In this brand new six-part series for BBC Two, Professor Hannah Fry delves into the wonders of modern technology, and uncovers some of the mind-blowing stories behind it, opening our eyes to The Secret Genius of Everything that we can take for granted.
From contactless payments, to smart devices with the power of supercomputers: our homes and our pockets are filled with gadgets and inventions that, 20 years ago, would have been the stuff of science fiction.
They’ve become such an integral part of our lives, we’ve forgotten to notice how clever they are.
In a new six-part BBC Factual series for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer coming in late 2022, Professor Hannah Fry wants to open our eyes to The Secret Genius of Everything that we too often take for granted.
Every episode will see Hannah take one modern tech wonder apart bit by bit, to find out how it works and to uncover the amazing, unbelievable, and sometimes hilarious stories behind its invention, such as:
The food delivery apps built upon technology developed for nuclear missiles
The Tesla empire’s debt to 90s camcorders
How online payments were revolutionised by a boom in X-rated websites
We’ll also meet the extraordinary pioneers in each item’s creation story, with exclusive access to top secret innovation hubs such as Visa’s European data centre, and Deliveroo’s design lab which can predict what you’re going to order before you’re even hungry.
A Professor of Mathematics, Hannah has spent years working with engineers, physicists and computer scientists to understand how technology shapes lives.
Hannah says: “Things like food delivery apps and bank cards have undeniably shaped our lives, but it is incredible to learn how our lives have shaped those inventions too!..
"We surround ourselves with objects which took an incredible amount of invention to bring to life, and yet we have forgotten to remember how clever they are. I can’t wait to reveal the incredible stories behind the inventions and meet the teams who are developing this technology for the future.”
The Secret Genius Of Modern Life, a 6x60’ series for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, is made by BBC Studios Science Unit in partnership with The Open University.