Maybe the strangest thing about technology is that is solves some very human problems, like being too hot or cold, not knowing how to get from point A to point B, being sick, making payments for everyday items, and much more. The infrastructure of our modern world took plenty of years to create, so it’s no wonder that it does so much for us. What are some of the most basic needs we have, and how has tech come to our rescue? Here are the most central factors of human life that call for scientific, high-tech solutions?
Online Ordering of Goods and Services
The beauty of purchasing things online is that you can do everything from the privacy of our home or smartphone screen. You have the ability to peruse as many items as you like without being hounded by salespeople, can compare prices, read reviews, and hunt for coupons before checking out. The uniquely human task of shopping for necessary supplies, food, and medicine has been totally transformed by the web-based experience.
For example, all it takes to order something like a marijuana subscription box, one of the year’s hottest gift items, is to visit a site like Nugg Club, make a selection from multiple varieties, and place an order. Another advantage of ordering from a PC is the ability to purchase one of a kind, and hard to find items that are not available in retail stores. Marijuana subscription boxes are a case in point. You can’t walk into a brick and mortar store and get one. Instead, you need to find a website that offers them and get it there.
Being uncomfortably hot or cold is something that has plagued mankind for thousands, perhaps millions of years. In the 2020s, all it takes is a $15 programmable thermostat to solve this age-old dilemma. The beauty of these little devices is that they appear so simple, but they do dozens of complex tasks that go a long way toward making a home comfortable. Their makers tout them as energy-saving units, and they certainly live up to that claim.
But even more than cutting household utility bills, smart thermostats are wondrous gadgets that can help our HVAC systems create exactly as much heat or coolness as we need at a given moment. Their small but agile memories are capable enough to hold data that tells the AC or heating unit to come on and go off with scientific precision. When it comes to low-priced, powerful gadgetry that makes any house comfortable and livable, you can’t go wrong with a smart thermostat.
GPS Devices and Traffic Apps
Whether you use a stand-alone GPS device or download one of the smart apps to your phone that does virtually the same job, there’s never been a better way to navigate busy urban areas, interstate highways, or rural roads that are infamous for lacking proper signage. Traffic apps are one of the “older” travel programs for city-dwellers who need help figuring out the ebb and flow of rush-hour on a given work day. For travelers and tourists, GPS and traffic tech are true lifesavers. Before the advent of this type of techno-guidance, anyone who was unfamiliar with a city’s terrain had to wrangle with books of paper maps and frustrating fold-out roadmaps that were endlessly confusing and always seemed to be outdated.
Virtual Medical Checkups
Getting help when faced with illness is a problem that’s been with humans as long as there have been humans. Many primary care physicians now offer video-conference check-ups, during which they can go through a list of questions and assess your general level of health. If the doctor feels the need for more information. you might be instructed to visit a clinic for a blood test or to have your vital signs read. Other than that, the medical community is veering into the universe of what was once called tele-health.
Contactless Payment Methods
The COVID pandemic pushed the development of contactless payments, but the machines and the tech have been around for at least a decade. If you shop at a store where you can pay by just waving a card over a reader, then you’ve already done a contactless transaction. When COVID began to spread, retailers who were still operating wanted to minimize human to human contact, so they ramped up their orders for contactless card-reading machines. Not only do the devices make transactions easier for customers, they also protect store personnel from having to accept currency and handle cards that are handed to them. That means less of a chance for viral transmission.
A decade ago, if you wanted to know what was wrong with your vehicle, you had to visit a mechanic and pay for a round of diagnostic testing. Now, with the help of a free app for your phone and a $6 Bluetooth-enabled device that plugs into your car under-dash, you can find out not only what’s wrong with your vehicle, but approximately how much it will cost to have it fixed, where to go for service, and how long the repairs will take. Yes, you still need to visit the shop, but you’ll go there armed with all the information you need to order specific repairs. Plus, you’ll already know the ballpark amounts for what the final bill will be.
Few normal people enjoy tallying up what they owe to the taxing authorities. Every April since 1913, U.S. citizens have been subject to income tax and had to send a written return to the IRS. For more than 20 years, makers of tax software have been perfecting their products. Finally, in the last few years, consumers have had access to inexpensive, easy to use tax applications that get the job done quickly and accurately. And, if you want the peace of mind that goes with professional preparation, you can save a few bucks by using the app first, and then asking a CPA or tax specialist double-check your work. Filing electronically has become commonplace, but taxpayers still need to prepare returns and make sure everything gets transmitted correctly.