Examples of modern technology are televisions, computers, cell phones, radio scanners, hand held text books and other electronic medical devices like heart rate monitors and ultrasound machines. Examples of old technology include early black and white photographs, phonograph recorders and whale watching. Examples of ancient technology include stone, clay, wood, and the wheel. Examples of religious/ritual technology include the Wiccan practice of using stones to focus their spiritual energy.
While each type of technological innovation produces new types of information technology, humans have been solving problems with each type of innovation over time. For example, the wheel and it’s first counterpart the cave wheel were both invented to solve problems of transporting loads over long distances. The stone age technology of the early Mesolithic age provided mankind with the means to create the tools of the Neolithic age. As the stone age Neolithic age ended, the switch to agriculture occurred and human beings began to become more dependent on plants and animals for food and other necessities.
As all of these examples demonstrate, technology changes to meet practical purposes. While some use of technology is necessary to survive, others are designed to enhance our lifestyle. Still others are designed for purely decorative purposes, including jewelry and art. Over time, the definition of technology has changed somewhat due to these changes. Technological change can sometimes be rapid and far reaching; however, the bottom line is that technological change is a constant.
One of the primary reasons for the change in technology is that it often leads to progress in one form of science or another. For example, the Industrial Revolution changed the definition of what was possible in the physical world. Prior to this, humans used their imagination to design and build great works of art and architecture. The Industrial Revolution made it possible for humans to utilize the physical world’s resources to the fullest. From pottery to ships, the benefits of utilizing the physical world for practical purposes and the knowledge of how to make the most of those resources were established and human life became more comfortable and relaxed.
Similarly, changes in scientific knowledge and technology have led to advances in scientific dressmaking, architectural practices, and art. For example, the Scientific Revolution made it possible for people to understand and learn much more about the physical world. The impact of the Industrial Revolution and Scientific Revolution can still be seen today. Science fiction writers like James Bond and Star Trek engage the imaginations of people all over the world by presenting them with impossible situations where advanced technologies are utilized. In order to use scientific knowledge and technology for practical purposes, people must be comfortable with new discoveries and must be willing to adjust their views of the world as we know it. People must also be willing to adapt to changes in scientific knowledge and technology.
Another reason for technological development is that new tools and equipment are continually being created to solve problems. One of the most obvious example of this is the great technological developments in the space program. The exploration of space has brought us many incredible discoveries. The International Space Station has provided us with valuable information about how to live on another planet, such as Mars. The creation of the moon missions provided us with insight into the habits and activities of creatures on other worlds and helped us to explore the solar system. In addition, space technology allows us to study stars and the movement of planets around other stars and to mine precious ores from outer space.
Other things like communication and transportation were considered technologies long before the term was first used. Examples include the use of steam engines to create transportation methods that were less dependent on animal and human labor; the use of railroad lines to bring people and things together; and the development of the telephone. The term technology can be defined as the ability to do something different, and more specifically, it can refer to anything that allows you to do something more efficiently, quickly and effectively.
In summary, prior to the start of the 20th century there were no significant technological advances in most other fields, except for those that were driven by leaps and bounds made by technological advances in other fields. Examples of these technological advances are the use of the wheel, the development of the plough, and the development of the printing press. These things were driven by novel means of transportation, the discovery of fire and the wheel, and the development of complex language. As such, the definition of technology in the present period would more likely be applied to things like communication and transportation.