Technology Fun Facts

If you know an engineer then make sure you don’t him or her that the word engineer comes from the Latin word meaning ‘cleverness’. You’ll never hear the end of it. There are lots of interesting and cool facts in science and engineering, it doesn’t have to be all textbooks and geeks! If you thought engineering and technology were dull, then think again and take a look at these fun facts. You never know, they might help you in a Pub Quiz one day.

There is some debate over this one but it is said that the first video game was called Tennis for Two and was introduced as early as 1958 by the creator, William Higinbotham. Indeed the first computer program was predicted by a woman called Ada Lovelace who published a paper in 1843 suggesting a plan for calculating Bernoulli numbers with a new calculating engine called an ‘Analytical Engine’.

Did you know that do a search on the internet has an effect on the atmosphere? One google search produces approximately 0.2 g of carbon dioxide but if you need to search again, that session produces about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle. Google deals with roughly 1 billion search queries per day and that equates to 200 tons of carbon dioxide every day!

The fastest train in the world has a maximum speed of 267 mph and is the Shanghai Maglev passenger train in China. For Electrical Control Components manufacturers, visit

The snowboard started life as toy for an engineer’s daughter. Serman Poppen tied two skis together and attached a rope to one end to pull her along in the snow. It was initially called the ‘snurfer’ and eventually evolved into the snowboard. There were some engineering tweeks along the way and the snowboard is a marvel of geometry, chemistry and biomechanics.

The first palmtop computer was released in 1989 and was called the Atari Portfolio. It even appeared in the film Terminator 2, where John Connor used it to hack into an ATM and retrieve the key to the vault at Cyberdyne Labs.

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The first game to appear on a mobile phone was Tetris and first appeared in 1994 on the Hagenuk MT-2000 which was a phone designed and made in Denmark by the Hagenuk corporation. The first hand-held mobile phone was demonstrated by John F. Mitchell and Martin Cooper of Motorola in 1973 and was a weighty 2 kg. It wasn’t commercially available as that title went to the DynaTAC 8000x.

Rather frighteningly, the average 21 year old has spent 5000 hours playing video games, sent 250000 emails, texts and instant messages. They will also have spent 10000 hours on a mobile phone. NMT was the first mobile phone network that offered international roaming. The first 1G network was launched in 1983 in the USA by the Chicago firm, Ameritech and used the Motorola DynaTAC phone. In the mid-1980’s other countries that followed suit included the UK, Canada and Mexico.