Over the past few decades, innovative thinking has slowly been making its way to the top of the list of abilities employers rank most important to attaining a lucrative and esteemed career. In the age of advanced computers capable of accomplishing a variety of tasks on their own, autonomy and the ability to invent creative and unique methods of solving problems is extraordinarily desired and extremely rare. Innovation can be defined as a distinctive manner of thinking that brings about more efficient solutions to modern issues.
In the sections below, we will explore various different examples of how innovation has been put to use in the past! If you’re interested in learning more about this topic, take a look at this awesome course on methods to kick-start your innovation.
Historical Technological Innovation Examples
Many inventions that exemplify innovation are technology-related and have made strong contributions to life as it is now. A few examples of innovations that shaped our lives are:
- The Printing Press
This incredibly influential machinery was designed in the mid-1400s by Johannes Gutenberg and has shaped every aspect of our paper-based industry. Without it, books, newspaper, and countless other typed resources would be non-existent.
- Steam Powered Vehicle
In addition to the steam engine being an innovative invention that affected the course of history, it also was the product that launched society from the agricultural age to the age of industry.
- Mechanical Vehicle
The first automobile, designed in 1769 by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot forever changed transportation. No longer were horse and buggies and week-long travels to distant cities needed; here was an invention that could get you where you needed to go in a fraction of the time it would usually take.
Take a look around you right now. I’m willing to bet that nearby you can spot your cell-phone placed haphazardly on an easy-to-reach surface, still warm from usage. The first telephone, created in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, revolutionized communication, making it possible to maintain connections with long-distance friends and reach acquaintances halfway across the world in mere seconds.
The first radio broadcast, issued in 1920 in Michigan, altered methods of communicating nation-wide news incredibly. With the help of this invention, people would be notified of nationwide issues instantaneously instead of waiting hours or even days for the news from halfway across the country.
The first commercial television, produced in 1936 in the United Kingdom, brought about astonishment from all who viewed it with its ability to create moving pictures. Now, in modern-day society, it is almost impossible to locate a home that doesn’t possess at least one television set.
- Video Games
Video games, in their most simplistic form were produced in 1947 with the intention of using radar inspired technology to create a fun and entertaining way to pass the time. As you can see by the vast number of video games that sell-out annually, their plan was a success!
- Personal Computers
Chances are, you’re reading these words on your own personal computer, and may find it difficult to imagine an age where you wouldn’t be able to accomplish such a feat. Before the invention of personal computers in 1964, by Pier Giorgio Perotto, information was not readily available at the touch of a button.
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Modern Technological Innovation Examples
Though the contributions listed above have been extremely beneficial for society’s construction, there are also many modern-day instances of innovation used to create technological products. For example:
- World Wide Web/Internet
The Internet, in comparison with the previously mentioned items, is a fairly recent invention that led to the development of the information age. In its twenty-five years of existence, it has made vast leaps in extending the knowledge of millions of people.
Electronic Mail was first released to the general public in 1993 as an attempt to create a quick and easy way to send a letter without having to wait the set amount of days it takes the post office to deliver the item. The system was a huge success and has become an almost necessary component of daily life.
- Google Search
Google has simplified locating information online since its initial launch in 1997, replacing the need for a printed encyclopedia and eventually extending its search parameter to include categories, such as images, videos, news, and web depending on what it is you’re searching for.
Though originally developed in 1985, the more modern version of this device came about in 1999, just in time for the turn of the century. I’m sure many of you still remember that agonizing dial-up Internet sound and the relief you felt when you finally obtained your own WiFi device.
Though the iPod may not seem to fit into the scheme of life-changing innovations, it certainly does fit in the category of “miraculous inventions”. The fact that one tiny rectangular box can hold thousands of songs that can be accessed immediately is mind blowing.
Facebook, founded in 2004 by the famous Mark Zuckerberg, forever altered the way in which acquaintances and friends could stay in contact with each other. With the use of this incredibly innovative website, it became easier than ever to communicate with old friends.
YouTube, developed in 2005, allowed users to upload homemade videos onto the Internet and brought a brand-new type of celebrity dubbed the “YouTube” star. Now, videos featuring adorable cats, romantic proposals, or any number of other comical or sweet subjects can be accessed at the touch of a button.
Twitter, launched in 2006, was a latecomer to the game, but still just as innovative as the social networks developed prior to it. Since its commencement, its user base has soared and now can be ranked right up with Facebook as “most-used social network”
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Innovation has worked its way into countless past technologies and inventions that shaped the lives of people around the world. These inventors approached either an issue that needed resolving or an idea about how they can make life more enjoyable and used their inspiration to develop a product that could alleviate that need or dilemma.
You too can use the processes of innovation to improve your life and perhaps even make legendary contributions such as these to societies. In addition to the technological forms of innovation, there are also many that relate to the field of business. If you’re interested in exploring where these ideas come from, take a look at this post on innovative business ideas and how to use them to gain a competitive advantage on other applicants!
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