The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future

Welcome to The Innovation Collection, articles about innovation management, multi-talented inventors, obsolete gadgets, weird inventions, innovative schools, and the definition of innovation. Click below to explore the past, the present, and the future.

The Definition Of Innovation
What About Innovation Management? [Best Places To Learn]
Examples of Innovative Schools [Where To Find Them]
Multi-Talented Innovators That Expanded Their Skills
15 Things You Never Expected To Become Obsolete
The Wonderful World Of Weird Inventions

The Definition Of Innovation

The definition of innovation is subjective depending on who you ask. The definition of innovation according to a dictionary is an action that is required to create brand new ideas, products, or processes. An innovation when implemented should lead to positive and effective change. There is a difference in the terms innovation and invention. An invention can include the similar concepts of creation of new processes, ideas, or products. However, an innovation takes it one step further because it adds the implementation of an inventive act.

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Few Agree On The Definition Of Innovation

Some of the various explanations of the word innovation come from very creative people. For example, Motorola labs Mark Chason suggests that innovation is a way of creating or capturing a new value in a new way. He suggests that the key in that definition is the word value because it stresses the differences between invention and innovation. This descriptive definition is easy to memorize and simple to understand.

A creative man named Victor Fernandes of Natura advocates that innovation is anything new to your business that will fill an untapped customer’s needs. Therefore, according to Victor innovation is responsible for building a new market.

#Innovation is anything new to your business that will fill an untapped customer’s needsClick To Tweet

Another expert from Gene Express Incorporated, Jonathan Rowe, says that innovation is any idea that can be transformed into a practical reality. In relation to a business an innovation is a process, product, business concept, or a combination that will produce new growth and profits for an organization once activated. Jonathan differentiates disruptive and radical innovation from the more common incremental kind. Incremental innovation usually happens to the company because the company is already proficient at what it does.

He goes on to say that a true innovation is something that is far more out in left field than what is done normally. In a company for example, an innovation would not be something that is simply brand new to the company but rather it would be something that is simply new.

Expert Opinions Vary

The responses from various expert business personnel show that there may seem to be different definitions for the term innovation. However, when you look closer you will notice that these experts are basically saying the same thing but in different ways. This is one of the reasons why the word innovation is often misunderstood.

Some of the similarities that these experts point out about the word innovation are that it will deliver a positive outcome whether it is a competitive advantage, tangible value, or creation of a new market. They also agreed that an innovation must deliver actions that are new and will add value to the company. A few of these experts implied that innovation applies to stakeholders throughout the value chain while others implied that innovation will focus on end markets and customers.

Maybe the simplest way to describe the term innovation is to say that it captures value in new ways or creates new value. Whichever way you decide to interpret the word innovation it is interesting to note that many CEOs are selecting the concept of the term innovation as one of their strategic pillars for growth.

What About Innovation Management? [Best Places To Learn]

innovation-300x183 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  Success is what everyone desires. For companies, their product’s success is critical. To have a more profitable firm or company, innovation management is necessary. In most fields change helps to understand why. This is true for most companies in high-tech markets.

Products are always changing value and use. For example, today books become e-books to read on tablets and smartphones. Conventional methods are all okay. But today innovation changes the traditional way we use an individual product.

So why should you care about what innovation management is?

Well, it is the newest method that companies use to compete in the market. Managerial decisions today are often based on innovation. New approaches, new ideas, and new approaches are what every company is looking for.

What is Innovation Management?

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So what exactly is innovation management? It is a combination of the management of innovation processes and change management. Managers and engineers gather together and use their creativity to generate new ideas.

Innovation management are tools that make brainstorming, idea management, and prototyping easier. You can use it to introduce a new idea, business process or product. All workers of an organization contribute in different subjects.

They contribute to the development of products, manufacturing, and marketing. Creativity is the foundation of innovation management. The goal is to create a suitable environment that encourages innovation and smart decision making.

Create a suitable environment that encourages innovation and #smart decision makingClick To Tweet

Where to learn about Innovation Management?

Today innovation management has become very familiar. So how and where can you inform yourself about it?

1- Websites

Of course, the first place we look for answers is the internet. The Harvard Business Review offers a pretty lengthy post. It talks about what innovation management is and how it works. It also provides printable worksheets with which you can test your management innovation. You can read the article here.

SearchCIO also introduces a simpler article about innovation management. It can help you improve your knowledge about innovation management.

