5 Biggest Tech Breakthroughs of the Last Decade

Books, movies, and TV shows have envisioned the future for a very long time. It seems that these dreams can soon become a reality. Of course, nobody owns a hoverboard yet, and flying cars are still a concept. But, if those things don’t exist yet, it doesn’t mean that nothing interesting happens in the world of tech.

The past decade was full of new technology trends. Some may say that the rise of smartphones and tablets is its only interesting aspect. But these gadgets are hardly the only memorable things from that period. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest breakthroughs of the past decade.

Biggest Tech Breakthroughs of the Last Decade

1. Cryptocurrency

The past decade saw the blooming of the cryptocurrency market. This happened due to the creation of the original peer-to-peer currency. A person only known as Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin in 2009. Over the years, it gave birth to other cryptocurrencies, including

  • Ethereum;
  • Litecoin;
  • Cardano;
  • Polkadot, etc.

Bitcoin has become a global currency worth over 100 billion dollars. It’s not used only by individuals. Governments also experiment with it. One of the biggest examples is Venezuela. The country tries to combat its inflation crisis with cryptocurrency. It even launched its own P2P currency called Petro.

China also launched its own crypto called DC/EP back in 2019. Of course, companies want their market share as well. Facebook gave crypto a try with its Libra project. Companies such as Expedia, Nordstrom, Starbucks, and Whole Foods already work with P2P currency.

Sadly, there is no way one can use crypto to buy an paper or pay for some online help service. Of course, it won’t replace regular currency any time soon. Yet, it now has a stronger presence and gains the wider public’s attention.

2. Foldable Screens

Foldable phones like Motorola Razr used to be all the craze back in the 2000s. Some engineers took this concept a step further and came up with the Nokia Morph concept in 2008. At the time, the product looked like something out of a sci-fi movie.

The dream finally came true with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Fold and a new Motorola Razr. As with all new technology, it’s not affordable for the average buyer. The screens themselves have a few glitches of their own. But they illustrate that companies want to invest in this technology.

Foldable screens aren’t only used in smartphones. Some companies integrate this tech into laptops. For example, in 2020, Lenovo released the small and lightweight ThinkPad X1. Microsoft also took an interest in the technology. The firm made a pair of foldable devices called Surface Duo and Neo. While the tech is far from perfect, it has great potential.

​3. Self-Driving Cars

Autonomous vehicles were one of the things people wanted to see in the future. Apple and Google ran the first practical tests of the technology in the first half of the past decade. Once its potential became clear, most car manufacturers followed their example.

Even companies like Lyft and Uber wanted a piece of the self-driving pie. Their clients can ask for a ride in self-driving vehicles in the cities of Pittsburgh and Phoenix. We also can’t but mention the huge progress made by Tesla on this front. The company currently has about 800.000 cars fit with autopilot tech.

The technology uses a combination of a few things:

  • sophisticated AI;
  • sensors and actuators;
  • machine learning systems.

They work together to make the roads safer. Experts believe that implementing self-driving cars will result in a 90% decrease in car accident fatalities. Of course, that’s a very optimistic estimate. There are still some navigation problems present in such cars.

Despite the technology looking promising, it has its opponents, particularly the millions of taxi and truck drivers who are at risk of becoming unemployed. There is also the issue of car safety and the risk of hacking car controls and systems. This makes drivers wary about giving up control over the vehicles.

4. Self-Landing Spaceship

Until the past decade, there was no way of using rockets a second time for space exploration. Everything changed when SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket made the impossible. In December 2015, it returned to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.

This means that governments and companies can now save billions on space exploration. Perhaps, these cuts will make space travel affordable for average tourists in a couple of decades. It took the company a decade to get the system working right.

Since that time, SpaceX has been working on making Falcon 9 more reliable. NASA recently gave a category 3 certification to the rocket. It’s now used in more complex and expensive missions. In 2019, the bigger version called Falcon Heavy was used to launch a Tesla car into space to do a lap around the sun.

5. Virtual Reality Headsets

The past decade saw the release of several virtual reality gadgets. They changed how people interact with the world. In 2016, a subdivision of Facebook called Oculus released its virtual reality headset.

The Oculus Rift was so successful that the company launched several VR products. Most of them are primarily used for video games and entertainment. Other companies joined the competition in augmented and virtual reality fields. Even with its $399 price tag, Oculus Rift made VR a little more common in American homes.

Later, the company released Oculus Go, while Microsoft made the HoloLens AR headset. The latter has more practical applications: surgeons use it to understand the anatomy of their patients, and policepeople use HoloLens to recreate crime scenes. The technology is still too expensive, but it’s improving.


The past decade was a great time for innovation. It introduced a new type of currency, advanced self-driving cars, reusable spaceships, and foldable screens. There is no telling how far these technologies will go and what waits around the corner. Whatever the next big thing is, it will surely change lives. People will see new breakthroughs and will have to adjust to the new reality.

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5 Biggest Tech Breakthroughs of the Last Decade – FAQs

What have been the most significant technological developments of recent years?

Since the beginning of the new millennium, the world has witnessed the emergence of social media, smartphones, self-driving cars, and autonomous flying vehicles. There have also been huge leaps in energy storage, artificial intelligence, and medical science.

What is the future technology?

Hypothetical technology, technology that does not exist yet, but could exist in the feature.

What’s new in computer technology?

Study new computers science technologies like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning. Other emerging areas of technology include virtual and augmented reality, UI/UX design, and quantum computing.

What technology will exist in 2050?

In the year 2050, technology will dominate the workplace with artificial intelligence and smart assistants being commonplace, while the use of augmented and virtual reality continues to increase. Everything will be smart connected and data-driven.

What is the next big thing after the internet?

Virtual Reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are not new concepts but will revolutionize the world within 5 years. AR enhances reality while VR helps us forget it. Together, they open a world beyond reality, the internet or the internet of things; a new industry, the internet of experiences, is emerging.

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