WiFi, smartphones and online banking top list of the best invention of the last 25 years


In the last 25 years, the world has gone from an analog, disconnected landmass to an ultra-connected, on-demand ecosystem of connected people and devices. With this in mind, it is no surprise that WiFi, smartphones and online banking have been hailed as the best invention in recent times.

In a new survey of 2,000 adults, 48 per cent chose WiFi as their favourite and most impactful invention of the last 25 years, while 41 per cent chose smartphones. Online banking was in third  with 35 per cent.

To be considered a successful, three out of five people surveyed said an invention needs to fill a gap in the market. Another 54 per cent think the invention needs to improve lives in order to go down in history, and a third think the design has to ‘break the mould’ of what has come before.

A spokesperson for Product Focus, which commissioned the study, said: “The last 25 years has seen an explosion in technical development and creativity which has improved our quality of life.

“In the last couple of decades, we have planted our feet firmly in the digital age, and innovations like WiFi, online banking and search engines are great examples of products that as a result of hard work and continuous development have become vital and beneficial parts of everyday life”.

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was named the most visionary inventor of the last 25 years, followed by inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. 

Turning their attention to the future of inventing, nearly one in two of us want to see further product developments in the area of transport to help make our lives easier and the number 1 product we want is flying cars.

One in four would like a visionary inventor to tackle the food and drink industry to see how they could improve things, while three in five think the health sector should be prioritised.

Forty six per cent think the biggest new innovations of the near future will come from medical technology, while 25 per cent are looking forward to the next leap in artificial intelligence to make the world better.

  1.  WiFi
  2.  Smartphones
  3.  Online banking
  4.  Online search e.g. Google
  5.  Online shopping e.g. Amazon
  6.  Stem cell technology
  7.  GPS
  8.  Flat-screen TVs
  9.  Contactless payment
  10.  Tablets
  11.  YouTube
  12.  3D printers
  13.  Netflix
  14.  Data encryption
  15.  Skype
  16.  Modern electric cars e.g. Tesla model S
  17.  Kindle
  18.  Bluetooth
  19.  Facebook
  20.  Wireless headphones
  21.  Ancestry DNA kits
  22.  Sony games consoles such as PlayStation
  23.  Amazon Echo
  24.  Spotify
  25.  Fitbit

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