It’s National Technology Day in the UK, today recognises the ways that technology changes the world, looks to the future of technology and honors technological achievements that impact all of us daily… Imagine the world without technology?!
It’s safe to say that each and every day, it’s nearly impossible to go a full 24 hours without coming into contact with some form of technology. 2020 more than ever has relied on the powers of technology for us to go about our daily lives with the introduction of remote working and homeschooling, where children of all ages rely on computers to learn, develop and be educated. Older generations are becoming accustomed to using smartphones, joining video calls and having smart devices such as camera doorbells in their homes to keep them safe. Some may say, it’s got to the point where the world cannot go around without technology.
Let’s be real, technology is at the centre of most professions and jobs these days, a smartphone or computer is pretty much essential in order to get our job done. From agriculture and healthcare to education and entertainment, food service and security, we use technology to keep us organised, stay connected, healthy, and safe. Outside of the healthcare sector, tech jobs are one of the strongest and fastest-growing divisions.
So with all of that said, we wanted to share a round up of our memorable tech moments in the last year. Each of our team has picked their fav’ tech break through(s) of 2020:
CPU’s & Next Gen Consoles – Bert
AMD’s 5000 series has brought serious competition to the market in 2020. It has dethroned Intel, surpassing them, even in single core due to the IPC gains. For consumers like myself (even though I’m not currently in the market for an upgrade), this is great news as it brings some fierce competition to Intel who have been very complacent for a long time. Consumers will be rewarded with lower prices and a higher generational performance uplift as the two compete in the future.
Many games today are purpose built for consoles over PCs due to the market being much larger and thus netting them more profit. The previous generation of consoles were not particularly impressive spec wise even on their release. The CPU being underpowered has held back game development for a very long time. Newly released consoles have taken an enormous leap in power, allowing developers to create much more graphically impressive games, which even PC players, like myself will also benefit from.
Also an honorable mention of 2020 is the recent release of the Apple M1 processor. The ARM processor offers a ridiculously good performance in a small power envelope, even in the Macbook air which is completely passively cooled. While i’ve never been particularly interested in the Apple ecosystem, the M1 processor is seriously impressive. I will be eagerly keeping my eye to see how it affects the future of the mobile computing sphere.
Google Stadia – Marcus
My favorite tech moment of 2020 has to be Stadia, a cloud gaming service developed and operated by Google. Stadia allows you to play an ever growing catalogue of games on laptops, desktops, phones, tablets and TVs.
The tech behind Stadia is incredible, if you have a good internet connection you can play lag free games in 4k and 5.1 surround sound without the need of an expensive next gen console.
You can get free games with a Stadia Pro subscription. Games are available instantly for the period that you subscribe, and for every month that you maintain your subscription, you get more free games. I have been a pro subscriber since it launched and have over 60 games in my library.
During lockdown the Innovate team have been known to meet virtually at lunchtime to play a few games of PubG. I won’t tell you who is the best…but it’s not me!
The future of gaming is here now! You can find out more at stadia.google.com
Medical Technology & 3D Printing – Mathew
Choosing my favourite 2020 tech moment is impossible, as there were so many different things to talk about. However, my highlight would be seeing how and why technology has aided people through a worldwide crisis and given us the ability to work together as a planet to reach one common goal – the fight against covid-19. We currently have multiple vaccines being rolled out, with more to come and it’s beyond impressive how with the use of technology, we are able to start combating the virus. Medical technology has allowed this to happen in such a small amount of time, saving a multitude of lives.
Hospitals across the world have had a shortage of ventilators and have been backed into a corner, this has forced the creation of innovative ideas. To combat this, numerous companies and universities have been working to construct cheaper and simpler alternatives with a quick turnaround. Advancements in 3D printing played a huge part in 2020 by allowing the manufacturing of items such as PPE and face shields. 3D printing has been consistently growing in popularity due to its many uses.
The other great part about this is, 3D printers are affordable enough that an individual can buy one and create objects from the comfort of their home! There’s a vast amount of resources available online for people that want to give it a try, you can even download files and print them straight away.
Without technology, none of these medical advances would’ve been possible in such a short timeframe.
Online Grocery Delivery – Sam
During the first lockdown, local supermarkets, news agents, and petrol stations started to appear on Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat. At the time, many of us were either forced to isolate, or were reluctant to visit crowded shops in person.
Compounding this, delivery slots from the supermarkets themselves became increasingly hard to find. I thought this was such a great response to the problem, making use of existing technology and an established pool of delivery drivers. And it was surprising to see how quickly grocery shops both small and large adapted. The many delivery drivers and riders are, to me, some of 2020’s heroes.
SpaceX Starlink – Stephen
My tech moment of 2020 was back in April following one of the launches of the SpaceX Starlink programme. I stood in my back garden, on the outskirts of London looking up into the sky as a train of satellites traced their way across the atmosphere. It was then that I realised what a difference this would make to remote communities around the world.
I was reminded of this technology breakthrough just yesterday when I saw a picture of what I believe is the first consumer receiver in Devon, UK on Reddit. Now, Devon of all places was not exactly where I was thinking of when I stood in my garden, back in April… but after all, we are talking about things that happened in 2020. We should know by now to expect the unexpected!
SpaceX says that we can expect to see speeds ranging from 50mbps to 150mbps maybe even as high as 205mbps. I think it’s safe to say, the SpaceX Starlink programme is going to make a real difference to not just the Redditor who shared the above photo, but to local economies here and around the world.
Video Conferencing – Alex
Having previously lived abroad and needing to stay connected with my family as well as joining the Encompass Innovate team mid pandemic, my top tech moment of 2020 was the blow up of video conferencing services such as Zoom and Google Meet. Meeting the team in person was soon replaced with a remote coffee hour via video call, making my onboarding experience as normal as possible (oh and btw, I still haven’t met anyone in person!).
It’s safe to say, i’ve used video services for just about everything from yoga classes to business meetings, gift opening with family on Christmas morning to quiz nights with friends. Video tools have made this year just that little bit more manageable, allowing us to easily continue with some normality. I find it extremely impressive that video services keep on going and going despite a massive surge in usage, both for work and for personal connections.
Wow, what a year 2020 was in the history of technology! What was your favourite moment or breakthrough? Let us know in the comments below. Happy National Technology Day, from all of us at Encompass Innovate.