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Which Gadget Changed the World?

Popular Mechanics, a favorite newsstand option for the straightforward blend of science and technology, recently declared the "101 Gadgets That Changed the World." Most of these objects are so ubiquitous in our everyday lives that it's hard to imagine a time when they didn't exist: radios, telephones, ballpoint pens, calculators, and zippers to name a few.

The following are the top 10 gadgets and inventions deemed by the magazine to have most drastically changed the world, with the smartphone taking the top spot. We're inclined to agree with the editors that life would be pretty different without a miniature computer smartphone, but can you imagine getting to work without an alarm clock buzzing you awake? Of the 10 gadgets on the list, which do you think has had the biggest global impact?

Sources: Flickr User Boniface Plymouth and Flickr User Ivyfield

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
James2324353 James2324353 5 years
well the choice i would make is the printing press but since it's not there i will pick telephone because it made our world smaller
BatmanSixtyThree BatmanSixtyThree 5 years
Had to go with lightbulb, as it was one of (if not the) first gadgets to show us the potential of electricity to better our lives.
Evan2318967 Evan2318967 5 years
i voted television. First I narrowed it down to television, telephone, and alarm clock. Reasoning: -smartphone feels like an "in between" device to me. Between a cell phone and whatever comes next. I think that whatever comes next will change the world more than smartphones have. -radio was an early version of television only without picture. If I had to choose between the two, I'd take television. -hypodermic needle was one of my top picks, but most of the things we use needles for could be done in more primitive and dangerous ways -personal computer changed the world because of the internet, which used telephones. If I had to choose between the two, I choose telephones. -portable air conditioner lets us live in warmer climates. not a big deal. -music playback devices are not worth commenting on -light bulb was just a safer, more efficient version of candles and lanterns. And then I finally ruled out -alarm clock because most times someone is woken up, it could have possibly been done another way (I guess alarm clocks have allowed people to live alone while following a strict schedule, but otherwise there is usually someone around to wake you up if you aren't following a regular sleep pattern.) -telephone was just a better version of a telegraph. Television changed the world as much as or more than any of the other devices and was unlike anything that had come before it. The only thing I'd vote ahead of tv would be a computer + telephone = internet combination.
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