Technology is the creative application of knowledge to organised tasks involving people and machines that meet sustainable goals. It also refers to the tools that help achieve those tasks – from tangible objects like utensils and machines to intangible software like computers and the Internet.
Almost every device we use is now powered by some form of technology. The most commonly known is probably the computer – which combines hardware (computer hardware) and software (the programs that run on the computer).
Information technology – often abbreviated to IT – is a broad term that encompasses all aspects of information management, including telecommunications, storage, processing and transmission. It’s a vast field that includes things such as operating system proficiency, network security and coding/programming.
Healthcare professionals rely on a variety of technologies to monitor their patients, such as heart rate trackers and sleep monitoring devices. A GPS, or Global Positioning System, is another commonly used piece of technology that allows us to get real-time directions from satellites orbiting the earth or to record precise time measurements.
Businesses use technology to create new products, streamline existing processes and stay competitive in their markets. They also rely on technology to deliver their products and services to customers in a timely fashion and within budget.
The potential for side effects of technology can be a major consideration. Engineers need to estimate the probability of undesirable consequences, and compare them against the benefits of the proposed design. This involves considering costs (both financial and social), environmental, ethical and ecological issues.