2- Online Courses

Another option to learn more about innovation management is an online course. You can get certified by completing a course at a low cost. If the information on the internet is not enough, then an online course would be the best option for you. They offer a comfortable learning environment, and you can complete a course on your own time.

Coursera offers a course from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Here, you can learn about what innovation management is. Also, you acquire new strategies, management concepts and more.

Another online course website is the ShortCourses Portal. It offers a course where you learn how to support business growth with new trends.

3- University

If you want to gain more expertise, an academic degree is a choice for you. Most business schools offer a Master’s degree in Innovation Management. But it is possible to find a university that also provides a Bachelor’s degree.

Different universities boast that they will give you the skill set to be competitive in today’s market. It’s proven that your talents and work ethic are more important than a piece of paper. Still, a university degree will enable you to build specific knowledge to apply toward managing innovation.

Final Words

So which option is better for you? If you are looking for basic information, then the internet is your best choice. You will learn the background knowledge and tips that can help a company grow stronger.

You can also dig a little deeper and do some research so that it will help you better in your understanding. If you are already working in management, an online course on the side is a great option for you. It is also a good idea if you are studying management.

You can develop a set of skills for the job market. For a more lengthy and extensive study, you can enroll in a university and get a degree. This will help you to be more experienced with innovative management ideas.

Whichever option you choose to pursue, keep in mind that dedication is the key. it’s all about creativity. Also, new ideas to help the company’s products succeed are important. If you think that innovation management will help you, start by doing some research on the internet. Then you can decide whether you need a more intense training and experience.

Examples of Innovative Schools [Where To Find Them]

innovative-schools5-300x180 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  Innovation is defined as making changes to something by introducing something new. In education, this works by implementing fantastic ideas in innovative schools.

Schools all around the world have made drastic changes to their education systems. Here are the examples of innovative schools which have refined the traditional way of learning.

#Innovation is defined as making changes to something by introducing something newClick To Tweet

1. Pies Descalzos Innovative Schools in Columbia

innovative-schools4-150x150 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  The Pies Descalzos School in Columbia was founded in 2014. Designed by the architect Giancarlo Mazzanti and it covers 11200 square miles. Its primary purpose is to serve as an urban project which will have a great impact on society which will change the life of the citizens.

The way it improves people’s lives is by creating new possibilities for personal and community development. It became the symbol of pride for the city, all while being a beautiful piece of architecture. It consists of a set of hexagons that serve as dividing parts for each facility.

2. Egalia Preschool in Stockholm, Sweden

innovative-schools6-150x150 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  Have you ever heard of a school that is gender-neutral? The Egalia preschool has banned gender from their system. The school’s primary goal is to create a foundation in which children think of one another on equal terms.

They reject gender-based pronouns and work on developing complete equality between students. The students are called by their first name or referred to as “they.” The teachers try to avoid any discrimination. A significant characteristic of the Egalia pre-school is that the children learn to judge each other based on actions. They do not judge based on stereotypes or social norms.

3. Summit Sierra in Seattle, Washington

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One of the Northwest school of innovative learning in the United States, Summit Sierra known for its personalized learning style. It’s a form of learning in which the students use technology to guide their own instruction. This empowers students to choose their path, and it is one of the most effective teaching methods.

Over 200 students learn responsibility and self-reliance. A typical day at school consists of reading for half an hour then talking with mentors about their future goals. Solving math problems, interacting with other students, and taking online courses rounds out the day.

4. Sra Pou Vocational Innovative Schools in Cambodia

innovative-schools2-150x150 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  Located in the Sra Pou village of Cambodia, the Sra Pou vocational school serves as a training center and community building. Built in 2012, the primary purpose of this school was to teach the low-income families of the village how they can earn a living.

It offers professional training to help locals start businesses. It is made from local materials and built with the support of community members. The whole school is hand-made, and the main activity that takes place in the school is sewing. It also serves as a place where public gatherings and democratic decision-making take place.

5. Hakusui Nursery School in Chiba, Japan

innovative-schools8-150x150 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  Founded in 2014, the Hakusui Nursery School has revolutionized the traditional nursery. It accommodates 60 students and surrounded by the fascinating beauty of nature.

The house looks like a giant set of stairs. This nursery aims to enhance the interaction between children of different ages. The architect behind this idea claimed that there could be a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old in the same room. In this massive house, they can socialize with one another.

