History has taught us that humans are the most curious and smartest living organisms on the planet and as a result of this we invent new things. From the moment some caveman bashed a rock on the ground to make the first sharp-edged tool, to the development of electricity and the Internet, several key advancements stand out as particularly revolutionary. Despite the fact we have hardly spent fifteen years in the new millennium, our century is already full of great and not-so-great inventions which remind us that no matter how advanced our society might be, human curiosity never fails to seek out new advancements and technologies. See how these 25 spectacular inventions of the 21st century is helping to re-define humanity.
Berndnaut Smilde, an Amsterdam artist, has been making indoor clouds since 2010. They only last for a moment and they will definitely help anyone who’s trying to impress others with his or her surrealistic photos, but we can’t really see what other use or contribution to society this bizarre invention could have. Hmmm, now that we think about it, the people who work in the film industry will probably get really excited about this one.
If you’re the nostalgic type who misses the real-life parties that took place in the ‘80s and ‘90s then you are going to hate Facebook for keeping people in their rooms in front of their computers. On the other hand, if you love to live in a virtual world where you can be whatever and whoever you want with the click of a button you probably worship Facebook more than anything else in life.
In 2001, before Apple and Samsung started bombing the world with their superb smartphone devices of the last five or six years there was the iPod, a small gadget that changed how we viewed and played music. To make a long story short, the MP3 was introduced to the world and CDs, which had previously replaced cassettes, which replaced vinyl records before them, joined them in the dusty archives of our music tech history.
To be completely honest we don’t see how a virtual keyboard is necessary for someone or at least when it comes to everyday people and workers who have to use a keyboard, but it’s undeniably a cool way to impress your friends in case you’re trying to make an impact. Keep in mind that it will cost you a respectable amount of money though.
In 2004 the Japanese based Let’s Corporation introduced a very ambitious project named Flower Sound, a gadget that consists of a doughnut-shaped magnet and coil at the base of a vase. It hooks up to a CD player, TV, or stereo and relays sounds through a flower’s stem out through its petals. We’re not exactly sure if this strange but cool invention has any real contribution to humanity but it definitely makes you wonder about the creativity of some people, doesn’t it?
The Oculus Rift
One of the most credible videogame websites in the world, GameSpy, describes the Oculus Rift as the “closest we’ve come to Star Trek’s holodeck,” and from a gamer’s point of view that’s not an exaggeration at all. But Oculus’s only contribution and purpose is to entertain and nothing more. So don’t get overexcited if you don’t dig video games because you may be disappointed.
Two to three decades ago the idea of having a mobile phone that would allow you to surf the Internet, watch movies on its 5.1-inch high-definition screen, take photos, listen to music, and do a wide range of other things would have made you sound like a delusional geek. Well, that’s certainly no longer the case in the twenty-first century.
The Invisible Skyscraper
The Tower Infinity in South Korea was included in Time magazine’s 25 best inventions of 2013 and is supposed to be the world’s first skyscraper that, for a few hours a day, modestly provides an unobstructed view of the sky behind it. It is expected to be completed in 2016 and most architects around the world are hailing it as an architectural miracle that will open new horizons in the worlds of architecture and engineering.
Google Glass is smart eyewear that helps you get exactly what you want right in front of your eyes, literally. It displays information in a smartphone-like, hands-free format but the only difference is that you wear it instead of hold it. Don’t get too excited, though, because it will cost you a small fortune to make it yours on top of the fact that Google announced it is stopping sales.
The Plus Pool
The first Plus Pool was designed in New York to filter the very river that it floats in through the walls of the pool, making it possible for New Yorkers and its visitors to swim in clean river water. The layered filtration system incrementally removes bacteria and contaminants to ensure nothing but clean, swimmable water that meets both city and state standards. No chemicals, no additives, just natural river water. Other than super cool this one is totally environmentally friendly so we here at List25 fully approve.
