Technology That Changed the World

Mr Duffy
Flashcards by Mr Duffy, updated more than 1 year ago
Mr Duffy
Created by Mr Duffy about 6 years ago


In depth information on new technologies.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Global Positioning System (GPS) What: a network of satellites. Why: to pinpoint someone or something with co-ordinates. How: SatNav in mobile phones The problem it solves: Previously, there was no way of locating an object or thing accurately without paper maps, which aren't always accurate and some parts of the world are not mapped.
3G/4G What: a high speed data connection for mobile devices. Why: enables mobile devices to connect to the Internet where there is a signal. How: originally used to facilitate video calling but can be used for many purposes. Prior to 3G, mobiles connected using GPRS, which was fine for emails and browsing basic web pages called WAP. 3G and above enables a full web browsing experience including streaming video, video calls and graphically-rich websites.
Barcodes / Magnetic Strip What: methods of automatic data entry Why: because humans make mistakes and enter data slowly. How: used in supermarkets and banking to identify the relevant record in a database. Prior to automatic data entry, humans had to enter data manually which takes longer. Prior to barcodes, a price was entered. Barcodes identify an actual product in a database, which enables businesses to easily manage stock levels and marketing promotions.
Chip & Pin What: a way of authenticating a person making a purchase. Why: it is more secure than a signature. How: used mostly as a payment method. Prior to chip & pin, there was a lot of fraud with cards payments. Either cards would be intercepted prior to the owner receiving them, or could be easily cloned. Provided a PIN is kept private, it is more secure than a signature, which can be forged.
GSM / Mobile Phones What: a portable method of communication Why: to be able to make calls anywhere a signal is available How: using a network of masts around the country Prior to cellular phones, calls could only be made via a landline or satellite phone (expensive). Cellular phones have become cheaper and more sophisticated including new technologies such as SMS, MMS, WAP, web, GPRS, 3G and more.
Games Consoles What: hardware dedicated to rich and complex graphical environments. Why: rise in popularity of computer games. How: Xbox, Playstation, etc. Since the first console, the 'Brown Box' featuring Pong, the popularity and complexity of video games has grown steadily. Consoles now include various technologies such as motion sensing, connectivity, video streaming and more in order to appeal to a wider audience.
e-Readers / e-Ink What: a device designed specifically for reading e-books. Why: to make the reading experience more versatile. How: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, etc. Although e-books can be read on any digital device, e-readers are a relatively cheap device that specialise in the purchase and reading of e-books. e-Ink uses very little power and is very like reading from paper. e-Books are cheaper than printed books and some are free.
Optical Mouse What: an input device that controls the movement of the cursor on screen. Why: to improve on the problems experienced with mechanical versions. How: All desktop computers The original ball mouse had issues mostly relating to getting dirty and needing cleaning. The optical mouse has no moving parts, but does struggle with highly-reflective surfaces. It is based on the same technology the military use to guide missiles.
Databases What: a way of storing data digitally Why: to be able to process data using a computer i.e. accurately and at speed. How: banking, schools, retail, etc. Prior to databases, paper records were kept. These could be damaged or lost easily and were difficult to organise quickly. Databases provide many benefits such as security, sharing, collaborative working, analysis, and automation.
Flat Screens e.g. LCD, LED, plasma What: slim, high quality, low power graphical output. Why: to replace CRT technology. How: in TVs, watches, printers, digital projectors, etc. Prior to flat screens, CRTs were used to output pictures electronically. LCD technology made handheld calculators and digital watches possible. Latterly they have been used in any electronic device requiring graphical output.
Word Processor What: a way to manipulate text digitally. Why: to improve the process of writing, storing and editing text. How: computers, phones, electronic typewriters. Word processors were originally dedicated hardware devices like typewriters. After microcomputers became more widely available, software versions were developed, allowing WYSIWYG layouts on many devices.
Digital Audio Formats What: a way of digitally storing audio. Why: digital audio is easier to store, access, and does not degrade. How: walkmans, DJing, mobile phones, dictaphones, etc. Digital audio recordings were
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