Startups are often the source of new inventions and game-changing breakthroughs. The theme of many of the greatest inventions has been their impact on making the world a smaller place. Below is a list of some of them, and some potential new inventions from companies that could further shape our world.
Inventions that changed the world
Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 was experimenting with transmitting sound via electricity. By 1880, many cities in the western world had telephones as a means of private communication. This invention was so useful, accessible and affordable that it didn’t take long to completely change the way we communicated with each other.
Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn are two computer scientists who are credited with the invention of the internet. These protocols were privately invented at UCLA and Stanford, and in 1980 there was a breakthrough for the two, as they set up the guidelines for data transfer using packet switching. Eventually, throughout the 90s, the internet quickly caught on in the mass market and by the turn of the century would be become an astounding way to instantly gather information.
The Wright brothers were the first to successfully pilot the aeroplane in 1903. It only took a decade, if that, to become a means of travelling long distance and used as a military tool. This was perhaps the most influential invention in making our world smaller. In the 1950s before it took off commercially, hardly anyone would dare to step foot on a year long adventure using the hippy trail. Now, you can visit almost anywhere for a few hundred dollars.
Facebook was invented in 2003 as FaceMash by Mark Zucherberg and his roommate during college. It took a few years to become what is known as Facebook today, but by 2008 it soon took the world by storm. With well over two billion monthly users, the site has become a centralised catalogue to find and speak to anyone you have ever met. It may have turned into a hub for memes and outrage, but the platform still dominates the market and has changed the way we gather information and news for ever.
As we can see from the list above, all of these inventions have made our world a much smaller place. We can now affordably travel to any corner of the globe in under a day, and communicate with our expat relatives free of charge.
What game-changing inventions lurk around the corner?
In 2017, Elon Musk proposed the potential use of the SpaceX rockets to be used as commercial travel around the globe. Elon states that one could be flown to any point in the globe, no matter the distance, within 30 minutes.
Such bold claims inevitably garner much attention, from both the media and the public. In terms of if it is possible, many experts suggest it is, though it will be a logistical nightmare. Possible does not mean viable, though. Whether the operations would be economical enough to be financially sustainable, alas making the service affordable, is to be seen
Also, visiting Mars is another way SpaceX is making our galaxy somewhat smaller. Making Mars somewhat habitable may be a bit of a dream at the moment, and may only apply to the very wealthy if the plan comes to fruition, but as we know with these things: once they become possible, and come to market, they only ever get cheaper.
Instead of focusing on making our world smaller, or a means to escape this planet and explore others, startup company Dropcopter is offering us a solution to help save this perfectly fine rock we currently live on. Dropcopter are on their way to creating a drone that spread pollen. The reason is to counter the dystopian and drastic drop in bees, who pollinate plants to help grow almost everything we eat, from fruit and vegetables to chocolate and coffee. Perhaps this can make our world smaller too, making it easier to farm our own food even in places with rough conditions.
An article on the world-changing inventions would be pointless without another Elon Musk mention. Neuralink is a small research-based company of his that is attempting to merge technology and our brains together – which could potentially give us a greater cognitive capacity. Instead of developing separate AI that could pose an existential threat, Elon is attempting to give us more hope by using technology to integrate and grow with us, so we can use it to our advantage.