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The Decade in Tech: Biggest Innovations from 2010 to Now
From Google Glass to the Microsoft HoloLens, the past decade has dramatically changed the face of the tech landscape. Here's a year-by-year look at the biggest game-changers of the decade.
Since we are just days away from a new decade, I thought that it might be fun to take a look back at the previous decade (2010 through 2019) and talk about some of the more significant technical innovations of that time.
For the purposes of this column, I am going to focus on tech that saw mainstream adoption within the last decade, rather than basing my discussion on the dates when the various technologies were actually invented.
This was a big year for tech innovation. Some of the most iconic tech products released in this year included the Apple iPad, the Fitbit and Xbox 360. To get a sense of what we thought were some of the hottest tech gadgets from that year, check out this article from December 2010.
2011 was the year that Apple brought us the MacBook Air, but I think that the introduction of smart TVs was far more significant. In 2011, Samsung introduced its first smart TVs, many of which were 3-D-capable. Here's another throwback article rounding out other notable tech gadgets from 2011.
When it comes to cool tech gadgetry from 2012, the ones that stand out most in my mind are the original Microsoft Surface, the GoPro HERO3 and Google Glass. You can see other big gadget breakthroughs from 2012 here.
Still, there were plenty of others. I mean, who can forget the Logitech washable keyboard?
This was the year that brought us Google Drive and Dropbox, as well as another indispensable app -- Uber. As far as tech gadgetry goes, the most noteworthy products were probably the Xbox One and Google Chromecast.
2013 was also the year that we first started to see consumer-grade 360-degree cameras hit the market with the panoramic ball camera. Here's a gadget roundup of 2013.
I am actually a little hard-pressed to come up with a list of what I consider to be really significant tech innovations for 2014 (although this article from December of that year provides a good refresher). Even so, there was one very iconic gadget introduced in 2014 -- the Apple Watch.
My personal favorite tech gadget of 2015 is the 3DR Solo Drone. Although not a commercial success, the 3DR Solo Drone was arguably the most innovative drone of the time. Even to this day, I fly a highly modified version of this drone.
A couple of other notable tech releases from 2015 include the Amazon Echo and the Samsung Gear VR headset. Here's a roundup of other top tech gadgets from 2015.
Who can forget 2016? It was the year that gave us Windows 10 and Microsoft HoloLens. Other notable tech releases include the GoPro HERO5 (the first 4K GoPro), the Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics card and Google Assistant. You can see other tech gadgets from 2016 here.
My personal favorite innovation from 2016? The SpaceX Falcon rocket.
This was the year when Microsoft introduced the Surface Laptop, which was designed to showcase its Windows 10 operating system, released the year before. This was also the year when the Nintendo Switch was introduced, and when GoPro released its first 360-degree camera, the Fusion. You can see other tech gadgets from 2017 here.
2018 brought us gadgets like the Microsoft Surface Go, the GoPro HERO7 Black and the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. A few other 2018 standouts are spotlighted here.
My favorite tech gadget of that year was the Samsung HMD Odyssey+, a Microsoft mixed reality headset that all but eliminated the infamous "screen-door effect" that has long plagued virtual reality headsets.
It feels a bit weird including 2019 in this list since the year isn't even over yet. Even so, this year has not been without its share of cool gadgetry. Some of this year's best tech has included the Microsoft HoloLens 2, Apple AirPods Pro and the DJI Mavic Mini drone.
Here's a roundup of the best gadgets of the year (so far, anyway).
Looking back, it seems really strange to think that 10 years ago there were no iPads and that Uber didn't exist yet. And while it is fun to think about all of the tech products that have been introduced over the past decade, it is also important to remember that there are general classes of products that have seen mainstream adoption during that same time. I'm talking about things like SSD hard drives, consumer drones, smart speakers and so much more.
It will be interesting to see what the next decade brings.
Brien Posey is a 16-time Microsoft MVP with decades of IT experience. As a freelance writer, Posey has written thousands of articles and contributed to several dozen books on a wide variety of IT topics. Prior to going freelance, Posey was a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and health care facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the country's largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox. In addition to his continued work in IT, Posey has spent the last several years actively training as a commercial scientist-astronaut candidate in preparation to fly on a mission to study polar mesospheric clouds from space. You can follow his spaceflight training on his Web site.