Birth control patch
Have you heard of this small patch that sticks to you (if you’re a lady that is), or your girlfriend’s skin and helps to prevent pregnancy so you can enjoy a more relaxed sex life? No? They have been around for a couple of years, are medically cleared, and are considered perfectly safe, effective, and convenient, and all you need is a doctor’s prescription and a few bucks to get some. Welcome to the twenty-first century, ladies.
To some it may seem like an odd thing that a hybrid car with two energy sources could actually be better for the environment than traditional cars. However, that is exactly the idea that hybrid experts support—that hybrid cars are better for the environment. The jury is still out on hybrid cars, trains, and vehicles in general but only time will tell if this is one of the greatest inventions of our century or just another overhyped idea that failed to deliver.
We’re not talking about the 90’s film starring Bruce Willis, but rather a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us with digital information and lets us use natural hand gestures to interact with that information.
I know, I know, all this probably sounds like a sci-fi scenario, but the truth is that a limited number of these devices are already sold for commercial use and as most experts guarantee us, the near future belongs to the SixthSense.
An ongoing collaboration between the Japanese Riken Brain Science Institute and MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has resulted in the discovery of how to plant false memories into the brains of mice. The breakthrough significantly extends our understanding of memory and expands the horizons of psychiatry against mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression among others.
A typical Kindle allows you to shop online and download thousands of e-books, newspapers, magazines, and other digital media via wireless networks. In other words, with a Kindle you can literally carry a whole library in your purse or bag.
YouTube first launched in 2005 and since then it has changed the lives of most young people (and many others) around the world. Let’s be honest here: watching every large social and cultural change or even stupid trend from across the globe in an instant is one of the most exciting things about living in the twenty-first century. And yep, YouTube is mainly to thank for this.
In a process that involves light and matter, researchers at Caltech where able to teleport a proton while researchers at the Australian National University successfully teleported a laser beam. These breakthroughs have given scientists hope that eventually, we will be able to teleport much larger objects.
Bionic contact lens
In 2013, scientists created and successfully tested a functioning prototype of bionic lenses with a wireless antenna and a single-pixel display. Engineers have already tested the finished lenses on rabbits for up to twenty minutes and the animals exhibited no problems. They are expected to enter the market within the next few years.
A team of researchers and scientists at National Taiwan University believe that monitoring the oral behavior of an individual can provide doctors with a wealth of information about a patient’s dietary habits, dental hygiene, and overall health. For that reason they came up with the “tooth sensor,” an accelerometer-based oral sensory system that identifies how a mouth is being used based on teeth movement.
Those who have had the misfortune of experiencing the torture of a gastroscopy will probably appreciate the value of this incredible invention. Instead of an invasive probe, twenty-first century patients who suffer from ulcers and similar diseases will only need to swallow a small pill containing a microscopic camera.
Bio-artificial liver device
This amazing life-changing artificial extracorporeal supportive device has given hope to all those who are suffering from acute liver failure. A bio-artificial liver device (BAL) can’t permanently replace liver functions, but it can serve as a supportive device and help patients have a better quality of life until a transplant is found.
Billboard That Produces Clean Water
The University of Engineering and Technology of Peru (UTEC) was looking for something splashy to kick off its 2013 enrollment application period. It turned to ad agency Mayo DraftFCB, which came up with the genius idea to create billboards that would convert Lima’s thin air into potable water. This is an invention that really matters in an era when water is becoming increasingly harder to find in many parts of the world.
ReWalk is a revolutionary wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk. Recently introduced to the market, it has already become the most widely used device for people with motion problems and the first available for personal ownership.
The Artificial Pancreas
The artificial pancreas is a technology that promises to help people with diabetes control their blood glucose level by providing the endocrine functionality of a healthy pancreas. Four-year-old Australian, Xavier Hames, became the first patient to use the new device in what is being called the first treatment for managing type 1 diabetes. The medical community worldwide is watching this case closely to see the long-term results.
Retinal implants are meant to partially restore vision to people who have lost their sight from degenerative eye conditions, giving hope to millions around the world. The Argus II retinal implant received U.S. market approval in February 2013 and in Europe two years earlier, becoming the first approved implant.