6. Ørestad Gymnasium in Copenhagen, Denmark

innovative-schools1-150x150 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  This high school is a public gymnasium based in Denmark, and it doesn’t have exact “classrooms.” It consists of open studying environments, and all teaching materials are digital in four study zones.

This school of innovation encourages a whole new learning style which breaks away from tradition. It has become one of the most sought-after high schools in Denmark. The building even won the Forum Aid Award in 2009. It is a very prestigious Swedish award in Stockholm handed out to the best building designs.

7. P-TECH High School in Brooklyn, New York

In 2011, IBM launched the P-TECH High School which has a different system than most high schools. P-TECH stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School.

They don’t have the traditional 4-year system. Students have to complete a six-year degree and have the chance to pursue internships in STEM fields. The school district then prepares students to enter the competitive field of Information Technology.

With the different types of innovation in various schools, education has become better than ever. From gender-neutral schools to open spaced learning, innovative schools have revolutionized traditional education. Today, innovation is the main factor in the future of teaching.

Multi-Talented Innovators That Expanded Their Skills

multitalented6-300x208 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  Most multi-talented innovators end up using their ideas and breakthroughs to make the world better. Breathing new life into their stagnant industries, creating a better world through production. As valuable as this is, even greater progress comes from the polymath. That extraordinary individual with a hunger to explore everything. Willing to expand their abilities in many areas and industries, and views the world as it is, and as it could be.

Here is a list of innovators who did not settle for mastery in a single school of thought. Instead, they worked in many areas of production and trade. Below are six examples of this rare breed; three from the past, and three of the present day and age.

Many #innovators did not settle for mastery in a single school of #thoughtClick To Tweet

Multi-Talented Innovators from the past:

1- Leonardo da Vinci (April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519)

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For any history buff or artist, the name Leonardo da Vinci is recognizable and respected. Leonardo is best known as a painter, but during his lifetime he was also a skilled draftsman and thinker. During the Italian Renaissance, he earned acclaim as a writer, engineer, and inventor.

Because of the tools and technology of his time, many of Leonardo’s ideas remained on paper. He conceptualized many modern day products that are in use today, including:

A man of great imaginative thought, Leonardo’s breadth of expertise earned him the nickname Renaissance Man. It serves him still, making him the best example of an innovator with many talents and abilities. If he were alive today, with access to 21st-century technology, we can only imagine what he would be capable of.

2- Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564, Pisa, Italy – January 8, 1642, Arcetri, Italy)

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Known as the “Father of Observational Astronomy,” the “Father of Modern Physics,” the “Father of Scientific Method,” and the “Father of Science.”

Galileo was the most innovative man of the 17th century’s scientific revolution. His master talent advanced the fields of physics, astronomy, cosmology, mathematics, and philosophy. Not only was Galileo well versed in these areas of study, through innovation he improved on them. Inventing upgrades for the telescope that allowed for a deeper observation of space.

Through his upgrades, the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and the phases of Venus are events we can watch. As well as sunspots, and the rough lunar surface. Galileo was a controversial figure during his time. His outspoken idea of the Sun as the center of our star system resulted in an investigation into him by the Roman Inquisition in 1615.

After writing and releasing his book “Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems,” the Inquisition charged him of heresy, finding him, “vehemently suspect of heresy,” and forced to recant.

He spent the rest of his life under house arrest. During this time he wrote one of his best-known works, “Two New Sciences,” in which he summarized his early ideas. These ideas, once unnamed and unexplored, are now recognized as Kinematics and Strength Of Materials.

It is this reason, above all else, that qualifies Galileo is considered a multi-talented innovator.

During that time in history, self-promotion was not something that people practiced. Galileo knew better and sold himself as well as his ideas. Thanks to this skill he became very famous, his thoughts and discoveries gaining lots of attention. While this worked in his favor in his early years, when his theories and ideas began to lose him support he did not compromise his integrity or findings.

Only when threatened with death by the Inquisition did he recant his theory on the Earth orbiting the Sun. But immediately afterward he uttered “E pur si muove” or “And yet it moves” in subtle defiance.

Galileo and his breakthroughs paved the way for the artists and scientists that followed. He continues to serve as an inspiration for all those who gaze into the cosmos today.

3- Nikola Tesla (July 10, 1856 – January 7, 1943)

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Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and physicist. Despite his lack of fame, he has been the inspiration for fellow inventors, scientists, and innovators for generations.

