THE BLOG

6 Surprising Things You Can Do Online

03/27/2013 09:40 pm ET | Updated May 27, 2013

When I first started college in 1992 as a computer science and business major, the Internet wasn't even available to students. I remember how amazed I was to first learn in my second and third year computer classes about this incredible idea of being able to see pages of information from other computers around the world through some type of "browser."

By the early 2000's, all the big companies had created some sort of web site, and many of the smaller companies were still trying to figure out how to do so cheaply.

Fast-forward to today, some 20 years later. It is really amazing to see how much the Internet has advanced and how it has become integrated into nearly every sphere of society. Everyone has a web site that wants one, and you can get really great looking web sites for free.

Long gone are the days when computers were bulky pieces of equipment that costs thousands of dollars apiece. Today's smartphone and iPad devices can now do more than the large, bulky computers of the 1990s.

Even so, there are still so many amazing things that can be done online that most people aren't aware of. Nearly anything you could ever want to know or do can be found online.

Below are six out of the ordinary things you can do online that I think will surprise you.

1. Create 3D Objects

It is now possible to turn a drawing into a real 3D object, thanks to services such as Shapeways and i.Materialise. All you have to do is upload your design file. These printing companies will then turn your design into a 3D image and then actually print out a 3D object on one of their 3D printers.

You no longer have to spend a fortune putting together a prototype. 3D printers are here, and they are amazing!

2. View Old Versions Of Almost Any Website

The Internet is changing at a rapid pace and websites are often being updated with fresh, new content. However, Internet archive sites like Wayback Machine allow you to see exactly what a site looked like at certain points in time.

Internet archive sites can be used for market research purposes or simply for personal amusement, but they can also be very helpful if you ever need to file a legal claim against a business or individual.

3. Find Your Ring Size

While there are numerous jewelry sellers that offer a wide range of rings for sale online, most people struggle with shopping for a ring online. The main reason for this is that they do not know their ring size. However, this is a problem that is easily solved with sites such as findmyringsize.com.

Such sites allow you to easily determine your exact ring size. These sites can also determine the ring size of another individual if you can gain access to a ring that belongs to the other person.

4. Rent A Fancy Sports Car

There are numerous companies that rent regular cars, but only a few that specialize in luxury or fancy sports car rental. You may think that it is too difficult to rent a Bentley or Ferrari for a special event or even a weekend of fun, but this is not the case.

Companies such as Gotham Dream Cars specialize in luxury car rental. All you need is a driver's license, credit card, and the desire to have some fun. Once the car has been rented, it is dropped off at your door.

5. Rent a Pet

Flexpetz and other companies that offer animals for rental allow you to see if you are indeed able to handle the responsibilities that go along with being a pet owner before actually buying a pet.

These sites also enable people who cannot purchase a pet for one or more reasons to spend some time with the animal of their choice.

All you have to do in order to rent a pet online is go to a pet rental site, fill out the required information, and the pay for the service via PayPal or credit/debit card.

6. Download Tunes While You Drive

Have you ever heard a great song on the radio and found it difficult to remember the song name later so you could buy it? Now there is a way to solve that problem. It is now possible to order a song, right from the vehicle itself.

Music on Command allows you to buy a song as you listen to it. While driving, simply call the toll free number and give the name of the station that is playing the song in question. Music on Command will then send an email or text message letting you know the name of the song, and how you can buy it.

The Internet sure has changed the way that we think, feel, research, study, log information, buy and sell things and more. As the Internet continues to grow and improve, more creative advances will become available that we can all look forward to.

If you'd like to see more technology and business articles like this one, check out my website at ThrivingBusiness.com. I also offer a free business start-up and growth eCourse on the site.

Follow Denise Gosnell on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thrivingbiz