We’re only 12 years into the 21st century, but it’s already proven to be a great time for technology.From Apple gadgets to video cameras, here are the 10 most important devices to emerge in recent years.
This all-digital video camera (and its subsequent iterations) made a joke out of more expensive camcorders that used tape and big batteries. It was something of an equaliser in that it had awesome one-button operation and was super-affordable, all while shooting high quality video.
The Flip may be dead now, but it helped kicked off the mobile video revolution.
The Wii thrust Nintendo back into the spotlight for a bit with its gyroscope-based controls and its mostly family-friendly games, where the focus is always first and foremost to have fun.
Apple's super-thin laptop was a dream come true for travel warriors everywhere. It offered everything you needed and nothing that you didn't, sacrificing the optical drive to keep the device as thin and portable as possible. Today, we have a slew of other thin and light PCs called Ultrabooks.
The Kinect opened up the Xbox wider than we anticipated. It was initially a way to interact with games, but it's evolved into much more than that. A huge crowd of independent developers have taken it to new levels, integrating it with robots to map environments in 3D and respond to human gestures.
Patented in 2000, the USB drive spread like wildfire as a way to quickly transport files between computers. You can now buy thumb drives with capacities as high as 256 GB, and we may soon see them coming in measures of terabytes.
The Kindle has become the household name for e-readers. You can grab almost any book you can name and begin reading it in minutes without even leaving the house.
This was a game-changer when it was introduced in 2001. Instead of carrying around a stack of CDs, you could carry around a small device that contains all of your music. It evolved into the iPod touch, which is essentially the go-to portable music player.
We're referring to the operating system here, not a specific device. Google's mobile operating system has managed to find its way into all kinds of devices, from tablets to mobile phones to smart TV sticks. Best of all, it's totally free and open source.
Apple's tablet is perfectly suited for small-scale personal computing. As such, it's found a home with users all over the world. The iTunes App Store extends its usability even more, offering up games, utilities, and reference apps.
This product is so successful that it accounts for half of Apple's business. iPhones have weaseled their way into pockets around the globe. They are our means of communication, connection, and even entertainment. As we presumably edge closer to the launch of the iPhone 5, we can only expect the mania to continue.