Tesla’s innovations in electric power changed the industry while it was still in its infancy. While others were attempting to copy Edison and grab onto his success, Tesla was pushing electronics further. Creating new methods of production, transmission, and application. His invention of the first alternating current motor. His development of AC generation, as well as his explorations of communication technology.

But, the main reason Tesla is on this particular list is that he was what is now known as a futurist among creative people.

A brilliant and inquisitive mind that saw what the world could be, and then set about making it so. Despite the fact that his industry was not yet completely realized. Tesla invented and improved rather than sit back and react to the time. He invented electronic oscillators, and meters. He improved on lights, and created the high-voltage transformer that we know today as the “Tesla coil.” He also experimented with X-rays and short-range radio waves.

While all these achievements center around the same field of study, they illustrate a man of many talents and skills. Willing and able to create the type of world that he would rather exist in. Even going so far to mold it with his bare hands.

Multi-Talented Innovators from the Present:

1- Carl Djerassi (October 29, 1923 – January 30, 2015)

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Dr. Djerassi is one of the 21st century’s most accomplished polymaths. Before his death, he earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 1945, became a novelist of science-fiction, a poet, and a successful playwright.

In 1943, Dr. Djerassi worked for CIBA in New Jersey, developing Pyribenzamine (tripelennamine). His first patent and one of the first commercial antihistamines, this was the first step he made on his journey to become known as the “Father Of the Pill.” During his time at Syntex, he completed that journey by creating the first generation of oral contraceptive pills.

Known today as the birth-control pill. Carl Djerassi is a perfect representation of the old world of genius, and the resources of the new world. Embracing the technology and research of the 21st century in science and creativity.

When he began writing, he used his expertise to explore the science fiction genre and theater. His debut novels, “Cantor’s Dilemma” and “Bourbaki Gambit,” portrayed lives of real scientists. A character study of intellectuals, with all their accomplishments, conflicts, and aspirations.

This type of writing became known as Lab-lit, and it makes Dr. Djerassi an innovator of modern literature as the creator of a new sub-genre. After earning success with his literature, he began writing plays.

He completed his first An Immaculate Misconception, in 1998. It dealt with the in vitro fertilization procedure ICSI. Following Misconception came six other theatrical productions. The last, Insufficiency, in 2012, is a bitter satire of both the scientific community and academic environments.

A doctor, a novelist, a poet, and playwright Dr. Djerassi is a perfect bridge between the old world and the new. An innovator of the highest order, and a herald of hope in the continued appearance of talent and innovation among mankind.

2- Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)

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If you’ve been awake in the last 20 or so years, you’ve heard the name, Steve Jobs.

Despite dropping out of Reed College, Jobs became an entrepreneur and leveraged his success into many areas. He became a businessman, an inventor, and an industrial designer, always advancing the industries he stepped into.

He was the co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc, chief executive officer of Pixar, a member of The Walt Disney board of directors, and the founder and chief executive officer of NeXT. Due to their contributions to the tech industry, Jobs and Steve Wozniak are two of the pioneers of the microcomputer revolution.

Speaking of the great and powerful Woz, let us take a moment and determine why Jobs is on this list, but Wozniak is not. It is not because one was smarter than the other, or because of fame or charisma.

No, the only reason that Wozniak is not on this list is that he had a more focused specialty, the computer. Jobs, in comparison, and due to his lack of ability to write code or build a computer processor, was more versatile in his innovation. Unrestrained, per say, in his way of thinking.

Steve Jobs seemed to operate under the impression that any product was subject to change. Capable of being better, faster, and more beautiful with enough effort. His peers in the industry saw computers as an exclusive tool for experts and scientists.

Jobs believed that the computer belonged to the people. He believed that it could be an extension of a person’s very body. A tool that should attract the eye and utilized with as much ease as possible.

While we placed plastic CD’s into our disk players, Steve saw a bulge, interrupting the figure of man. He saw an opportunity to create something smaller, sleeker, and more advanced in the iPod. He possessed an unlimited imagination that saw a company that used computers to create and design.

Make no mistake; Steve Jobs was a true multi-talented innovator. He understood that quality was one of the most important things in life and that everything can be better.

3- Elon Musk (Born: June 28, 1971)

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Elon Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate. An investor, engineer, and inventor, he is one of the most innovative and talented individuals alive today. As well as one of the wealthiest.

