modern age is driving the possibilities to set-up a knowledge-based society. Technology has ensured sustainable development from the economy to education and healthcare. New technological breakthroughs are the forerunner of today’s modern era. People are adapting up-to-date technologies to improve their daily lifestyle, something they just couldn’t live without. All of this is now possible due to technological evolution.
Here are some of the latest trends in the technology of the future.
The Internet means to be connected. It has turned the world into a global village. Thanks to internet technology people now can communicate with others from anywhere in the world. The Internet is leading globalization.
The motto of the 4th industrial revolution is “digitalization”. In the 21st century, smart factories have emerged, these factories are highly automated and technologically superior.
5G will provide superfast internet bandwidth. 5G will enable the users to download large files from the internet within seconds( up to 10 gigabytes/ seconds!). 5G uses fifth-generation cellular networking technology.
Unmanned Autonomous Vehicle
In the near future vehicles will be driving on their own. Autonomous technology and AI will let the vehicle make decisions and assist in driving without breaking any traffic laws and avoid accidents.
The slogan of additive manufacturing is “democratizing technology”. People now can manufacture and design products at home only by using a 3D printer.
Virtual reality seems like a technology that comes straight from science fiction. Virtual reality creates a simulated environment that may be similar or completely different from the real world. It can be used for training, entertainment, and education purposes.
Technology is what we live in and we can’t deny how long we have gone so far only because of technological advancement. Technology is now our day-to-day expectancy.