The story of technology in the 2010s is the story of gadgets going from the corners of our lives to everywhere all the time. The tools to create and consume culture are omnipresent now, offering us incredible new capabilities but also demanding that we care for them more than any consumer products in history. We mind their temperamental batteries, we twist in space to improve their wireless signals, we ask them to listen to us — but not too much. Gadgets in the 2010s were shaped first by the furious race to win the smartphone wars and then a furious race to create new kinds of hardware once it was clear that Apple, Google, and Samsung would dominate phones. And that hardware was tied to software and services like never before — every light bulb the endpoint of a cloud service, every speaker imbued with the voice of the data center’s soul. USB-C was inflicted upon an unsuspecting public; our headphone jacks were taken away. My favorite thing about gadgets is that they are intensely revealing: each one is a semipermanent encapsulation of a company’s trade-offs and priorities, and once they’re shipped, there’s no more PR spin or influencer marketing… Read full this story
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