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6 Unsung Heroes of Modern Technology

From the great Alan Turing to the lesser known Tony Fadell, there are many brilliant minds lurking behind today's technology. We've put together a few of our favourite unsung heroes of today's tech so you can give them their dues next time you send a tweet from your smartphone or control your home's thermostat from your work tablet...

1) Alan Turing - Modern Computing

The persecuted and (eventually) pardoned Alan Turing was the great mind behind the Enigma machine and the development of computing. From the iPad to Facebook, much of the technology we use today can be traced back to Turing's genius. Mobile phones too owe their existence in part to this great man's intellect and vision. The creation of the Turing Machine is widely regarded to have been the foundation of modern theories of computation and computability. In fact, he paved the way for all of the unsung heroes we're exploring today. Turing's vision for the future was radical and before it's time during the first half of the 20th century. According to the man himself: “It seems probable that once the machine thinking method had started, it would not take long to outstrip our feeble powers… They would be able to converse with each other to sharpen their wits. At some stage therefore, we should have to expect the machines to take control.”

2) Tony Fadell - The iPod

Anthony Michael “Tony” Fadell is often referred to as the “father of the iPod”. Working in Apple's iPod division from 2001-2008, Tony created both the concept and the initial design of the world famous iPod. Starting as a lowly contractor, Fadell's work on the project eventually found him in a Senior Vice President position, with a host of popular devices to his name and his work on the ears of more than 350 million people.

3) John Romkey - The Internet of Things

Decades of discoveries and inventions went into the creation of the Internet of Things. From Tim Berners-Lee's world wide web in 1989 all the way back to Nikola Tesla's assertion that “When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole” in 1926. It was John Romkey, however, who created the very first “Internet Device”; a toaster which could be turned on or off over the internet using a TCP/IP connection in 1990. This invention paved the way for our increasingly connected world, from fridges which talk to us, to completely hooked up houses you can control from your smartphone. In fact, Fadell's most recent venture, Nest, owes a debt for the work of Romkey who was one of the first to prove that this kind of connection could be made.

4) Marty Cooper - The Mobile Phone

Described as a pioneer and a visionary in the world of wireless technology, Marty Cooper was the very first person to come up with the concept of the truly mobile phone. Developed at Motorola in the 70s, Marty's mobile is almost unrecognisable when you compare it to today's smartphones, yet he was one of the first to state that a personal telephone could be: "something that would represent an individual so you could assign a number; not to a place, not to a desk, not to a home, but to a person." - he even cites Star Trek's Captain Kirk's “communicator” as his inspiration.

5) Paul Allen - Microsoft

The software giant may be synonymous with Bill Gates, but there's more than one inspiring visionary behind Microsoft. Paul Allen was the company's co-founder and even coined the world famous Microsoft name. Allen brokered some watershed deals for the company which led to it's omnipresence today, including securing a contract to supply the DOS (Disk Operating System) for IBM's PC line in the 1980s – a move that would make Microsoft a global name and cement the course of computing for decades.

6) Tim Berners-Lee - HTML

While Berners-Lee may not count as an unsung hero for some, there was a shocking reaction from many Twitter users who were unfamiliar with this hero when he was a part of the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. Tim Berners Lee is not just responsible for the invention on the World Wide Web. In fact, Berners-Lees extraordinary career also led him to write the international mark-up language HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) – tools which are now indispensable parts of our everyday, high-tech lives.

The 10ZiG team may not be unsung technology heroes, but when it comes to implementing thin clients for your business, we are industry experts. Interested to learn how thin clients could function as part of your facility? Get in touch to discuss your requirements today on 0116 2148650 or at info@10zig.eu.