The Best Inventions of the 21st Century

by Brian Gabriel; Updated September 26, 2017
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The 21st century has already seen some amazing inventions in its first decade. Many of the best inventions have improved the Internet experience, allowing us to connect with people and information better than ever before in history. While it is impossible to prophecy the long-term impact of the most recent inventions, it is possible to measure their impact thus far.

YouTube

The first and largest video-sharing site on the Internet is YouTube. It was invented in 2005 by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim. "Time" magazine named YouTube as the top invention of the year in its 2006 publication (see References 4). YouTube has revolutionized media by allowing anybody with a video camera to create a video and show it to the rest of the world. It is used by people to sell their services, build music careers, comment on politics and many other things.

iPod

The iPod was invented by Tony Fadell, who was hired by Apple in early 2001 to build his invention with a team of 30 designers, computer programmers and hardware engineers. The iPod will play thousands of audio files just like an MP3 with the major addition of a downloadable library of music and audio. The iPod uses a small hard disc to store music files. Consumers can quickly access new audio material at low prices with an innovative sales distribution service called iTunes that is built right into the hand-held device.

Facebook

Social networking has become one of the top uses of the Internet along with search engine queries. Facebook is by far the most successful social network, connecting people with others online so they can share information and communicate with each other. Facebook was founded in 2003 by Mark Zuckerburg and his Harvard roommates Chris Hughes, Eduardo Saverin and Dustin Moskovitz. According to Facebook's official website, it has over 500 million active users worldwide, logging in 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. The site is a worldwide success, with 70 percent of its users outside of the United States.

Bionic Hand

In 2007 David Gow invented the iLIMB, the first artificial hand with five individually powered fingers. This breakthrough allows people to grip oddly shaped objects like balls and coffee mug handles. Gow persisted through the many technological hurdles and created the iLIMB with three separate parts: the finger, thumb and palm. Each part is equipped with its own motor-control system. Gow's iLIMB was named as one of "Popular Science" magazine's best innovations in 2007

About the Author

Brian Gabriel has been a writer and blogger since 2009, contributing to various online publications. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in history from Whitworth University.

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