We would like to show you best inventions and technology that changed our world. Scientists have created lenses that allow us to see the world in the computer projection. Engineers have invented an exoskeleton for disabled people, and geneticists have learned to “edit” DNA.
Thanks to the development of science and technology over the past quarter of a century, our lives have changed beyond recognition. There are smartphones, tablets and social networks, mobile Internet and many other things that facilitate our everyday life.
It is difficult to imagine that 20 years ago you had to go to the post office for sending letters. Meanwhile connecting to the Internet cost insane money. Then a film was required for the camera; a home video camera or laptop were a luxury. The mobile phone was the size of a brick; although the charge held at times longer than now.
Today, it fits in a pocket gadget the size of a human palm or a bit bigger. Scientists have also learned to grow artificially human organs, read minds, change human DNA and have come close to the mysteries of the origin of the universe. In addition, science has given us some super solid materials, the most powerful explosive, artificial intelligence and the ability to create a virtual reality.
We have made for you a special selection of the brightest and most progressive inventions, innovations and technology for the last 25 years. These new technologies have completely reversed our understanding of the limits of the possible. For the sake of justice, let’s say: many of these things were invented much earlier. But only in the XXI century, scientists and engineers were able to put these terrific projects into reality, changing the world forever and for the better.
TOP-5: household gadgets
The first DVD player cost like a car
The nineties gave the world two important technology things: a DVD player and a plasma TV. And although the format of the DVD-ROM came up in 1995, the Japanese released the player only in 1997. It cost about $ 17,000, and a clean disk cost $ 50. Later, the same company gave the world the first “plasma” with a diagonal of 50 inches (127 cm), although the technology was invented in 1968.
The first smartphone weighed 2,2 lbs (1 kg)
Perhaps the most enjoyable and irreplaceable invention of the last 20 years is the smartphone. Today, it replaces a few devices at once – a video camera, a camera, a computer, a notebook and much more.
The forefather of the smartphone is the communicator. This is a device, which combines the functions of the mobile and PDA, presented in 1992 by IBM. It had a touch screen, a function of working with fax and e-mail and several games. But since the device weighed about 2,2 lbs (1 kg), it didn’t become popular.
Up to the 2000s, several giants of the technology market worked to create a practical and handy smartphone, which was finally released in 2001. And in 2002 Nokia first equipped the mobile phone with a camera in 640×480 pixels (for comparison: 1 megapixel consists of one million pixels), and in 2003 with the first video camera.
Web-cards from the creators of the “copier”
Today, tourists and motorists cannot do without electronic maps. But cartographic services appeared only at the dawn of the 2000s. The first analogue of the modern web-card was released by the well-known Xerox company in 1996: the user sent a request and in return received a card in GIF format. To make the service common, large companies took several years – Google Maps appeared in 2005.
Advanced messengers and social networks
The era of SMS messages have come to an end. Social networks and messengers (sending messages via the Internet) have replaced SMS. The first SMS was sent in 1992, and ICQ already appeared in 1995. In parallel, the first social network – Classmates – was launched in the US. However, the real boom fell on on the years 2003-2004 with the advent of Facebook and MySpace. And since 2009, the market went to the modern instant messengers, such as Whatsapp.
Electronic cigarettes came from Japan
All those who quit smoking are well acquainted with the electronic cigarette. In due time, in 2004, this invention of the Japanese Khon Lika completely reversed the idea of the treatment of tobacco dependence. Before that, smokers got rid of bad habits, gluing patches, taking pills or using special chewing gum. Now the chances of quitting smoking using such a steam inhaler are much higher, although physicians are ambiguous about their safety for the organism.
TOP-5: breakthrough in medicine
The Eyewriter draws pictures with the help of eye movement
The paralyzed people now have an opportunity to communicate with their loved ones thanks to the new technologies. In 2011, a group of American enthusiasts, including artists and engineers, created The Eyewriter. This device provides leaving messages or even drawing with the help of the sight.
Exoskeleton makes recumbent invalids walk
Perhaps one of the most impressive inventions of our century is the eLEGS exoskeleton. This is a device that allows disabled people with limited mobility to stand upright.
Specialists worked out the first exoskeleton for increasing the strength of the carrier for the US Army in the 60’s. And although it helped to lift objects weighing up to 240 lbs (110 kg) with minimal effort, in practice it turned out to be useless because of its own weight – 1,500 lbs (680 kg)!
An improved model of exoskeleton, eLEGS, appeared in 2010, also in the USA. Scientists at the Laboratory of Robotics and Anatomical Engineering of Berkeley developed it. This experiment proved to be more successful: the new device weighed about 44 lbs (20 kg), and anyone could use it with the height from 5 to 6 feet (from 157 to 193 cm) and the weight not more than 220 lbs (100 kg).
The device allows you to stand, walk, climb stairs and can work without recharging up to 12 hours. The balance in such a “suit” is not yet possible without a pair of usual crutches. So you feel like a robot. Built-in sensors read the movements of the trunk of the wearer and crutches, helping to move the legs. The price of new items at the time of issue is approximately $ 100,000.
Artificial heart is charged through the skin
In 2001, scientists from Massachusetts made a real revolution in medicine new technologies. Thanks to them the world saw the world’s first autonomous artificial heart, named AbioCor. It is worth noting that scientists made similar inventions earlier, but in previous versions they attached patients to tubes and wiring, implanted through the skin.
