This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2022)
|History of technology|
A technological revolution is a period in which one or more technologies is replaced by another novel technology in a short amount of time. It is a time of accelerated technological progress characterized by innovations whose rapid application and diffusion typically cause an abrupt change in society.
A technological revolution may involve material or ideological changes caused by the introduction of a device or system. It may potentially impact business management, education, social interactions, finance and research methodology, and is not limited to technical aspects. It has been shown to increase productivity and efficiency. A technological revolution often significantly changes the material conditions of human existence and has been seen to reshape culture. 
A technological revolution can be distinguished from a random collection of technology systems by two features:
1. A strong interconnectedness and interdependence of the participating systems in their technologies and markets.
2. A potential capacity to greatly affect the rest of the economy (and eventually society). 
On the other hand, negative consequences have also been attributed to technological revolutions. For example, the use of coal as an energy source have negative environmental impacts, including being a contributing factor to climate change and the increase of greenhouse gases  in the atmosphere, and have caused technological unemployment. Joseph Schumpeter described this contradictory nature of technological revolution as creative destruction.  The concept of technological revolution is based on the idea that technological progress is not linear but undulatory. Technological revolution can be:
The concept of universal technological revolutions is a "contributing factor in the Neo-Schumpeterian theory of long economic waves/cycles",  according to Carlota Perez, Tessaleno Devezas, Daniel Šmihula and others.
Some examples of technological revolutions were the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the scientific-technical revolution about 1950–1960, the Neolithic Revolution, and the Digital Revolution. The distinction between universal technological revolution and singular revolutions have been debated. One universal technological revolution may be composed of several sectoral technological revolutions (such as in science, industry, or transport).
Comparable periods of well-defined technological revolutions in the pre-modern era are seen as highly speculative.  One such example is an attempt by Daniel Šmihulato to suggest a timeline of technological revolutions in pre-modern Europe: 
Each revolution comprises the following engines for growth:
Technological revolutions has historically been seen to focus on cost reduction. For instance, the accessbility of coal at a low cost during the Industrial Revolution allowed for iron steam engines which led to production of Iron railways, and the progression of the internet was contributed by inexpensive microelectronics for computer development.[ citation needed] A combination of low-cost input and new infrastructures are at the core of each revolution to achieve their all pervasive impact. 
Since 2000, there has been speculations of a new technological revolution which would focus on the fields of nanotechnologies, alternative fuel and energy systems, biotechnologies, genetic engineering, new materials technologies and so on. 
The Second Machine Age is the term adopted in a 2014 book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. The industrial development plan of Germany began promoting the term Industry 4.0. In 2019, at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Japan promoted another round of advancements called Society 5.0.  
The phrase Fourth Industrial Revolution was first introduced by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, in a 2015 article in Foreign Affairs.  Following the publication of the article, the theme of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2016 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland was "Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution". On October 10, 2016, the Forum announced the opening of its Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco.  According to Schwab, fourth era technologies includes technologies that combine hardware, software, and biology ( cyber-physical systems),  and which will put an emphases on advances in communication and connectivity. Schwab expects this era to be marked by breakthroughs in emerging technologies in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the internet of things, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), decentralized consensus, fifth-generation wireless technologies (5G), 3D printing and fully autonomous vehicles. 
Some economists do not think that technological growth will continue to the same degree it has in the past. Robert J. Gordon holds the view that today’s inventions are not as radical as electricity and the internal combustion engine were. He believes that modern technology is not as innovative as others claim, and is far from creating a revolution. 
The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.