He is the founder and high-ranking executive of several successful and ground-breaking companies. Among these are SpaceX, Tesla Inc, OpenAI, and Neuralink. He is also the founder of, which merged with Confinity and took the name PayPal. Elon Musk has been and currently is, at the forefront of some of the most innovative inventions and developments of the last two decades.

As of May 2017, his estimated net worth is $15.2 billion, making him the 80th-wealthiest person in the world. In December 2016, he ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People.

Musk has displayed and expressed concrete goals for his products and companies. As well as ambitious altruistic ideals. He has stated in the past that the goals of his companies, SolarCity, Tesla, and SpaceX, revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity.

Goals include the reduction of global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption. Also, reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multi-planetary” through the establishment of a human colony on Mars.

Alongside his primary business, he conceptualized a high-speed transportation system known as Hyperloop. He proposed a VTOL supersonic jet aircraft with electric fan propulsion, referred to as the Musk electric jet.

With every product and new design, Musk reveals himself to be one of the most generous innovators of his time. A multi-talented designer, and the most proactive futurist… ever. Indeed if he manages to fulfill the goals of SpaceX, he will have changed the course of human history. Having taken the first permanent steps towards a new, interplanetary epoch of humanity.

15 Things You Never Expected To Become Obsolete

obsolete-technologies-300x206 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  The United States Patent and Trademark Office received 37 new patents every hour in the year 2015. While not all get approved (but can still have some protection), a good number of these ideas do get added to the record books. Some may even make it into manufacturing and released to the market. Even so, every new invention, every new idea, gets superseded by something better rendering it obsolete. Here’s a list of some of the most notable inventions near the end of life along with their replacements.

Every new #invention, every new #idea, eventually is superseded by something betterClick To Tweet

1. Daylight Saving Time: The goal of Daylight Savings Time (DST) is to save electricity by adjusting working hours to align with that of natural lighting. The theory is people use climate control system less thus saving power. It is also assumed that natural light results in fewer accidents.

Daylight savings time use around the world is fragmented with some 60% not using it at all. In the United States most of Arizona, except for some Native American areas, abolished DST so that it’s no longer in use. The island of Hawaii also does not observe DST because natural daylight hours do not vary due to their geographical location.

Furthermore, the United States changed DST in 1986 and 2005 so that it extends an extra four weeks. Canada soon followed suit to maintain consistency for interstate commerce. Mexico decided not to match the United States except for a few areas along the Mexican/USA border.

The argument against daylight savings time has gained traction in recent years. The world is taking advantage of energy sources and producing more efficient appliances. Eliminating daylight savings time would also lessen confusion for business transactions.

delivery-retail-all-day The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  2. 24/7 Business Hours: Some businesses expanded their operating hours to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week as a convenience for their customers. Many companies have also expanded their delivery offerings too.

Just about anything can be delivered thus removing the need to leave the house. One of the most popular delivery services has been pizza, which later expanded to groceries. Several other items including eye contacts and prepared meals are now also available for delivery.

The FAA is expanding rules for the allowance of drones in the United States. This has led many businesses to explore ways of delivering items to customers via air.

With the expansion of home delivery services, a retail outlet need not be open all hours of the day. Fewer hours means less overhead paying employees and building maintenance. Customers can use their computer or cell phone and request to have something delivered to them within an hour.

3. Commuting to Work: Some cities are famous for having congested roads in the morning and evening hours as people are commuting to work. Businesses have started to allow employees to work from home. They can spend more time with their family and spend less time traveling. The result is a boost in morale and reduced turnover.

An employee can use the Internet with a VPN (virtual private network) to access company resources from a home computer. Meetings held via a conference call or see each other face to face with the use of webcams.

With fewer employees in the office, a business doesn’t need to rent as much space. As roads get more congested, more and more companies are allowing their employees to telecommute.

4. Native Apps On Cell Phones: Web sites have been developing native apps for customer’s cell phones. At the same time most every reputable business has also redesigned their website to use HTML 5. The result is a mobile friendly website with a responsive design.

Having a dedicated app on a cell phone uses up memory, storage, and processing power. Having both an app and a website also increases maintenance costs. Developers not only have to add features to the site but also to the app at the same time. It takes double the work, and some features cannot port from one to the other.

There will soon come a time where a dedicated app for interacting with a business is not needed. New developments on the Internet and increased cell phone capabilities will render these obsolete.

