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High Tech and Daily Life - Everyday Activities And The Internet, The Home Electronics Revolution, Robots, High Tech Automobiles

american americans control sensors

Since the early 1980s, high tech has been creeping into every aspect of life, becoming as invisible in many Americans' everyday lives as running water or refrigeration. Many Americans think nothing of going online to check the weather, buy tickets, plan holidays, look for religious inspiration, or find information on hobbies from coin collecting to rock climbing. The Internet also contains an endless list of resources that most people would never have room for on the bookshelf but take for granted nonetheless, including maps, dictionaries, phone books, and even manuals on most products. The Internet has become a great way to communicate with others, and millions have used it to make a date, schedule appointments, or find old friends. In August 2004 Deborah Fallows reported in The Internet and Daily Life (Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project) that 88% of online Americans surveyed said that the Internet had become part of their daily routines.

The Internet is not the only new technology to have become ubiquitous in everyday American life. Microchips, sensors, and display screens can be found on or in just about every appliance in the home. They allow people to do everything from control the home thermostat from a remote computer to heat water with microwave radiation. Complex sensors and systems also control most American automobiles, monitoring engine performance, regulating gas flow, sensing obstacles, and in some instances pinpointing the car's location. As of 2004 robots were also beginning to make their way into American homes to complete time-consuming tasks such as mowing the lawn or vacuuming the living room.

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