Today’s technology is designed with the user experience in mind. Professionals of all types rely on technology to get through the work day. The majority of the technology and apps used today existed in much earlier formats. And, while by today’s standard these technologies look antiquated, we owe their founders, designers, and developers a big thank you. Otherwise, the technology of today wouldn’t exist.
Check out these 10 awesome technological innovations as explained through GIFs:
From landlines to car phones to the early cell phone, telephone communication has completely transformed. Not only are today’s phones extremely portable, but they’re also greatly faster than early computers. In fact, the modern smartphone is more powerful than the computer used during NASA’s Apollo mission. (Keep in mind NASA’s computers’ strength was unmatched in that era.)
According to Pew Research Center, 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone of some kind. Unlike its predecessors, smartphones offer more than the ability to talk or text — do math on your calculator app, access your social media, play games, use the GPS, and even catch up over video calls.
2. Filing Cabinets
Filing cabinets are still used in the modern office. Yet, their real estate has shrunk with the adoption of cloud technologies. In fact, cloud storage takes “filing” up a notch with the capability to store and share more than just documents, such as music files, photos, and videos.
Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive have disrupted how people communicate, delegate, and collaborate. Plus, they beat searching the filing catacombs. Cloud innovation has changed how professionals expect to receive information as digital learning technology continues to grow.
3. Credit Card Technologies
Modern consumers are impatient with the “painstakingly slow” pace of chip card readers. But imagine still having to wait for the physical imprint of your card (i.e. the carbon copy swipe). Mobile point of sale giants like Square and Apple Pay have changed traditional point of sale payments.
Like retail stores, restaurants have jumped on board. From pop up venues to music festivals to neighborhood cafes, purchases are processed faster than ever. Additionally, many restaurants take advantage of mobile ordering to make picking up and delivering food easier than ever.
4. In Office Memos
In office memos have quickly faded in use. However, the memo still remains valuable. MIT professor and memo “expert” JoAnn Yates explains why memos will always matter in this article.
Yet, memos have taken on new forms: first email then online chat and now messaging apps like Slack.
Slack brings together teams, workspaces, channels, and messages into a single thread with the capabilities to search and push out notifications. As a result, announcements, updates, and interoffice communications live in one place.
5. Floppy Disks
Magnetic disk. Hard plastic. Data. Outside of the “Save” button on Microsoft Suite, most millennials wouldn’t recognize the floppy disk. Used to transfer and store data (like document files), the floppy disk evolved into CDs, USBs, and now cloud storage.
Still have floppy disks lying around? Upcycle these into coasters or try creating your own DIY planter.
6. The Walkman
The original Walkman is quintessential 80s pop culture tech. The Verge contributor Carl Franzen provides a history of the Sony Walkman:
“After a disappointing first month of sales, the Walkman went on to become one of Sony’s most successful brands of all time, transitioning formats over the years into CD, Mini-Disc, MP3 and finally, streaming music.”
Currently, streaming reigns king in how Americans listen to music. With the capability to sync streaming accounts to any device, it’s no wonder streaming services have surged in popularity.
For those on the go, wireless headphones and earbuds are now commonplace. Compared to their predecessors, headphones have undergone major improvements.
Sound quality has improved with noise cancellation. Likewise, portability increases as tangled wires are left behind. In the past year, Bluetooth headphones overtook non-Bluetooth headphones in sales.
(The capability to connect wireless headphones/earbuds to your phone and walk and talk is an added bonus!)
8. Early Computers
This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the early computer. Since its early beginnings, the computer has made significant leaps and bounds in both power and size.
In fact, today’s computing power is significantly different compared to just 5 years ago. Touch screens, WiFi, and cameras are typical for the latest computer and tablet releases.
Once grounded to the office, professionals now have the luxury of taking their laptops and tablets on the go. As a result, some people are stepping away from PCs and laptops altogether as the reliance on smartphones and tablets rises.
Arnold Neustadter, the inventor of the Rolodex, began selling his invention in the 1950s. 30 years later, the device was prominent. Eventually, some companies filed lawsuits against former employees who took their Rolodexes with them.
Today, the Rolodex lives on in many forms. The most obvious is the list of saved contacts in a smartphone’s contact list or address book.
Yet, social media breeds a whole host of ways to remain in contact with others. You can reach a whole network of people through connecting with them on Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter, and Instagram.
10. Tape Recorders
Cassette tape recorders are seldom used today. It wasn’t uncommon for professionals to use the tape recorder for their assistant or secretary to later transcribe. When necessary, voice recordings are more commonly conducted using a variety of smartphone apps.
Apps like Evernote sync notes across devices — phones, tablets, and computers — with compatible interfaces. This cuts out the middleman for transcription.
For more GIFs check out why destroying the office printer is actually a strategic management decision.