Technology Moments 2016

Tech breakthroughs of 2016

Throughout the course of history technology has seen highs and it has seen lows. We’ve had some outstanding successes and some inevitable failures, but win or lose, rain or shine we can’t seem to remember a time that we were not amazed by it. The technological contributions of 2016 were no different. Rapid developments, cool inventions and of course, some less successful endeavors have gob-smacked us for the past 365 days, and that’s why we’ve decided to share with you a list of the greatest tech moments of 2016.

The disappearing headphone jack

Only slightly less controversial than Trump’s election as President was the moment Apple’s cutting edge innovation literally cut the 3.5mm headphone jack from the design of the iPhone 7. Apple loyalists were divided over this decision: some applauded the gutsy move, others cursed the headphone jack-less path the tech leader laid out for the future of iPhones.

Uber drove us into the future

Countless movies have been made about robots taking over the world, but up until 2016 we didn’t really think it would ever be possible. However, with the release of a fleet of self-driving cars by Uber, the world came to understand that the future is a lot closer than we thought.

This year in San Francisco, any Uber user that summoned an UberX may have found one of Uber’s self-driving Volvo’s pulling up at their door. Whilst the high-tech cars are still accompanied by Uber engineers- to take notes and make sure the car doesn’t hit anyone- the world was sent into shock over the high caliber of technology. Is this the beginning of the end for Taxi and Uber drivers?

Pokémon Go-ne wild

Although many had dreamed about living in the world of Pokémon, prior to 2016 this fantasy was just that - a
fantasy. But through this year’s highest grossing app, living amongst these characters and destinations became a reality for Pokémon Go players.

Propelling gamers out of their houses and onto the streets, the success of this real world game was unparalleled. With an estimated 500 million downloads so far, it would be impossible to summarise this year without giving Pokémon Go a shout out.

Virtual Reality became a reality

Everyday our technology becomes a greater part of our reality and, in turn, our reality becomes more technological, and this year we witnessed the popularization of the perfect fusion of technology and reality; the Virtual Reality headset.

From the perspective of an onlooker, the headset simply looks like a strange, nontransparent set of snorkel goggles, but from the user, they look entirely different. In fact, from the user’s perspective they look like anything and everything you could ever imagine - the wearer can be transported into new worlds or new universes with the click of a button. Currently a VR headset will most likely break the bank, we’re expecting to see more of them in 2017 and certainly hope to see a set or two under the Christmas tree next year.

The Snapchat Spectacles spectacle

Anyone that says they’ve never dreamt of being an international spy is straight out lying. It turns out that Snapchat is aware of this and this year they’ve taken us a step closer to realizing our childhood fantasies with the invention of their spectacles.

These glasses look like ordinary sunglasses. That is until you press a hidden button on the eyepiece and a circle on the glasses light up and they start recording ten, twenty or thirty second videos that are sent directly to your phone. There is not a moment or a memory these spectacles can’t capture, and you don’t even have to touch your phone.

But, before you run to your local tech store to buy a pair, we should let you know that these glasses are not easily obtained. They can only be bought from Snapchat’s secret ‘Bots’, that are dropped in random cities at random times - it’s up to the aspiring spy to hunt them down. We wish you luck.

The delivery drone

This year the record was broken for the most expensive Bunning’s Warehouse sausage after a man named Tim paid a $9000 fine for buying a simple sausage in bread- but the way be bought it was worth every single cent.

Tim piloted a drone, towing a Snaplock bag, ten dollars and a note that requested a sausage be purchased and put in the bag, all the way from his house to his local Bunnings and back and eventually delivering the ‘snag’ to his friend waiting in a hot tub.

The footage published on YouTube makes the process look seamless, but in reality multiple trips with multiple drone charging breaks were necessary to make it happen. Technology has got a little way to go yet, but we can’t wait for the day we can all get Bunnings snags delivered straight to our hot tubs.

Samsung was hot

If we told you at the beginning of 2016 that Samsung would be on fire, you would never have guessed in which way. But after 35 reported incidents of overheating and exploding smartphones worldwide, they have really brought a new definition to the phrase.

These acts of unlicensed and unwanted pyrotechnics lead to the unprecedented recall of each and every Galaxy Note 7 sold- all 1 million of them. Unluckily for Samsung, this isn’t the only big recall they’ve conducted this year. They were also took back 2.8 million washing machines in the US after 733 reports of excessive vibrations and detaching lids. Let’s hope they have better luck in 2017.