A new era has begun in human history because we are more interconnected than ever before. Information travels in an instant from one side of Earth to the other. As technology makes humans more sedentary, there will be more time to think of other advances to move forward. Eventually, robots will do more and more work that humans normally engage in right now. This is the beginning of the robotic age of mankind.
Yes, this new era has been marked by the advancement of technology. The moment that technology begun to have the ability simulate real life, the new era had begun. The new era is driven by the technology that has created it. Technology has surpassed its past intelligence and past usefullness.
If your looking at it from a technological standpoint, we are evolving a lot. The world is a changing place, we can now use robotics to build our future as a race. Computers are evolving so fast that we can't even keep up with them, the beginning I would say is right now. Its still a long road.
It is my opinion that a new era has begun in human history. This new era was ushered in by advances in technology that allowed for mobile electronic devices to become common place. The availability of these technological wonders has had a profound effect on the way that humans interact with each other on a daily basis.
While we may have advanced in technology human beings still suffer from war, famine, poverty, and sickness just as they have in every previous era. We have not been able to obtain peace, nor find a government without flaws. If we define an era as ending when there is a substantial advancement in human quality of life, then I see no real distinction between this "new" era and the previous one.