How Gadgets Make History

The history of gadgets spans as far back as humanity itself — since we began creating tools to make our lives easier. Humans have always created devices and appliances with specific practical purposes that were initially thought of as novelties, due to unfamiliarity with and initial unwillingness to accept the technology. Today, industries are capitalizing on the developments in computing and software developments to create an enormous number of gadgets.

What famous inventors Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Leonardo da Vinci, among others, had in common was foresight. They understood that a lifetime spent playing with what others viewed as toys and senseless gadgets would eventually result in indispensable technology. From just that small group, the groundwork for electricity, communications, film, and flight was laid because of their gadgets, which obviously possessed more value than novelty.

Perhaps one of the earliest, most well-known gadgets created is the wheel, many millennia ago. Take a ride in your car and witness how truly revolutionary such a gadget became and how much we now rely on it for transportation. A more recent gadget, the Apple iPhone has become a gadget-turned-necessity that has completely reshaped communications.

Consider what Richard Thalhiemer had to say about the iPhone in its early days:

“The iPhone may someday be looked upon as the device that started a second revolution in computing. Desktop computing was the first revolution. Hand-held computing will someday be regarded as the second revolution, and the iPhone is the product that started it.”

All gadgets were not created equal. In fact most inventions are built on the newest technology. The world of gadgets is tiered; devices fall into one of four categories:

1. Mechanical

Mechanical gadgets include the wheel, as well as later developments such as the pulley, the bicycle, the sailboat, the thermometer, and more.

2. Electronic

Following the advent of electricity, gadgets were taken to a new level as inventors began to discover different uses for the newly harnessed energy. The television, radio and quartz watch are examples of electronic gadgets.

3. Programmable

After electricity, inventors toyed around with electronic information via microprocessor, beginning an age of programmable devices such as computers, and later, MP3 players and the iPhone.

4. Application

Application gadgets include iTunes, Microsoft Office, and other computer applications that customize our experience with programmable devices.

What gadgets are making your life easier? Your job more efficient? Are you working as a team with the most up-to-date project software, one of the latest in applications?

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