Meanwhile AbioCor has an internal battery that recharges directly through the skin from an external battery. The life of this heart is 18 months, and it is intended only for men (due to the requirements for growth and weight). The next generation is still in development – the creators promise to extend the expiration date to 5 years, and women will be able to use them. The price of the device is $ 25,000.
The videopill finds cancer cells
Now the study of hard-to-reach areas of the human body does not seem so complicated. Early 2000s gave the world a pill with a built-in video camera. It helps physicians to diagnose esophageal carcinoma or throat cancer at the earliest stages. The length of the pill is about 0,8 inch (2 cm). A patient takes it like a regular pill, which for 3-4 hours passes the intestine, sends the video to an external recorder, and comes out naturally.
Implant in the brain moves the prosthesis
To date, there are clinical trials of another device for people with limb paralysis – an electronic implant BrainGate. Doctors implant such a device in the patient’s brain. Hundreds of electrodiodes fix the signals of neurons in specific areas and send a pulse to an external device connected to the prosthesis.
TOP-5: technology boom
3d printer prints airplanes and houses
The world of high technology has uniquely changed the invention of a 3D printer. Instead of the usual black-and-white and color printing, launched in 1984-1988, the new technologies now allows creating 3D models of almost any subject. Today, it can print airplanes, toys, houses, prostheses. It may even create artificial organs from virtually any material (concrete, plastic, chocolate, wood, ice, metal).
Mental “hello” via the Internet
Technical progress has moved far ahead with the creation of a technology for transmitting thoughts via the Internet in 2009. Via electrodes connected to the person’s head, thoughts can be transmitted through a network to another person in a digital way. The first experiment was conducted between India and France, and the second – between Spain and France. In both cases, the message was the words hola and ciao (hello and bye).
Virtual reality from Facebook
Not so long ago, developers pleased us with another revolutionary novelty: in 2013, the advanced model of the virtual reality helmet Oculus Rift came out. This device creates a picture for the user in real time, responds to head and voice turns, and also reproduces sounds. The creators managed to raise $ 2.4 million to produce it.
By the way, various companies have tried to create something similar since the early 1990s, but then the technical means for creating the presence effect was not enough, and the cost of such helmets exceeded $ 1000. A new sample today costs $ 300, and you can buy it whenever you want. So, it is a great economy! Facebook bought the company, which promises to integrate the technology with smartphones and not only with your computer.
Superlenses for drivers
Bionic contact lenses are at the final stage of development at the University of Washington. So the user can see the world with the overlay of computerized images. According to the inventors, bionic lenses are especially useful to drivers and pilots, showing them routes, weather and calculating distances.
You can send smells via the Internet
By the way, thanks to the Internet and new technologies, today you can send not only letters, but smells. The American company DigiScents worked out in 1999 the first device capable of this, named iSmell. The company equipped it with 128 cartridges with “basic smells” and mixed them in a certain proportion to create other flavors. So, now you can send several thousand smells via e-mail or place them on a web page using such a particular device.
TOP-5: scientific discoveries
Super-explosive for drones
One of the most powerful explosives in the world is Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane – or just called CL-20. American scientists first obtain it in 1987 in the USA, but its production only started in 1990. The substance causes the same damage as 44 lbs (20 kg) of TNT. Previously, it had two problems: high price ($ 1,300 per 2 lbs) and high sensitivity. But in 2012 it got improvement, and now military personnel can use it for making armed drones.
Scientists can edit DNA
Scientists have found out how to edit the human genome, namely the CRISPR-Cas9 system. The development of the century has also been the opportunity to edit the human genome, namely the CRISPR-Cas9 system. This discovery of 1987 only got the practical research in the 2000s. According to scientists, this method will allow to improve human DNA in the future, removing hereditary and chronic diseases. In April 2015, scientists from China tested it on a human embryo, and in early 2016, the American specialists made DNA editing without errors.
Fast and cheap electromobiles
Another invention, which turned the world, has been electromobiles – cars, which work from electricity. The first electromobile (in the form of a trolley with an electric motor) appeared in 1841. But until the 2000s it wasn’t as powerful, fast and easy to recharge as it’s now.
Today electromobiles are a usual vehicle, as they are capable of speed up to 180 mph (300 km / h). Meanwhile they overcome up to 500 miles (800 km) without recharging.
A revolution in nanotechnology
In 2010, two British scientists got the Nobel Prize in Physics for new technologies. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov presented such a unique material as graphene. Today, it is the most durable, lightweight and electrically conductive version of the carbon compound. It is also a promising material for nanoelectronics. It can replace silicon in integrated microcircuits, or create super-strong bulletproof vests.
Collider will tell us about secrets of the universe
Undoubtedly, the Large Hadron Collider has been the greatest invention of the last 25 years – a record-sized installation for space experiments. Experts built this accelerator of charged particles in 2001 near France and Switzerland. They did it for studying the products of their collision, which would confirm several fundamental theories of physics.
Its length is 17 miles (26.7 km), and more than 10 thousand scientists from more than 100 countries work with it. It is believed that the results of research will shed light on the mystery of the origin of the universe, the planets and other space objects.