It’s no secret how far technology has come over the last several decades. Not too long ago, something as basic as television was considered a luxury for a household. Today, billions of people have a smartphone that allows them to access NFL Week 3 odds in a matter of seconds.

While some people are still intimidated by new technology, there are multiple advancements that make life easier for everybody on a daily basis. While the list could go on for quite some time, we narrowed it down to five items that improve life for the better.

GPS in Cars

Car technology has certainly had its fair share of improvements over the years. The backup camera comes to mine, as do push-to-start ignitions. But having a live map on your dashboard on command is tough to beat.

We’re well past the days of holding physical maps in the car. Companies like Garmin were once popular due to handheld GPS’ that would stick to the front window. Those became irrelevant with smartphones having built-in GPS’. Yet a GPS inside a car eliminates the need to use your phone, creating a safer and much more practical way to get directions.

Streaming Services

We’re in the golden age of television. There are so many high-quality shows across the seemingly endless number of channels that it’s physically impossible to watch every show as they air. Fortunately, streaming services have re-defined the TV experience.

Whether you’ve missed a couple of episodes or multiple seasons of a show, there’s a good chance the show lives permanently on a streaming service. The most popular services — Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, and Disney+ — have hundreds of shows and movies on command, allowing you to watch whatever you want at your own pace.

Each of these services has also produced original content, many of which are critically acclaimed. At this point, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone relying on cable alone for televised content.

Voice Assistants

“Siri, call Mom.”

“Alexa, set a timer for 15 minutes.”

Over the last decade or so, humans have gotten accustomed to voice assistants. These A.I. assistants primarily come from three of the largest companies on Earth: Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), and Google. But each of them has made life easier for the humans they service.

The benefits of a voice assistant range for each user. Some will use a voice command to inquire about the weather or play a song. Others will use it to set reminders, send messages, or even translate foreign languages. Best of all, each request is answered in a matter of seconds, giving users a perfect combination of convenience and functionality.

Contactless Payment

Suppose you’ve gone to the grocery store to buy food for the weekend. You get to the register and pull out your wallet, only to discover that you accidentally left your debit card at home. However, if you have a contactless payment option on your smartphone, that won’t be a problem.

More and more businesses are now accepting contactless payment, even before COVID-19 placed an emphasis on avoiding physical contact. One popular option is Apple Pay, which allows users to essentially scan their card into their phone and hold their mobile device over the kiosk. Another option is using an app’s QR code and having cashiers scan it.

Just as we made the move from swiping cards to inserting chips, we’re quickly approaching a day where neither will be necessary. All you’ll need is a cell phone to buy whatever you need.

Video Calls

Of everything that came out of the coronavirus pandemic, the ease and functionality of video calls are second to none. While video calls are nothing new, the advancements to them have allowed companies to transition to full-on remote work.

One of the largest risers in recent years is Zoom. The popular video company allows dozens of users from all across the globe to convene in a single meeting room. From there, any user can lead a presentation or show off a fun virtual background.

Not too long ago, the idea of “work” meant commuting into a physical office five days a week. But thanks to Zoom and many other video call companies, those days are quickly becoming obsolete.