Innovation Examples

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 entirely new market, increased efficiency or simply was a breakthrough idea that had that “Wow” factor.

Examples Include:

  1. Glass (3500 BC)
    glass
  2. Abacus (2700 BC)
    abacus
  3. Windmills (200 BC)
    windmill
  4. Paper (105 AD – Europe 10th century – Germany 1400) 
    paper
  5. Printing Press (1450) 
    printing press
  6. Steam Powered Vehicle (1672)
    steam powered vehicle
  7. Mechanical Vehicle (1769)
    mechanical vehicle
  8. Camera Photography (1820)
    camera
  9. Telegraph (1837) 
    telegraph
    By Cardiff Council Flat Holm Project – Cardiff Council Flat Holm Project, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4012156
     
  10. Modern Public Library (1850-1945 depending on the country)
    library
  11. Vacuum Cleaner (1860)
    vacuum cleaner
  12. Telephone (1876)
    telephone
  13. Modern Automobile (1878)
    automobile
  14. Solar Cell (1883)
    solar panels
  15. Wind Turbine (1888)
    wind turbines
  16. Powered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or Drone (1916)
    military drone
  17. Commercial Radio (1920)
    commercial radio
  18. Electronic Television (1926)
    tv
  19. Disposable baby diapers (1930’s)
    baby diapers
  20. Commercial Television (1936 UK, 1948 US)
    commercial television
  21. Computer printer (1938) 
    computer printer
  22. Microwave oven (the 1940’s)
    microwave oven
  23. Transistor (1947)
    transistor
  24. Video Games (1947)
    video game
  25. Video Tape Recorder (1951)
    video recorder
  26. Laser (1957)
    laser
  27. Electronic calculator (1961)
    calculator
  28. Spreadsheet software (1962)
    spreadsheet
  29. Light Emitting Diode (1962)
    led
  30. Personal and laptop computers (1965)
    laptop
  31. Microprocessor chips (1968)
    microprocessor
  32. Word processing software (Late 1960’s)
    laptop
  33. Mobile phones (1973)
    mobile phone
  34. Global Positioning Systems (1973)
    gps
  35. Digital cameras (1975)
    digital camera
  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. Personal Drones (2002)
  50. Facebook (2004)
  51. YouTube (2005)
  52. Twitter (2006)
  53. Kindle (2007)
  54. Uber taxi (2009)
  55. iPad (2010)
  56. Crowd-funding (2010)
  57. Google self-driving car (2012)
  58. Multi-use space rockets (2015)
  59. Drone delivery (2016)

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