Technology is a term used to describe the tools and machines that people create to solve real-world problems. The tools may be tangible or virtual and can include a simple tool such as a crowbar or wooden spoon, or complex machines like the space station or particle accelerator. In addition to physical tools, technology includes intangible tools such as computer software or business methods.
Technological innovations change our world, and understanding how and why they do is important for both those who develop them and those who use them. Whether it’s self-driving cars or MP3 players, every aspect of our lives is touched by the advancements of technology.
Incremental technology is a type of technological innovation that focuses on making smaller changes to existing products. This is in contrast to revolutionary technology, which aims to transform entire industries. Examples of incremental technology include upgrading the version of an operating system or releasing security patches for existing services.
Technology has a long history of improving our quality of life. For example, the first telephone allowed people to make calls from any location in the world. Later, the invention of integrated circuits allowed people to fit all of the components needed for a computer onto one tiny chip. These chips made personal computers possible, as well as many other electronic devices, such as digital cameras and cellular phones. Today, scientists are applying technology directly to living things by creating electrical devices that help people with disabilities. Some, like hearing aids and kidney dialysis machines, operate from outside the body; others, such as pacemakers, are placed inside it.