Examples Of Innovation

By Martin Gilliard

Welcome to the examples of innovation section of the site. On this page I will list some of the more famous / important innovations over the years.

You can determine some of the most important innovations by considering whether the innovation had a positive effect on the quality of life, solved a big issue or problem, created an entire new market, increased efficiency or simply was a breakthrough idea that had that “Wow” factor.

world wide web is an example of innovation

(Photo Credit Bull3t)

Examples Include:

  1. Glass (3500 BC)
  2. Abacus (2700 BC)
  3. Windmills (200 BC)
  4. Paper (105 AD – Europe 10th century – Germany 1400) 
  5. Printing Press (1450) 
  6. Steam Powered Vehicle (1672)
  7. Mechanical Vehicle (1769)
  8. Camera Photography (1820)
  9. Telegraph (1837) 
  10. Modern Public Library (1850-1945 depending on country)
  11. Vacuum Cleaner (1860)
  12. Telephone (1876)
  13. Modern Automobile (1878)
  14. Solar Cell (1883)
  15. Wind Turbine (1888)
  16. Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or Drone (1916)
  17. Commercial Radio (1920)
  18. Electronic Television (1926)
  19. Disposable baby diapers (1930's)
  20. Commercial Television (1936 UK, 1948 US)
  21. Computer printer (1938) 
  22. Microwave oven (1940's)
  23. Transistor (1947)
  24. Video Games (1947)
  25. Video Tape Recorder (1951)
  26. Laser (1957)
  27. Electronic calculator (1961)
  28. Spreadsheet software (1962)
  29. Light Emitting Diode (1962)
  30. Personal and laptop computers (1965)
  31. Microprocessor chips (1968)
  32. Word processing software (Late 1960's)
  33. Mobile phones (1973)
  34. Global Positioning Systems (1973)
  35. Digital cameras (1975)
  36. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (1977)
  37. E-Commerce (1979)
  38. Calculator Watch (1980)
  39. 3D Printing (1984)
  40. DNA Profiling (1986)
  41. World Wide Web / Internet (1989) 
  42. Email (1993)
  43. Social networking (1994)
  44. Nintendo's D-Pad and Analog N64 games controller (1996)
  45. Google search (1997)
  46. WiFi (1999 but the technology originates from approx 1985)
  47. Wikipedia (2001) 
  48. iPod and iTunes (2001)
  49. Facebook (2004)
  50. YouTube (2005)
  51. Twitter (2006)
  52. Uber taxi (2009)
  53. iPad (2010)
  54. Crowd-funding (2010)
  55. Google self driving car (2012)

This is of course not a definitive list and new breakthrough innovations will continue to emerge.

Know of a Great Example Of Innovation?

Which innovation had the most meaning to you in the past fifty years? Please list it here…

Great Examples Of Innovation from Others...

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Plastic Braces For Teeth 
Wire braces can be painful and reduce the personality of a person so Zia Chishti first introduced the plastic braces with the Santa Clara based medical …

1- Never existing such program in Ghana. 2- Very virgin country and promising fast-growing generation. 3- Standard Democracy and lawful performing. …

iPhone Not rated yet
This innovation is important because now a days we use it so much and it is one of are most precious values. Many people have them and they the applications …

Cellphone Not rated yet
Because everyone in the world uses cell phones these days.

The 1968 Olympic Gold winner in the high-jump - Dick Fosbury Not rated yet
The 1968 Olympic high-jump innovation of Dick Fosbury revolutionized this particular event. It may be a relatively minor example but, nevertheless, …

World Wide Web / Internet (1989)  Not rated yet
it was important mainly because it helped people to get the information they needed much easier and also connect with each other despite the distance

The light bulb,  Not rated yet
Or the electric light,

SAP HCM - LAB Not rated yet
Technology and Businesses demands change all the time in South Africa. We need to keep abreast with all new technology and processes. We need a place where …

Copying (Xerography) - 1938 Not rated yet
Photocopying is done by a machine that can make copies of paper documents and other visual images. They typically do this using a standard copying process …

Phones Not rated yet
Help us communicate with family, and friends. Also benifits us in many other ways too.

Vegimite Not rated yet
Because it was made out of the waste and made an economic boom in Australia.

The World Wide Web / Internet Not rated yet
In one simple sentence - It made it possible for one to go around the world with just one click.

Steel Not rated yet
Steel is a form of refined iron that contains a small percentage of carbon and other elements. It can be forged, hammered, tempered, and annealed to become …

ATM Machine Not rated yet
Automated Teller Machines (ATM's) are also known as automated banking machines or cash machines or cash points or even the hole in the wall! ATM's are …

Smart Devices e.g. iPhones, iPads, Galaxy S Not rated yet
I am writing a report where I have been asked to list the innovations of a paramedic. My thinking is that smart devices such as the iPhone, iPad or …

Cars Not rated yet
It is a great way to travel much faster from place to place. People would walk back then but now we just drive without the leg pain.

The First Light Bulb Not rated yet
Because with out the light bulb then we would still be using candles and candles are dangerous around young kids also they could start fires which are …

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Funny Innovations

On a much lighter note take a look at the video below for some funny, silly and occasionally clever innovation examples!..

Go To Radical Innovation

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