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How The Internet Has Turned Fictional Tech Into Real-life Solutions

The Internet has come a long way since 1995. There was a time when we marveled at the ability to send electronic mail or find facts within seconds (or maybe closer to a minute depending on your connection at the time). Now, we take those simple pleasures for granted. E-mail and quick searches are the least the Internet can do for us.

Take a look at how has evolved over the last 25 years:

We perhaps take for granted now what we once considered major breakthroughs because the Internet has granted us the ability to do such more. Things that were unimaginable just two decades ago—except maybe on television. Thanks to the Internet, technological advances once deemed fictional—communicating via wristwatch, computer-enabled vehicles and voice-activated devices—are now very much part of our reality.

Control Devices With Our Voices

Television and movies once made it seem that voice control was reserved for wealthy tech geniuses like Tony Stark (Iron Man). Today you can purchase a smart speaker for a reasonable price. Once you connect your smart speaker to the Internet, you can turn it into your own J.A.R.V.I.S. and ask it to set timers, play music, read the latest news and more. You can also connect your speaker to any smart devices you have in your home and use voice commands to turn lights on or off, adjust your thermostat or lock your doors.

Read more: How Voice Assistant Technology Is Changing Our Lives

Communicate With Others Through Our Wristwatches

Staying in touch via a wristwatch may sound like something out of a Dick Tracy comic strip or the old Get Smart TV show, but it’s a viable option today. While those characters used their watches primarily to communicate, the Internet allows you to use your smart watch for so much more.

Many of these devices can alert you when you have an incoming call or text message as well as check your email when it’s linked to your smartphone. The smart watch allows you to check messages discreetly without looking at your mobile device. It also decreases the chances of you missing a call because you didn’t hear your phone. A handful of smart watches also let you make and receive phone calls as opposed to just alerting you that a call is coming.

Turn Your Vehicle Into The “Batmobile”

Was there anything the Batmobile could not do? Throughout the years, various iterations of the Caped Crusader’s ride included hands free phones, computer platforms, GPS, self-driving capabilities and remote locks. It’s funny to think that a billionaire crime fighter’s primary mode of transportation contained a lot of technology that comes standard in a lot of today’s newer vehicles. The Internet has transformed many vehicles into much more than something to get us from Point A to Point B in recent years.

Additionally, the ‘Net plays a key role in self-driving vehicles’ capabilities, as well as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which will let cars “talk” to one another about other cars’ speed and position to help prevent accidents and decrease traffic congestion.

Put Mini Computers Into Our Hands

The idea of mobile phones was revolutionary—and that was just when it was meant for talking and eventually texting. Everything changed the moment cell phones could access the Internet. Suddenly, just like James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997!), we can use our smart phone to send certain commands to our car. We might not be able to drop tire-popping spikes or send rope cutters from the car’s emblem like Agent 007, but the Internet lets us use our phones to lock and unlock our car doors, locate our vehicle and in some instances start the engine.

Internet-enabled phones have helped lighten our wallets, too. Platforms like Google Pay and Apple Pay let us purchase items from merchants at more and more locations, limiting the need to carry cash or credit cards around. We can also load various membership and gift cards on to our phones through retailers’ and companies’ apps so they can simply be scanned.

For example, the GEICO Mobile App stores your policy ID card for easy access if and when you need it. No reason to go digging through your glove compartment! You can also pay your bill or request roadside assistance and more from the palm of your hand.

See why the GEICO mobile app is the best in the business. 

By Joe Dyton

GEICO Mobile - #1 rated insurance app

    Leave a comment

  1. Mel Dickinson says,

    I knew I would be able to find my son whom I had to give up for adoption in 1963, as soon as I first heard of the Internet in 2000. I had been working on computers since 1984, first an Apple lle, with Word Star, the first dedicated word processing program, then Wang at a major bank, then IBM clones and HP. I finally spoke to my 36-yr. old son on Feb.4, after having help from a private investigator and the Internet, using 1-800-USSearch. I am very grateful to all those who worked to develop the Internet and the computer, such as Alan Turing from England. Yea for modern technology!

  2. Steph Munden says,

    I can still “sing” through the sounds of the dial up. It’s hilarious to people who know what you’re talking about. To those who don’t, you just seem oddly entertained with annoying static and beeping sounds. Wireless is truly a gift. 🙂

  3. Richard K says,

    Is anyone old enough to remember the days of the old ibm, apple computer and commodore 64 computers? You would hook the modem up to the phone line and use it to connect with another computer. Ancient but very fun when it first came out. I believe the younger generation with never truely understand how primative it actually was!

