As long as humans have been making tools, technology will continue to develop. Even something as simple as a stick that is used to fish ants out of an anthill can be considered as a form of technology. Seen in this light, the history of technology stretches back millions of years or possibly even longer.
For thousands of years, however, human technology developed very slowly. Some of the earliest forms of technology were weapons that were used to hunt game, such as spear points and arrowheads. The design of these often stayed the same for long periods of time, though there was a gradual and steady improvement throughout the centuries.
It was not until humans began developing agricultural settlements that technology started to improve more rapidly. The need to come up with effective means of growing crops and domesticating livestock must have given more of an impetus to this process. In addition, larger settlements meant that people came into more contact with other people who had new ideas.
However, technology still developed fairly slowly for long periods of time. It did not really begin to speed up until the 17th and 18th centuries when the Industrial Revolution began. During this period, the pace of change grows faster and faster as new forms of technology were developed, introduced and diffused throughout the society.
In the 20th century, one of the most influential forms of technology was the personal automobile. This provided people with a great deal of more freedom and mobility than they had ever possessed before. In combination with the creation of safe and reliable highways, this meant that people could now travel long distances in a very short period of time.
When most people think about the defining technological development of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, they naturally think of computers and the Internet. The digital computer has had a huge impact on our society, shaping and reshaping virtually every aspect of our lives. In fact, it is difficult to conduct any sort of business in the modern world without somehow interacting with a computer.
Who knows what the future will bring? New technologies are being developed every day. And while many of these will fail, there will be a few that succeed. Predicting exactly how these developments will change the world can be virtually impossible. We will just have to wait and see what happens next.