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4 cameras that have transformed modern life

The first retail-grade camera went on sale more than 130 years ago, in 1888. Since then, the technology has advanced in unimaginable ways.

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The first retail-grade camera went on sale more than 130 years ago, in 1888. Since then, the technology has advanced in unimaginable ways.

When motion picture cameras came on the scene in the 1890s, no one could conceive how the invention would one day be an integral part of everyday life. In the 2020s, there are at least four different versions of motion picture devices, commonly called video cameras, that have literally changed the way people work, play, govern, enforce laws, settle disputes, and socialize.

Here are pertinent details about each of the four modern-day cams that have transformed society, for better or worse (but mostly for better).


For less than $10, anyone with a computer can put their image onto a live video feed and broadcast 24/7. This simple ability has had a massive impact on the way people socialize and do their jobs. Corporations now rely on privately-owned webcams for daily communication with at-home employees. This is arguably one of the highest areas of tech growth to come from the COVID-19 pandemic. Adults who want to have online conversations in a more personal way use the devices on video calls. There's virtually no realm of modern communication that is unaffected by the common webcam.

Dash Cams for Fleet Management

Corporate fleet managers use truck cameras for a variety of reasons. Primarily, the tiny devices are the best way for non-drivers to examine road conditions and record events associated with crashes and breakdowns. To learn the basics of how dash cams serve multiple needs, check out an online guide about the various kinds of truck cams in operation today. One of the most significant results of dash-mounted cameras in commercial fleets relates to the insurance industry. When every accident is video- recorded for detailed review, claims tend to be settled faster, which is a benefit for safe drivers and company owners who prioritize on-road safety.

Residential Surveillance Units

When home-based security cameras began to drop sharply in price about 10 years ago, homeowners bought them up in droves. Perimeter surveillance, once the sole province of corporations and wealthy individuals, is now a low-cost affair for anyone who wants to take the time to set up a system around their property. And, the home camera craze is not limited to the out-of-doors, either: Plenty of adults have taken to placing a device in every room and connecting them to a central watch box for maximum safety and security.

Miniature Medical Devices

Blood-pressure monitors, otoscopes (for looking into the ear canal), EKG machines to measure intricate heart rhythms, EEG devices to map brain waves, and a whole host of wearable fitness devices are just some of the miniaturized medical devices that are popping up in retail and e-commerce stores everywhere. With the advent of online medical exams, many people are purchasing several devices so they can track their vital signs and report the data directly to their doctors. Cameras are used in some of the high-end products, notably otoscopes and high-definition skin viewers for cancer screenings. The tiny lenses are illuminated in order to provide a close-up and detailed view so doctors can identify infected eardrums, skin lesions, and more.