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What Is Technology?

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Technology encompasses a broad spectrum of techniques, methods and skills that improve human environments. It has shaped society and culture and is one of the driving forces of our world. However, it is important to understand that technology is not necessarily progressing in a linear fashion, and that the human element is ultimately what drives technological development.

Technological development is the process of applying scientific knowledge and techniques to the practical aims of humans. It is important to note that this has not always happened, and that some societies have even regressed, losing the accumulated techniques that were passed onto them. The fact that many technologies are not always advancing at a rapid rate, and that there are often periods of stagnation even in highly developed societies, illustrates the need to avoid an overfacious identification of technology with the force of progress.

It is also necessary to avoid the trap of limiting the meaning of technology to gadgets and consumer products. Certainly, many of the technologies we use today are in fact gadgets. However, these gadgets are only a small part of the vast and varied technology landscape. The term “technology” also applies to a broad range of industrial and agricultural techniques, construction methods, energy production, communication systems, medicine and so on.

For example, mechanical technology includes gears, cogwheels and other devices that cause changes in power and speed. Electrical technology includes all tools and systems that send messages to and from people. The earliest examples were cave paintings and petroglyphs, but modern communication technology is based on radio waves and optical fibres. Computers and mobile phones are also examples of electronic technology. Other examples of technological processes include manufacturing, mining and transportation.

Ultimately, the technology that a particular organisation uses will be determined by the specific needs of that organisation. The most effective way of communicating the benefits of a new technology is to find out how it can be used to meet specific business objectives, and to show that it has real world application. It is important to involve opinion leaders in the process of promoting a new technology, as their endorsement can have a significant impact on the level of uptake by other staff.

There are many different types of technology, and the ones that are most widely discussed tend to focus on consumer products like mobile phones, computers, TVs and HiFi’s, as well as cars and drones. Some of the most interesting and promising technologies, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI), are not yet mainstream, but they offer the potential to revolutionise a wide range of industries. The latest tech gadgets and trends are showcased at events such as CES, where leading companies unveil their latest innovations to the public. But keeping track of the constantly changing technology landscape is a full-time job. This is where TechRadar comes in, to help you cut through the noise and discover the best tech for your lifestyle.

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