Smartphone voted ‘most life-changing tech’ of last 25 years

The smartphone has been voted as the ‘most life-changing tech’ of the last 25 years, in a consumer poll. The survey by Telecommunications company TSI asked people to share their views on what tech has made the biggest impact since the 1990s, how it is used, and what the future holds.

While a ‘more connected life’ led most people to name the smartphone as the most important tech of the past 25 years, other technological innvoations haven’t fared so well. An overwhelming 60 per cent said the smartphone – which debuted in 1992 as the Simon Personal Communicator – has had the biggest impact. And a staggering 90% use the internet in all its forms for more than four hours every day, which equates to 1,460 hours or 61 days every year. At the other end of the scale, some 50 per cent of people no longer own groundbreaking gadgets of the 1990s – such as floppy discs, pagers, 35mm cameras and videocassette recorders.

The most common piece of old technology that we still have in the UK, is a corded mouse with a track ball, with one in four saying they still had, or used, one. The humble floppy disc and fax machine still make an appearance with nine per cent and three per cent representation, but the pager appears to be extinct.

Steve Kyprianou, managing director at TSI, said: “Despite 35mm cameras and phones with aerials now being referred to as vintage, I can still remember my very first brick-like phone, not to mention the pager, and how innovative it was when first released.

“We’re now on release eight of the iPhone, and the rise of the ‘connected culture’ means we value wider connectivity, super-fast WiFi and instant access to information at our fingertips over work tools such as Microsoft Office and Windows XP.”

As well as looking into the past, the survey also looked forward with driverless cars, robots and artificial intelligence set to become the norm by 2050. The survey also looked at business trends, as the advancements in technology allows us to work more remotely and spend less time travelling.

It was found that over half the working population (58 per cent) spend seven hours or more every week travelling for business. This means we’re losing 354 hours and 15 days per year, and wasting 713 days of our life on travelling, including the dreaded commute. As a result, the survey predicts that more people will begin working remotely rather than travelling to the office.

Kyprianou added: “While the survey suggests strongly that it’s not just millennials who have their noses in their smartphones all day, the upside is that commerce has evolved, too. As technology has advanced, the world has grown closer and we can now work remotely, spend less time travelling and have greater flexibility. And I’d certainly agree. My ideal location to work would be Bora Bora, too. It is now a reality that we can work anywhere.”

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