Technology is the application of scientific principles to improve or develop goods or services and in the achievement of specific goals, for example scientific research. Technological change is sometimes rapid and sometimes slow, with little or no impact on the total economy. Many things are considered to be technology, including communication systems, industrial designs, appliances, transportation systems, information systems, and many more. In the broad sense, technology can also be used to refer to those things which have increased the functionality of systems already in existence.
Technological change is a constantly changing field. It is difficult to pinpoint an actual science of technology because it has been so thoroughly integrated into many fields of study over the years. Some fields of study, like engineering, have had specific technological developments that are considered to be technology. Other areas, like medical technology, have come under the larger umbrella term of technology. Other areas, like cognitive science and cognitive systems, also may be considered technology, though they actually use different things as the basis for their specializations.
Information technology refers to the scientific principles and practices used to collect, organize, manipulate, store, communicate, and share data and information. Examples of categories under this umbrella include computer science, telecommunications management, internet services, software engineering, and multimedia technologies. Information technology has actually been around since the ancient and modern world, but it was brought to the forefront of modern society through the development of computers. Since the dawn of the computer age, there have been several important advances in how information is handled. The most popular of these is what is known as software engineering, which applies a set of methods and techniques to software development.
There are several other categories of technologies, including medical technologies, energy industries, electronics industries, and information technologies. All of these industries create new technologies every year. Manufacturers, engineers, software developers, and other individuals involved in this exciting field develop new technologies every day. Some of these technologies are so advanced that they are already being put into use by ordinary consumers. Examples of some of these technologies include GPS systems for cars and other vehicles, digital cameras, personal digital assistants (PDAs), satellites, cellular phones, and wireless internet.
The manufacturing industry relies heavily on new technologies. New products must be developed and produced with these new systems in mind. In fact, the manufacturing of almost everything has changed to some degree, with some processes now being automated. One area that has not changed is the automobile industry.
While many of the technologies that have been developed over the years are still in use today, new ones are constantly being developed. Some of these technologies do not make use of computers at all, yet they are very useful. Others are actually part of large, complicated, and expensive computer systems. Still others can be simply described as technologies used to collect and transmit information.