5 Incredible Ways Technology Is Making Life Easier

5 Incredible Ways Technology Is Making Life Easier

Technology is intended to make our lives easier. While we can sometimes feel like throwing our computers out the window, or going on vacation just to get away from all the buzzing, beeping, and being too connected, ultimately technology gives us a wealth of opportunities to have more comfortable lives - even with lower carbon footprints.

Check out 5 incredible ways technology is helping us breathe easier and live smarter.


Using telecommunications to improve medicine has become invaluable to doctors and patients in rural and underprivileged areas. Doctors from any location can communicate with the most highly skilled of their colleagues at major hospitals to get consultations on patients, improving the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses without requiring the patients to travel. Telemedicine has been a huge boon for people from post-quake Haiti to Argentina.

iPad and Tablet Devices

It is still up for debate how much of a game-changer tablet devices will become, however it's clear that there are countless uses for it in making our lives easier to dematerialize. Tablet devices can act as books, magazines, gaming devices, netbooks for surfing the internet and checking email, and so much more. It can potentially be an all-in-one device for consumers - from getting news to monitoring your home's energy use - as well as find a myriad of uses in places from school classrooms to medical facilities to business boardrooms. While they also have the potential to be a massive e-waste problem, if used well and kept running for years, they could help us reduce energy consumption, since they have a longer battery life than laptops and even some mobile phones; and help us reduce our consumption, since they replace many gadgets and other objects we might otherwise purchase.

Augemented Reality

Layering data over our field of vision seems to be the next wave of technology that helps us navigate our world, both literally - some apps are already built that help us find our way to, and through, subway systems or cycle in the right direction without holding a map - and figuratively, with apps that could help us find the green businesses nearby. Supplementing our vision with a whole lot of information - even to the point of wearing contacts with augmented reality display capabilities - can lead to an infinite number of potential uses, though it could equally lead to information overload. It'll be interesting to watch how augmented reality finds its niches.

Smart Cities

The innovations around transitioning our urban infrastructure into intelligent, interconnected grids is vastly important for reducing our consumption of resources. New technologies for the smart grid, for smart water management, for smart cars and urban transportation are all guiding us towards making more happen with less. We are developing everything from dashboards for monitoring our energy and water use both in homes and business structures, to algorithms for more intelligent data centers, and fully embracing the idea of if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. We're finally getting technology to effectively manage our resources.

Product Service Systems

Okay, so this is actually an ancient notion. But today's technology is making it easier than ever to turn a product into a service. This means our hardware stores are transformed into tool libraries, our car dealerships into car-share programs, even the stuff in our closet into a neighborhood rental system. Most of this is thanks to the Internet and social networking sites connecting people to each other and the stuff we can share. Why buy when you can borrow? Technology - including smart phone apps - are making it easier than ever to save money and the planet by swapping instead of shopping.

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