The Best Inventions of the Past 50 Years

by on March 1, 2021

Innovation is a constant in life, and in recent years, it seems to have picked up the pace. Our world is fast moving towards what we have always depicted as science fiction in movies. A lot of these inventions and innovations in technology have made life easier like an online casino that allows you to get True Blue casino daily free spins and acquire the same experience you would in a real-life casino.

Here is our list of some of the best inventions of the past 50 years.

12 Best Inventions of the Past 50 Years

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – 1973

MRI technology has been a lifesaver for a lot of people and without it, our medical field would not have seen the many advancements and breakthroughs it has today. There is however a contest on who the inventor of this technology is. Nuclear magnetic resonance is the physical effect that MRIs use and many scientists won the Nobel Prizes of Physics in 1944 and 1052.

A lot of people say that Raymond Damadian showed the medical use of the technology in 1973 when he uses magnetic resonance to differentiate healthy tissue from cancer. However, in 2003 Peter Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield won the Nobel Prize for medicine in accordance with their “seminal discoveries.”

Cellphone – 1973

Imagine the world without cellphones, that’s not a world I would like to live in. Even though phones had been around since the 1940s, it wasn’t until 1973 that Martin Cooper developed the first handheld cellular phones as we know them. People were used to old phones with a large size and a limited number of channels which made them suitable for most offices at the time.

The first set of mobile phones cost a lot and only a few people could own one. But as innovations continued and more companies began to produce theirs, we got phones with better features at a lower price. Now, who doesn’t own a cell phone today?

Barcode – 1974

Barcodes have evolved from just tags for products to much more today. The first product to use the barcode technology was a 10-pack Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit Chewing gum that was scanned at a grocery store in Ohio. These codes have now become industry standard for storing price details at grocery stores.

It has expanded rapidly since then and is used for both internal tracking operations and consumer-facing applications. The barcode design used by the Uniform Grocery Product Code Council as used in 1073 was designed by George Laurer.

Digital Camera – 1975

Film cameras had existed long before digital cameras came into the field and even though they were good for the time, there were still a lot of improvements to be made. That was when Steven Sassoon, an Eastman Kodak engineer invented the digital camera. Steven Sasson was a 24-year-old man from Brooklyn to use this technology called digitization to take images. This sparked a revolution with many developments over the years to perfect the technology.

Today, you can find digital cameras in several devices such as mobile phones and laptops capable of taking near-perfect pictures. However, this technology will continue to be improved in years to come with innovations breaking ground yearly.

Global Positioning System (GPS) – 1978

The first satellite for the new Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) was launched in 1978. Even though there was a previous technology that birthed GPS called TRANSIT developed in the early 10960s for guiding nuclear subs., it was restricted to the military. It wasn’t until 2000 that President Clinton gave nonmilitary persons access to unscrambled GPS signals. GPS tech has rapidly developed since then and now small handheld GPS units can calculate locations up to 3 yards.

Computer Virus – 1982

15-year-old Rich Skrenta created the first virus, an application called Elk Cloner by mistake. It was meant to be a prank but it got out of hand and went past his home network. The virus, Elk Cloner gets into systems through floppy disks and binds itself with the Apple OS-II operating system. Anytime users boot from the disk with the virus, it will transfer the memory of the computer so that any other disk you insert without rebooting the computer will get infected. By the time your computer has booted fifteen times, it will then display a text that Skrenta wrote.

Microsoft Word – 1983

Today, Microsoft is a household name but once upon a time this wasn’t so. The previous iteration of Microsoft Word, the Multi-Tool Word entered the world as free copies attached to the November issue of PC World. Unlike a lot of the contemporary rivals at the time, Word was used with a mouse and gave extra features like underlined text, undo typing and display bold or italic. Microsoft released regular updates for the program which made it become a large success in 1990 when it was bundled with the Windows 3.0 operating system.

Google – 1996

With the rise of the internet and browsers, two students came up with the idea of what will now be known as a search engine. Larry Page and Sergey Brin revealed the first version of a web crawler that examined all the 10 million documents on the world wide web at that time in 1996. Internet Technology has rapidly developed since then with online shopping and games that give us access to things like online slots. Today, Google is a powerhouse that has developed vastly since its initial version and even has many other ventures in the tech world like YouTube, Android, and so on. You cannot talk about the evolution of the internet without mentioning Google a couple of times.

Bluetooth – 1999

Version 1.0 of Bluetooth was the first foray into the wireless technology that we all know and is now in almost every portable device today. It was named after a 10th century Denmark King Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson. This first version was released to the world on July 26th, 1999 and although it came with a lot of challenges, it was a great start. It took at least a decade for more development and for all of the challenges with the first version to be fixed. Today, you can find Bluetooth in almost every gadget you own and it has been at the forefront of the smartphone revolution with the development of wireless earbuds and smartwatches.

Facebook – 2004

Facebook needs no introduction as it has become one of the most popular (if not the most popular) social networking sites. Mark Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com in February 2004 while he was still in Harvard as a social networking site just for his classmates. The success eventually prompted him to release it out for the world and later he dropped out from Harvard to focus on it.

On Facebook’s 10th anniversary, in 2014 it had already made a tremendous growth averaging about 1.23 billion monthly users which were 17% of the world’s population.

Bitcoin – 2009

If you look in the news now, it all seems to talk about the rise of cryptocurrency, and that all started with Bitcoin. An unknown person by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto launched bitcoin to be an anonymous peer-to-peer encrypted currency. Bitcoin works with blockchain computing to decentralize and verify payments. Its very nature is tampering proof and untraceable to a single individual.

The total number of Bitcoin is limited to 21 million units so that there won’t be inflation. Circulation increases as more bitcoins are mined and the process uses large amounts of power.

Metal 3D printing – 2018

3D printing didn’t previously include metal materials and even then, it revolutionized the manufacturing industry. But since metal 3D printing was developed in 2018, there have been several advances in the manufacturing industry to help speed up production and make customization cost-effective. This technology also helps to uphold warranties that have been active for years, make parts stronger, lighter, and shaped in unique ways that traditional fabrication methods can’t. It has the potential to revolutionize the car manufacturing industry, medical industry, and several other fields.

Some Honorable Mentions

Other worthy additions to this list are:

  • Linux (1991)
  • DVD (1996)
  • International Space Station (1998)
  • Wikipedia (2001)
  • Google Maps (2005)
  • iPhone (2007)

The last few decades have proven that humans will never lack new ideas. There’s always more to discover and explore. No doubt we’ll see more disruptive inventions in the near future.