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High-Speed Internet Seen As Top Tech Advance of 2010s

Tamara E. Holmes
·2 min read
High-Speed Internet Seen As Top Tech Advance of 2010s
High-Speed Internet Seen As Top Tech Advance of 2010s

While the last decade has seen technology touch practically every area of our lives, consumers were most impacted by advances that made the internet more accessible and changed the way we shop and entertain ourselves, a new survey shows.

Technology company Metova set out to determine which technological advances impressed consumers the most. To do so, it surveyed more than 1,000 consumers, asking them which innovations changed their lives the most during the 2010s. Notably, respondents were asked to exclude smartphones from their choices.

Internet advancements were top of mind for many respondents. In fact, the top three tech advances that changed consumers’ lives most were:

  • High-speed home internet access (26%)

  • Online shopping capabilities (25%)

  • Streaming entertainment services (23%)

With high-speed internet access making such an impact on consumers’ lives, respondents were asked to drill down deeper and describe specifically just how it’s become a game-changer.

  • 58% said high-speed internet access changed their lives by allowing them to enjoy streaming entertainment. Netflix was the top streaming entertainment service for 45% of respondents, followed by YouTube (21%) and Amazon Prime Video (10%).

  • 13% said high-speed internet access gave them more gaming capabilities.

  • 11% said it paved the way for video calls.

Online shoppers also showed a preference for certain sites. Amazon Prime was the overwhelming favorite: it was voted the top online shopping service by 93% of respondents, followed by eBay (5%) and Walmart (1%).

Technologies of the future

The survey also asked about technologies that did not live up to expectations, as well as those that have potential moving forward.

The technology behind self-driving cars was the top advancement respondents expected to see take-off in the 2010s that did not happen. But while 29% had expected self-driving cars to make a bigger splash in the last decade, many consumers haven’t given up on them. In fact, 31% ranked self-driving cars as the top technology advance they were looking forward to in the 2020s.

Though consumers were not allowed to include smartphones in their list of top tech advances, nearly half of respondents said their phone has become more useful than their computers over the past five years. On the flip side, more than a quarter of respondents said their computers are still more useful.

Meanwhile, roughly half of respondents (48%) said their televisions were the most connected devices in their homes.

Technology is always evolving, and there are new advances that have the potential to change life as we know it. Some technologies come about because of consumer demand — such as consumers seeking a “futuristic” shopping experience. On the other hand, some advances, such as self-driving cars, have great promise, but consumers have been slow to adopt them for safety reasons and other concerns.

Only time will tell which technologies ultimately make the grade with consumers.