5. Paying For Email: When the Internet first became available to the public, there were two common ways to access it. Either through terminals at a local university or a dial-up modem connected to a land line at home. A user must pay an ISP (Internet service provider) to access resources on the Internet. With this paid account one also received an email account.

It is still the case today except now connectivity is through a cable modem, fiber optic, or DSL. ISP’s are still the middleman between the user and the Internet to provide the service. Many of these also include an email address that comes part of a bundled package. Some choose to use this account, and some do not because they do not want to lock into a particular ISP.

Examples of free email services include Yahoo, and GMail (otherwise known as Google Mail). These are open to the public in exchange for a slight loss of privacy. They allow anybody to create an email account to send and receive messages. The catch is the possibility of seeing advertisements on the screen next to the email. Contents of sent and received emails determine the types of ads served to the user.

For example, if a lot of emails are about traveling, the user can expect to see ads for airfare and hotel rates. With these free accounts, even those without dedicated Internet can have an email address. There will come a time when everybody will only use free email accounts. It can be accessed regardless of which ISP’s are servicing the local area.

obsolete-paper-map-150x150 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  6. Paper Maps: For several years traveling on the road required the use of a paper map. It was not uncommon for travel agencies to provide maps to specific destinations. These companies would provide a customized plan to help one drive from point A to point B. They also provided a local map for getting around town. These maps would indicate features such as nearby gas stations and food establishments.

As technology progressed, portable GPS (global positioning system) units became available to the public. They would pinpoint the current location and plot the route on a map. Many also included a voice system that read directions out loud such as “stay in right lane” or “turn right.” Smartphones then replaced GPS units with built-in mapping software.

Two of the most popular navigation apps available for cell phones are Google Maps and Waze. Most everybody has a cell phone. Thus they also have a portable navigation unit too. It rendered the need for a separate GPS device and paper maps out of date.

7. Newspapers: For the longest time, newspapers have included classified ads somewhere in their publication. These ads may include announcements of garage sales, obituaries, services, or opinions.

Newspapers are localized and only cover a small area of the world. Thus, such listings in the classified are usually only a few miles away.

The Internet superseded classified ads with online discussion forums. These websites address different regions of the world and further split up into cities. Online shopping sites sprung up for selling used items. Some are an online auction system to bid on specific products, while others have a fixed price.

Personalized service offerings appear on websites as “gigs” listing what is available and how much. While communication is sometimes via telephone, most communications are online. The buyer and seller will either share their email address or use a built-in messaging system on the website itself.

As a result of the Internet, some newspapers have consolidated or have not been publishing new editions altogether.

outdated-fax-machine-300x208 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  8. Fax Machines: Fax machines were invented years ago for transferring copies of documents from one location to another. A fax machine dials another fax machine and uses a handshake protocol. A scanned document is then transmitted to the other fax machine which prints it out.

With the invention of the Internet, this technology is superseded by email. These days the user scans a document into their computer and emails to the destination. The recipient can either review the material online or print it onto paper.

Even so, the fax machine is still in use today despite its shortcomings. The most notable are DPI (dots per inch) being low quality. It can also only scan in black and white without gray shades. In contrast, a document scanned into a computer can be in full color and at a much higher resolution.

At some point, the fax machine will become obsolete. Many businesses still insist on it thus this technology still has several years of life left.

9. Phone Books: Ever since the invention of the telephone, phone books were delivered to all households. Some homes even had more than one real land line connected to the outside world via copper cable. Everyone had a unique phone number and needed to know how to reach a particular person or business.

Traditional phone books included yellow pages containing information and advertisements about businesses. They also had white pages listing the physical address and phone number of residents in the town.

Cellular phones have become so popular many people no longer have a physical land line. At the same time, online directories replaced phone books and with more current information. Many cities have passed laws allowing the discontinuation of phone books. Others still must deliver a new telephone directory to homes and businesses annually.

10. Music Media: The media format that customers obtained music from has changed through the years. The 1950s and 1960s featured eight track tapes. The 1970s included circular vinyl records. The 1980s is when cassette tapes were most famous. The 1990s to the present features most music available on compact discs (CD’s).

Digital formats such as MP3 files and streaming services are becoming more common. Music stores that used to only sell CD’s have since closed due to the popularity of the Internet. MP3 files and streaming services are available on both desktop and mobile devices. Thus, people are no longer have to carry two gadgets just to listen to their favorite tune.

