Since the Sony Walkman crashed onto the shelves worldwide in 1980, consumer technology has slowly been taking over our lives.
From washing machines to digital watches and from electronic word processors to modern tablet computers, the march of technology has been unstoppable.
It now sits at the heart of everything we do, as we manage our schedules with Google Calendar, keep in touch via Facebook and mobile phones and entertain ourselves with games consoles and Netflix.
But it could all change in an instant. The (atrocious) NBC drama series Revolution explores what the world would be like if all technology were to suddenly stop working. An appalling prospect, but could it actually happen? Here are six scenarios for the death of tech.
1. Financial collapse
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Bubbles always burst in the end, and a catastrophic failure of the global markets would certainly stagnate the development of technology if nothing else. In the 21st century a collapse of this nature is certainly not hard to imagine. Indeed, technology itself has often been blamed for financial crisis in the first place. The late Charles P Kindleberger was just one of the historians to lay the blame for many a crash at the door of technological innovations.
The theory goes that new technologies such as the internet cause financial instability as new investment opportunities arise and cause widespread failures in economic reasoning. Kindleberger blamed the dot com bubble crash on the irrational exuberance caused by new internet technology.
The truth is that technology changes the world in ways that are rarely predicted. It brings us back to the well-trodden theory that humans will eventually destroy themselves. But if there's one looming disaster that could cause the mother of all financial disasters and the end of the connected, technological world as we know it, it's be the (hypothetical) horror story of peak oil...
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2. Peak oil
Peak oil refers to the exact point in human history where oil production reaches its absolute peak and then begins to decline until it runs dry completely. The theory goes that when this peak is reached, demand for oil will continue to rise as supply diminishes, causing huge and unstoppable price escalations (sound familiar?), eventually reaching the point where no one can afford oil anymore, bringing the whole industrialised world to a grinding halt.
So why is this relevant to technology? Well because everything we know and rely on in the 21st Century is entirely dependent on an ever increasing supply of oil out of the ground. This is how we're able to continue printing money every day without inflation taking over, making tangible oil supplies absolutely critical to sustainable economies. But more than that, oil is used in practically every single aspect of human life, including the, conception, design, manufacture and shipping of our gadgets.
Oil is used to heat metals in the manufacture process, it's used to build cars and planes and ships and to fuel the transportation of products around the world. It's the most important raw material on our planet and when it's gone, there will be nothing to replace it. In short, without oil, there would be no way for Foxconn to manufacture Apple's iPhones, and certainly no way to then ship them around the world. The fact is that oil is a finite resource and one day it will run out. On top of that, we don't even have any idea how much oil is left, and when it runs out we could see the biggest population crash in human history.