September 8, 2011 - Just ten years ago, I was a high school sophomore preparing to take my state-required graduation exam. I didn't yet own a car, my cell phone had the classic yellow screen with black text, hardly anyone knew what an 'Xbox' was, and a mysterious thing called broadband Internet was just beginning to take off. A quick look at history reveals that 2001 brought us the Human Genome Project, quantum computing, and the first implanted artificial heart; all things that we take for granted now.
The world back in 2001 was one very different from that of today; a fact made so tragically obvious in the September 11 terrorist attacks. The speed at which information traveled back then was relatively quick, but much of the world still relied on phone calls, paper documents, and television reports. When the dramatic events started unfolding, New York City and other areas saw an almost complete communications breakdown. Many people lost their lives simply because information couldn't travel quickly and efficiently.
The good news is that technology has progressed to the point where ease of communication is one of those things we take for granted. If only the technology that exists today had been around back then, it's possible that the entire event could have been prevented. If nothing else, the loss of life could have been lessened greatly.
Read on to see the most important technological advancements of the past decade and how they could have affected the tragedy of September 11.