5 Technology Mashups That Make Your Life Easier

A telephone headset is a great example of a technology mashup.
A telephone headset is a great example of a technology mashup.
Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Thinkstock

By definition, technology's job is to do a specific task in a way that's an improvement over previous techniques. Mechanical and electronic technologies work together in washing machines to spare us hours of hand washing our clothes. Digital technology in word processing software allows us to type up, edit and revise a document before we ever print it out on paper.

A technology mashup mashes together two or more technological innovations in a single device. Thanks to the mashup, that one device can handle multiple tasks. A simple example of a technology mashup is a headset used with a phone. The headset incorporates both headphones and a microphone, separate technologies that are used together for a two-way voice exchange.

The term mashup is frequently used to describe a single software or Web application that combines the features and information from multiple Web sites [source: Crupi and Warner]. One examine is Apple's iTunes, which can manage and play your audio and video files, play media from discs, stream audio and video content from the Internet, access an online store, manage applications for the iPhone and the iPod Touch, and even put together a selection of music based on the attributes of a single song. That's a lot of different tasks for a single application to handle!

Technology mashups go beyond the world of computer software, referring to products that merge multiple technological advances into one device or system. A technology mashup might have some combination of mechanical, electronic and digital innovations. This article looks at five technology mashups created specifically to make your life easier. Let's start with a technology mashup that could make use of that headset we mentioned earlier.