Technological artifacts are devices deliberately conceived and created by humans to meet needs or facilitate certain tasks, utilizing the virtues of technology and science for their construction and operation. For example, the wheel, blender, and GPS are all technological artifacts.
Technological artifacts are usually movable material objects committed to fulfilling a specific function, which generally seek to expand the material limits of the human body.
Examples of technological artifacts
- The wheel. Although it may not seem like it, the wheel is one of the very first technological artifacts in the history of mankind. His invention is lost in the memory of the times, but it is vital for the emergence of later technologies and for the development of the first human machines, precursors of current technology.
- The book. Another unsuspected technological invention, given how accustomed we are to it and how old its initial designs are, the book is the textual support par excellence, and it is impossible to produce it without specialized technical machinery, a printing press.
- Blender. Initially baptized as Wonderful Electric Disintegrator-Blender by its North American inventors, it is one of the most common household appliances in contemporary cuisine, creating more or less uniform mixtures of various foods and substances.
- TV. One of the great artifacts of the 20th century, whose impact on human life revolutionized the way we understand communication and information. It is an artifact for the reception and reproduction of audiovisual signals, the final part of a whole system for capturing images whose origins date back to cinema and photography.
- Microwave oven. Another popular household appliance in our times operates on food from the generation of electromagnetic waves of about 2.45GHz frequency, enough to heat and even cook.
- Hairdryer. Although the first dryers were stationary and bulky, the portable dryer that we all have today dates back to the first decades of the 20th century. Its operation has improved since then, but it is still one of the appliances with the highest electrical consumption in any contemporary home.
- Heater. Although one of the first uses of electricity was the generation of light, with it came the generation of heat. The various possibilities of electric stoves or water heaters that operate based on the principle of electric resistances are proof of this.
- Electric guitar. Invented in 1931, it is the first musical instrument to use the principle of magnetic induction to emit sounds, in this case, from the vibration of a set of metal strings.
- Photographic camera. The origin of the photographic camera dates back to the end of the 19th century when the undertaking of technically capturing an image became an achievable dream. The contemporary camera is the result of the technological evolution of modern optics, chemistry, and computerization.
- Remote control. Remote controls are technological gadgets in common use in various industries today, such as automotive, television, and other household appliances, and even the toy industry. It is made possible by the electronic manipulation of infrared and radio signals.
- Video camera. The logical step after the camera and the invention of television and cinema. Capturing moving images, converting them into electronic signals, and storing them on a portable device is so common today that we don’t even notice the wonder that such a possibility entails, unthinkable a century ago.
- Computers. The great technological revolution of the late 20th century would have been impossible without modern computers and formidable gadgets compared to the calculators and punch card systems that once were. As a fast and multifaceted tool and data management system, it forever revolutionized work and human social relationships, spawning a whole range of “smart” gadgets.
- Mobile phone. This electronic wireless device, capable of connecting to a telephone network and data transmission, today allows multiple additional functions and has become an indispensable implement in contemporary life. It is estimated that there are today the same number of active cell phones as there are people in the world.
- Secondary storage memory. Floppy disks, cassettes, Compact discs (CDs) or DVDs, and now removable memory (pendrive), portable secondary storage media are indispensable artifacts in today’s hyper-computed world, as they allow you to physically carry all kinds of digital information with you.
- GPS. The Global Positioning System constitutes a safe and fast way of satellite location anywhere on Earth, with a variable precision range. Its military origins (the US Department of Defense) did not prevent its commercialization and application to other types of technological devices, such as automobiles or smartphones.
- Smart-watch (Smartwatch). The evolution of the electronic wristwatch, in turn, is a contemporary version of the classic wristwatch. These clocks go beyond mere electronic time recording functionality (which is saying enough), incorporating many “smart” computing options.
- E-book reader. A modern version of the book, with the capacity to hold a large number of documents, books, and even photographic images, all pointing to a traditional reading model but incorporated into the use of digital storage.
- Music players. Marching to the beat of computerization and secondary media, portable music players have been a common and popular accessory ever since they were made tiny and convenient, ready to slip into a pocket.
- Firearms. Unfortunately, the need to do harm has also nested in technology. New forms of automatic and even computerized weapons are constantly emerging, used in wars and other forms of violence.
- Portable lanterns and lamps. Light, that great human need, has been domesticated thanks to science and technology. We have tiny devices capable of illuminating an entire room or of focusing their light on a specific beam as a marker.