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In this essay I am going to inform you about the changes in various technologies over the past fifty years using one example of technology from each of the five categories. The categories are Financial Technology, Entertainment, Mobile Access, Communication and Data Capture. I will be writing how these technologies have impacted on people over the last fifty years and how people's lives have been adapted by the technology over the fifty years.
Games consoles are now a big part of people's lives as they are now used not just for entertainment but now games have been developed to help educate younger children on systems such as V-tech. Also games consoles are immersing the users in a virtual world where the players can interact with their friends and with the game realistically which in some cases can adjust the player's perception of reality. Though as well as educational and creative games there are many which promote violent tendencies, such as the grand theft auto games, and can become addictive to the user as it is seen as being entertaining. It is also fitting with many modern films which also promote violence. Most games consoles are also contributing to obesity as most players are sitting down using only their hands to control the game; this is currently being combated by the innovations of the Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 kinect and Playstation 3 move which encourage people to move around whilst playing. Though video games are a better source of entertainment than board games and books, as they immerse the player in the images of the virtual world, there are several cases of people having their concept of reality changed by the games. The most common is with the online game World of Warcraft, it has become such a problem in the USA that they have had to make a facility called the World of Warcraft rehabilitation centre which has help over 1500 people cut off their addiction to the game with a higher population than Belgium. Developments in games and games consoles have resulted with not just young people playing on them but also adults playing on them with younger people resulting in problems that are also encountered on social networking websites with pedophilia and people meeting each other in reality when they haven't a realistic idea of their age, gender or intentions.
Communication: Mobile phones
Mobile phones are now a huge part of people's daily lives as they aren't used for just communication but for everything else, the iPhone 4 proved this as it was brilliant at everything but its only short fall was a glitch that if a small part of the handset was covered the signal was lost, which means the only thing it couldn't do well was being a phone. Though mobile phones are now becoming more expensive to buy and run, there is also an issue concerning the health risks brought on by the radiation emitted from mobile phones, because of this there have been studies into the effects of mobile phone radiation and there has been an experiment where two phones were placed either side of an egg with one phone calling the other, the radiation from the calling phone to the receiving phone actually cooked the egg so what effect this might have on some bodies head is being looked into by other studies. Though as well as being expensive in purchase and credit or contract prices, you are encouraged to spend even more on phones for accessories, downloads and upgraded models. Mobile phone downloads have become more reliant on downloads with the introduction of the iPhone Mobile phones now have become so advanced that several have better picture taking capabilities than a lot of cameras, though they also have various tool to help with people's everyday life as they contain calendars, alarms, clocks, timers, calculators and are in a compact and easy to use design. The size also allows it to be fully portable so it can be taken anywhere. Though being compact and expensive makes them the perfect thing for somebody to steal from you, a problem if it is stolen is that the phone stores numbers and so they can call anybody listed in your phone. If a mobile phone is stolen or lost you are not only losing phone numbers but a massive part of your daily life, people keep several incredibly important things on their phones including their appointments for various things, arrangements with people and now with the innovation of WAP browsing their e-Mails. The WAP browser on mobile phones now has made it easier to access the internet whilst on the move so there is less need for tablet PC's or laptops unless it is needed for specific usage, WAP has only really become popular with the introduction of smart phones as they offer easy to use, WAP browsing friendly interfaces and software whereas older mobile phones had to navigate from link to link with the arrow keys or joysticks. Another problem with all mobile phones is that they need to be recharged frequently, this also brings up another problem as one of the most common faults with mobile phones is that the battery is either overloaded or a malfunction leaving the phone unusable unless a new battery is purchased. This can be a major problem as it can be difficult to find specific parts for particular phone models and makes. Another major problem with mobile phones is that they run using a satellite network to make and receive calls; the signal is cut off from the satellite whilst in various building and areas therefore if you are on a train and on the phone and pass underneath a tunnel you will probably have the call cut off.
Data Capture: Digital Cameras
Digital cameras are now very useful tools that are incorporated into many different things including mobile phones and laptops. One of the main benefits of a digital camera compared to a film camera is the storage of pictures; as film cameras were put into film cases and taken to be developed at film developer stores. Now with the advent of digital cameras you can have several hundred pictures stored on a small SD card as oppose to 24 or 26 photos on one roll of film. People can also choose an appropriate memory card size so they can buy an incredibly large memory if they take lots of pictures. Though the memory card is space saving it can become corrupted, damaged or be wiped completely. Another major disadvantage is the size of the SD cards as they are very small and light make them easy to lose and is easily stolen. Although photos can be stored on a computer the photos can still be lost by viruses on the computer. One major advantage of this is that people can print out their own photos without having to pay for them to be developed. When photos are stored on a computer the pictures can be easily edited on software such as Adobe Photoshop which allows easy adjustments to improve the pictures quality. Digital cameras like most technology are becoming more expensive as they are becoming more advanced as cameras now don't only have a megapixel display so people know the approximate quality but now cameras have an array of picture improving features such as face recognition, anti-red eye and touch screen interfaces. Though all the extra features come with higher battery usage so the cameras use up lots of power very quickly so batteries are something you will need to carry around with the camera. Though the battery usage can be very high an easy way to conserve power is to turn off the cameras flash which as expected uses the most power out of all standard camera features. Though more features add to the cost which can be up to a thousand pounds for a high megapixel and incorporates the latest features. Along with the cost for the camera, accessories, features and memory new upgrades of most cameras are released regularly so to keep up with the latest technology even more money must be spent to purchase the newer models.
Mobile access: Laptops
After PC's became a common household appliance laptops were brought in as the alternative. Laptops now are fully portable, wireless, sleek machines that are as good as, or better than, the current PC's as they incorporate all the new gadgets for PC's into themselves. One example of this is that most PC users bought a webcam to chat with their friends face to face whilst being great distances apart. A downside to this is that there are now several choices of webcams with different qualities of picture, these are now being built into laptops very often as 1.3 megapixel cameras, whereas much better quality cameras can be purchased. As with most technology now being small and portable makes them perfect targets for people to steal or be lost when out with them and if used for several things can mean extremely bad news if information for your job is stored on it. In addition to this all of the components are joined into the same body and is one part is damaged the whole laptop has to be replaced not just the one part.