11. Physical Buttons: The interface for humans to interact with electronics has included physical buttons for years. Mobile devices including cell phones and tablets also have buttons, though the number is far fewer. In recent years only a power button and volume control are available. Virtual buttons are now more commonplace due to touchscreen displays becoming more affordable.

Even touchscreen displays are being taken over by new technology. All major electronics manufacturers now include voice recognition systems in their gadgets. It allows the user talk to the device through spoken word.

Favorite technologies include Apple Siri, Amazon Echo, and Microsoft Cortana. These systems use natural language interpretation with Internet servers to determine user intent. Combining physical location with verbal commands helps ascertain the intent of an inquiry.

Artificial intelligence knows whether the user is looking for something nearby or far away. Devices won’t have any buttons in the future, instead controlled by voice or perhaps even the brain.

[bctt tweet=”All major electronics manufacturers now include voice recognition systems in their #gadgets” username=”ideas2apply”]

12. Vehicle Mirrors: Safety standards have long required that cars include side and rear view mirrors. These mirrors are slowly being replaced with cameras mounted both on the side and rear of the vehicle. A display on the vehicle’s dashboard helps the driver spot objects or people in the immediate vicinity.

In fact, the United States government is requiring all manufactured cars starting in the year 2018 to include a video system. More cars are also becoming autonomous and capable of driving themselves. Thus, a camera system can help both human drivers and computer drivers ensure the vehicle navigates safely.

out-of-date-wired-charger-300x82 The Innovation Collection-The Past, Present, & Future  13. Wired Charging: Ever since the invention of the battery, the only way to charge them has been through wires. Charging mechanisms have migrated to use alternate forms of power to charge a battery.

For example, solar chargers are popular with those who like to backpack. People that spend a lot of time under water can use hydropower to charge their batteries. Exercising on a bike or even walking can generate energy which in turn can charge batteries.

Some sidewalks use foot traffic to charge batteries so that overhead lights are lit at night. Freeways take advantage of wind power generated by passing cars to charge batteries. Overhead lights turn on at night to illuminate the roadway. The one thing consistent with all these is they are all connected through wires.

In recent years, charging pads have become more popular. An electronic device lays down on a surface and power transmits from the pad into the gadget. Some have used lasers and other frequency levels to transfer power through the air. Safety concerns have always been a concern, but wireless charging is become more common every day.

14. Cable Subscriptions: Television cable companies are finding their subscriber base shrinking at an accelerated rate. Customer are choosing to “cut the cord” and look online for the entertainment. Services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube offer both free and paid content.

Many television programs are also making their content available online. Current episodes are usually exclusive for broadcast only via a cable company. But online services allows binge replays of old television episodes at leisure. Cable companies are now generating replacement revenue by providing Internet access at inflated rates.

15. CD and DVD Drives: Ever since the invention of CDs and DVDs, trays have popped out of computers. Music was distributed on CD’s and computer software sold on DVD’s for several years. With the increased popularity of the Internet, these forms of media are less common.

Now customers download MP3 files or stream audio from an online provider. Software and games sold on the Internet are available for immediate download. It’s the result of many households now having a high-speed Internet connection.

Computer manufacturers adjusted their manufacturing plants to no longer include CD and DVD drives. The result is a reduction in weight as well as manufacturing costs of equipment.

The Wonderful World Of Weird Inventions

While many inventions are practical, some are a bit stranger and eventually become obsolete. The world is full of weird inventions, some of which have to be seen to believed. These bizarre creations may not have much functionality, but they sure are fascinating.

The Nose Stylus

While hands-free phone use is something that interest many, few people have ever thought to navigate their touch screen with their nose. Still, UK designer Dominic Wilcox created a long, snout-like stylus that straps onto a person’s head. From there, people could select icons on their phone without ever having to touch it.

The Tomato Feeding Robot

Japanese juice company Kagome managed to create one of the world’s strangest inventions — the tomato feeding robot. The robot, designed for marathon runners, straps onto a person’s shoulders. It then feeds them tomatoes or other fresh produce at timed intervals.

The Rolling Bench

Many frustrated people face a wet park bench, but few have ever thought of a solution. However, Korean Sung Woo Park came up with an idea that is both strange and ingenious. He created a park bench with rolling slats. If the bench is wet, the user can turn the slats until dry ones appear. This item is found throughout parks in Seoul.

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