With Australians spending more time than ever before on smartphones, the speed at which digital devices have infiltrated our lives may seem swift. A wider historical view, however, places their arrival within a long line of breakthroughs reaching back to before the industrial revolution.

That’s the argument made by this infographic from Computer Science Zone, which charts the development of computer science across several centuries. The long road to the smartphone could be said to begin in 1703, when German mathematician Gottfried Liebniz’s published his work on binary numbers – a logic system that remains in use by most computers and devices today.

Post-WWII, the most important milestones include the microprocessor, computer-controlled robotics and the advent of email. Now, remarkable developments such as experimental neural laces – mesh computers that can be injected directly into the brain – signal that the digital world is far from completing its infiltration trajectory.

Other highlights of computer science’s road to development include:

  • The pioneering computer programmer Countess Ada Lovelace, a mathematician who published the first computer algorithm in 1843.
  • Moore’s Law, the prediction that computer power roughly doubles every year, coined by Gordon Moore in 1965.
  • The personal computer industry’s earnest beginnings in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with the Apple II computer and Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system.
computer science infographic