Top 11 Technologies of the Decade

The most powerful technologies take a while to mature. But when they do, they can rapidly retire mainstays that are decades old


Life was different a decade ago. Your phone couldn't contain your entire music collection, for example, or guide you to a restaurant in a foreign city. Bomber-reconnaissance planes invariably had pilots on board. And how's this for quaint: Your corner drugstore still stocked photographic film! The technology waves that washed away those realities spread from tremors that occurred years before: The first smartphone was unveiled by IBM in 1993, the first digital photo was taken in 1975, and the first drone aircraft flew during World War II. Clearly, the seeds of the next crop of technology staples have already been planted. Perhaps the first tender shoots can already be discerned among the pages of this issue.

For all of IEEE Spectrum's Top 11 Technologies of the Decade, visit the special report.

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