Do you remember the cassette Walkman? It could barely hold 12 to 15 songs, until this sleek little white device came along and revolutionized the music industry. It has amazing storage capability, the largest model being able to hold more than 30,000 songs! Not surprisingly, iPod has made an astronomical number of sales (more than 110m units).
GPS or Global Positioning System was developed in 1978, and was made to pinpoint your exact position to within a couple of meters with the help of up to 32 satellites. It became a great invention for explorers, paramedics, and pilots but now even for common people who have GPS enabled devices in their cars or even GPS based apps on their smart phones.
Credit cards were first used in the 1920s, in the US, specifically to sell fuel to a growing number of automobile owners. Now a days credit cards are used everywhere from fuel payments to online shopping as they allow small short-term loans to be made quickly to a customer who doesn’t need to calculate a remaining balance before every transaction.
The first commercial microwave oven was sold in 1947. They are most commonly used for rapid reheating of previously-cooked foods and rapid heating of slowly-prepared cooking items, such as melting chocolates or butter. Any modern kitchen would be incomplete without this amazing and helpful machine.
This device does not need any introduction as every middle schooler knows its importance in our lives. The first electronic calculator was created in the 1960s, and the pocket size version became available in 1970s. From students to researchers to scientists, everyone carries a calculator these days and it would be hard to find a cell phone without a pre installed calculator app on it.
The Bar code
This boring set of black and white lines was developed by Norman Woodland, but they can be found on almost every single item in the grocery store. At first glance, it seems hard to see how they could possibly make any impact on the world, but they have fundamentally changed the way we shop.
In 1454 the German goldsmith Johannes Gutenberg was the first to construct a press that comprised moveable metal type, which, when laid over ink, could print repeatedly onto paper. The introduction of computers in the 1950s revolutionized printing composition, with more and more steps in the print process being replaced by digital data. Now a days we have modern electronic printing presses in our homes and offices commonly known as “printers”.
A Russian, and the Italian-Irish inventor Guglielmo Marconi, saw the potential in this technology when they sent and received the first radio waves. Marconi sent the first transatlantic radio message (three dots for the letter “S”) in 1901. Since then Radio became an important part of our daily life, from listening to news bulletins to baseball matches, and even the invention of TV barely affected its significance.
So, you ran out of money. Don’t worry. Find an ATM! “Automated teller machines” were invented by John Shephed Barron, and the first ATM was introduced in June 1967 at Barclays Bank in Enfield, UK.
It is the greatest kitchen convenience in history. Before its conception, icehouses were used to provide cool storage for most of the year. The first refrigerator to see widespread use was the General Electric “Monitor-Top” refrigerator introduced in 1927.
It does not need any introduction for we all know about its function and capability. The first gun was fired in the late 13th century, and modern versions of the metal bullet were first introduced in 1857.
Alexander Graham made the first working phone in the 1870s. Today there are 1.3 billion phone lines in use around the world. The modern telephone network, consisting of a worldwide net of telephone lines, fiber optic cables, cellular networks, communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables connected by switching centers, allows any telephone in the world to communicate with any other.
Steven Sasson a Kodak engineer invented and built the first digital camera using a charge-coupled device image sensor in 1975. The first digital camera was just 0.01 mega pixels but now we have digital cameras upto 160 mega pixels. Every smartphone has its own digital camera attached to its back that varies from from VGA to 8 mega pixels.
Gaming Consoles changed the way we entertain ourselves indoors. Whether you are staying physically fit by exercising on the Nintendo Wii or blasting away your opponents on a first-person shooter, the world of game consoles has come a long way since the release of Pong in 1972. Modern game consoles are equipped with the ability to process graphics so realistic that many games can be downright startling, and the enemies have become so well designed that it almost seems like some video games can predict and counteract your every move.
Robots are helping us in many aspects of life. They are used in car productions, packaging of manufactured goods, mass production of printed circuit boards (PCB’s), space probes, military drones (UAV’s) and humanoid robots like ASIMO designed and developed by HONDA. ASIMO, which is an acronym for “Advanced Step in Innovative MObility”, was created to be a personal assistant.