The Rising Speed of Technological Adoption
Technological progress is not the only thing rising at an exponential rate. The rate at which newly commercialized technologies get adopted by consumers is also getting faster, too.
In the modern world, through increased connectivity, instant communication, and established infrastructure systems, new ideas and products can spread at speeds never seen before – and this enables a new product to get in the hands of consumers in the blink of an eye.
Visualizing Technological Adoption
Today’s dynamic chart comes to us from Our World in Data, and it allows you to compare the adoption rates of new technologies over the period of more than a century.
In addition to the technologies you’ll find embedded on the initial chart above, you can also use the “Add technology” tab of the chart (bottom left) to list up to 40 tech data series on the chart in total. This allows you to gauge adoption rates for everything from color televisions to washing machines, while giving you an idea of the trajectory of many common technologies today.
The bar graph below highlights approximately how long it took for 25% of the U.S. population to adopt the eight technologies listed. For example, it took 45 years for 25% of the U.S. population to adopt electricity and only 5 years to adopt smartphones.