Re: 7 Surprising Technologies From World War I
Wow, fascinating piece, Curt (and, I think it might be first one of yours that I've read on InformationWeek. Good timing!). The big notion that was drilled into my head in high school was about how War serves to drive the economy - which of course, ties into the fact that it's motivated by economic concerns to begin with. What it also ties into is the inevitable development of technology that comes with it. In eras gone by, maybe that economic drive was simply in the form of putting people into work (in factories, etc.), but it seems in the modern age it has changed to be the development of technologies that go on to explode into the consumer market after the war.
War breaks all the rules - governments will do anything they can to get ahead, red tape be damned... and that gets things done a little faster. You're right, though - some of these I had no idea about. Of course, it goes without saying that medical technology would be pushed to the forefront on the battlefield, but I'd never seen a picture of such a truck before now, and I wouldn't have guessed that that's what it looked like. At first, I felt a little cheated at your use of the 'wristwatch' (is it technology just because they put a strap on it?), but looking at it now, there's no denying that that simple act had in impact on our technology that we're feeling to this day. It continues to have an impact on our constant obsession with putting wrist-things in our science fiction. How crazy is that?