  4. Dani says,

    Though I started using a second hand DOS computer for my business 25 years ago, today’s capabilities would have revolutionized my career early on. Sending digital pictures of my paintings to artist friends thousands of miles away for advice or kudos, then resizing them to forward to my galleries for their websites and advertising needs, getting approval before shipping boxes of inventory out – it now takes minutes instead of weeks to complete a transaction. Used to wish I was born in simpler times, but in this case, guess I was born too soon!

  5. Nane says,

    Like so many things in life, there is a good side and a bad side to the Internet. Balance, is the best answer. Using the internet to connect with friends and family, do research or bank is a good use of the Internet. Using the Internet to bully or threaten is a bad thing. When I try to evaluate the percentage of good use over bad use, I think the Internet is 80% good and 20% bad. Just a personal feel.

  6. Glenn says,

    my first pc in 90’s had a 75 gb hard drive and cost $1200.00 . . . . . .this black friday (2014) i purchased a 64 gb micro sd card for under $30.00

    • Johnny says,

      The first PC I purchased didn’t have any disk drives. It had a cassette player that was used to save your data on. The second one had a 180kb 5-1/4″ floppy drive. My first one with a hard drive was super fast. It came with a 4.77MHz 8-bit CPU, 512KB (kilobytes, 1/1000 of a megabyte or one-millionth of a gigabyte) and a 20 MB hard drive. Not 20 gigabyte, 20 megabyte. It cost over $3000, and that didn’t include a monitor.

  7. Rick says,

    The growth of computers and access to communication and information has been truly remarkable. Unfortunately many people will take all of this for granted, or worse find a reason to blame it for some adversity in their life. While I wish to find accurate information and feel I waste a great amount of time weeding through what is of no benefit; I would not change any of it, nor restrict any of it, nor wish a government wonk to be allowed to change any of it, for it will change when necessary by the sheer will of the users.

  8. Pat says,

    I miss the awe and wonder of the old internet and the early PCs. So many errors, breakdowns and so much to learn made all night coffee binges a lot of fun. Now it’s all smooth, cut and dried, taken for granted. Got a new hobby now- playing chicken with snow plows. Oops, don’t tell GEICO!

      • NuclearBubba says,

        Does anybody actually remember the first widely used school Internet, Netscape Navigator? 30 minute limit on the computer gave you enough time to load 3 pages and print ONE, then you’re kicked off!

  9. Shelley says,

    I think you’re showing your age. The young rarely use e-mail anymore. It’s all instant messaging (through Facebook).

    • tbird says,

      Ha! I kind of agree. I thought the “Then” section on email would list Facebook and Instagram as well as texting. However, it’s true, folks still send email…at least businesses and nonprofits.

  10. john says,

    ‘haven’t heard that phrase “dial-up” in a long time. thank god.
    But, in reflection, it was worth sticking your handset into that padded box and getting connected to the outside world via your computer. It was amazing.
    We’ve come a long way, baby!

  11. Jim says,

    About 20 years ago I bought my first computer. I was living alone at the time so I had the time needed and it needed time back then. I could only get dial up where I lived- sometimes I could cook a meal while waiting for a connection. Chat rooms were common with many people typing to a large group which resulted in waiting some time to find the response- if there was one- private rooms made conversations much easier and eventually IM’s improved things even more. I don’t want to go back to those days though. Way too much time spent staring at the screen- waiting and waiting.

  12. tom says,

    Great Question :

    The internet has mixed reviews . However, I have been the victim of cyber harassment and defamation. Non anonymous. harassment because of my position in the community .
    Two important books.
    Digital assassination & violated on line tell most of the story of how people are being harassed. Yet it does not stop with individual harassment . The ability to stir things up must be questioned. Movements innocent as “flash mops ” and as uninformed such as “Arab Spring ” are both created by the internet with no filtering. Thanks for asking

    • Tom S says,

      Tom. I see why you are taking such a stand and I can not blame you. I am so very sorry you have experienced such. But not knowing you, I do not know if it was harassment and defamation of your character. Could be it depends on which side you are on. A patriot. A terrorist. A have or a have not. A hero or a villain. For yourself or “One for All”. Now there’s an idea – “one for all”. What good does to tell a starving and freezing man to take care of himself and stay warm when we have the means to feed him and keep him warm and we do little or nothing. Unfortunately that’s how most of the world is, especially Northern Africa, the Arab world. The one born to what is called the unclean, the lower class – the have nothings want the basic stables of life and want to live more comfortably. All you need to do is look at the upper class to understand why they have it all and the rest have little. The internet has certainly helped the down-trodden little guy get his message out. It has help others too. Both good and bad. I think, mostly good. So it all depends on you and I – which side are we on? We are all family sharing this planet, so none should be without in my opinion. Brothers and sister. One for all.
      Tom S