Digital Technology – Definition, History and Examples


Digital Technology is defined as ” The branch of scientific knowledge that deals with the development and practical use of digital devices, systems, and methods.”

According to Merrian-Webster ” Technology is the application of knowledge to the practical aims of human life or to changing and manipulating the human environment. Technology includes the use of materials, tools, techniques, and sources of power to make life easier or pleasant and work more productive. Whereas science is considered with how and why things happen, technology focuses on making things happen.”

Digital technology is an electronic technology that generates, stores and processes data in terms of two states: true and false or 0s and 1s. Each of these states is referred to as a bit. Digital information is represented in binary code(a combination of 0 and 1), which represents words and images.

A large amount of information can be compressed on small storage devices with digital technology. Digitization also increases the rate of data transmission. The way of communication, learning methods and working style changes with the invention of digital technology.

History Of Digital Technology

“The word digital comes from the Latin – digitus, finger – and refers to one of the oldest tools for counting.” The development of digital technology began in the mid-twentieth century by American scientists and engineers. They use the mathematical concept developed by German mathematicians, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who introduced a binary computing system.

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The first digital devices invented were Charle’s Babbage analytical engine and the telegraph. The foundation of digital devices was set by Claude Shannon, a Bell Labs mathematician in his 1948 article, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.”

The digital revolution began between the late 1950 and 1970 changed the way humans communicate, now via computers, cell phones, and the internet. During the 1980s the analog devices such as vinyl records and cassette tapes were replaced by optical compact discs.

The digital communication network started using enhanced fiber optics in the early 1980s. In 1998, commercial digital television broadcasts premiered in the US.

By the early 2000s, digital technology changes the way of photography by recording color and light intensities with pixels. Also, digital compression of images and videos was achieved by the Joint Photographic Expert Group(JPEG) and the Moving Picture Expert Group(MPEG) codes.

12 Examples of Digital Technology

Digital technology has completely transformed almost every aspect of life latterly, including workplace, travel, entertainment, banking sector, shopping, communication and many more.

Although many services and products have been developed associated with the internet, we have many more on the pipeline such as teleportation, interstellar travel, etc. Here the list of examples of digital technology with a short description.

1. Websites

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 A collection of related network web resources, such as webpages, multimedia is websites. Websites are one of the common ways that people access the internet. They are becoming more interactive than before for example in websites not only you see what is on at your local shopping store but you can buy your products too. Some of the popular websites include,,, and many more.

2. Smartphones

Smartphones allow you to do many things other than making voice calls and send messages. With smartphones, one can browse the internet and run computer programs and software like a computer. According to a study by Analysis Mason, in 2014, there will be 1700 million smartphones in the world. Some of the features of smartphones are as follows:

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Photo by Mikhail Nilov on
  • Phone calls and text messages can be sent and received.
  • Read, stores and shows the text, pictures, and videos.
  • Surf the internet and send and receive e-mail.
  • GPS for navigation.
  • Embedded functions such as alarm clock, stopwatch, timer, etc.
  • Embedded memory.
  • Hardware or software-based QWERTY keyboard.
  • Wireless synchronization.

3. Geolocation

Geolocation is the identification or estimation of the real-world geographic location of a device such as smartphones, GPS devices, radar sources, or interconnected computers. This becomes possible with the combination of satellite and digital technology, such as mapping technology. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have also stepped into the world of geolocation. Friends are capable of finding our location and companies to promote business with GPS technology.

4. Blogs

Blogs are similar to websites that are seen across the web written by an individual or small group of people. They are interactive and updated on a regular basis, unlike websites.

5. Social Media and Instant Messaging

Social media can be defined as a tool that allows us to keep in touch with friends and family. It also allows users to explore carrier opportunities and to approach the customer, retain and sell products and services. Instant messaging apps such as messenger, Viber, WhatApps allows user to send and receive messages in real-time all because of internet.

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Facebook has 1000 million users which allows users a new way of the relationship between individuals, and between them and companies. Other examples of social media sites are Twitter, Instagram, etc. The ability to share photos, opinions, events, etc in real-time has transformed the way we live and also the way we do business.

6. Computers

A computer is an electronic programmable device that stores, retrieve and process data. In order to operate laptops, desktop, tablets and other forms of computers properly they rely on knowledge of digital technology.

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Previously computers were large in size and expensive to buy. They were mainly used by large industries and scientific work for performing complex and tedious calculations and to record a large amount of information.

Computers are considered digital systems because they accept information (in the form of digitized data) and manipulates it using programs or sequences of instructions on how the data is to be processed.

7. Printers

Printers are one of the most important products of digital technology. A printer is an output device that is used to generate a hard copy of information stored on a computer. Most commonly they are used to print text and messages. Also, there is a demand for 3D printers which creates more opportunities and challenges. Below are the list of different types of printer:

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  • 3D printer
  • AIO(All in one) printer
  • Dot-matrix printer
  • Inkjet printer
  • Laser printer
  • Led printer
  • MFP(Multifunction printer)
  • Plotter
  • Thermal printer

8. TeleMedicine

Telemedicine is defined as,” the remote delivery of healthcare service.” They are also used to deliver follow up patients or to share information in real-time with other professionals. On the other hand, patients use it to collaborate with the doctors. The most common types of telemedicine are:

  • Interactive medicine
  • Store and forward
  • Remote patient monitoring

9. E-commerce

E-commerce also known as electronic commerce is defined as an online platform for buying and selling goods, products, or services using internet. Amazon, Flipkart, Shopify, Myntra, eBay, Quikr, Olx are some popular online stores.

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Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich on

E-commerce is gaining popularity overnight and is expected to reach 4 trillion population in 2020. The US will have 300 million online shoppers by 2023 which is 91% of the total countries population.

10. Robotics

Robotics has played an important role in the modern world as tasks are becoming more dangerous to humans such as detection and diffusing bombs, mining industry, nuclear industry. etc.

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Engineers and scientists are investing more time on nanorobots that can be injected on the human body to cure and diagnosis various types of diseases. Robots are sophisticated, intelligent systems used to assist the pilot and astronauts. 

11. Means of payment

As the digital system is gaining its popularity day by day. The traditional way of payment using debit and card is evolving towards payment with digital devices such as mobile phones using technology such as NFC(Near Field Communication).

The payment methods also use cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Apps such as PayPal allows you to make a financial transaction, check your credit store, or paying your credit card bill.

12. Transportation

Transportation is evolving towards digital for some time. Nowadays modern vehicles use a computer to monitor and adjust the engine and control safety systems.

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As digital technology advances self-driving cars become normal for daily use. For 20 years, railroads have been tracking railcars using automatic equipment identification(AEI).

13. DVD And Blu-Ray

Blu-ray is a digital disc storage format, similar to CD and DVD, that allows you to store and play large amounts of data in high-definition. It was primarily designed to store high-definition videos, which were previously impossible to store using DVD technology.

“Digital Versatile Disk” or “Digital Video Disc” is the abbreviation for DVD.  DVD is a technique that converts video and other digital data into a digitally compressed representation. Here digital optical disc storage format are used to store any type of digital data, but it’s notably popular for storing texts, photos, music, and videos.

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