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Major Inventions Timeline: The 21st Century

Updated on February 15, 2017

Inventions in the first decade of the 21st Century have run the gamut from high tech improvements of old ideas to inventions radically new and awe inspiring. The new artificial heart is a modified version of Jarvik's invention but is a completely internal model. Cars are now infinitely more fuel efficient and are veering away from traditional fossil fuel systems to greener models and aiming towards the zero emission and low carbon footprint models such as is seen in the Deakin T-squared car developed in Australia. Nanotechnology is no longer a dream with the development of the nanomotor and focus on true green energy sources is inspiring in inventions such as the Flying Windmill and the Solar Tower. The miraculous nature of invention will continue unabated well into this century. Who knows what will come next. Many of "Star Trek's" technology has already come to pass in inventions such as the cell phone and tablet computers. Will it be surprising to find in the near future that the transporter (matter dematerializer/rematerializer) has been invented?

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The Millenium Bridge comes down and pedestrians start walking across the Tyne, two communities reconnected.Nanoscale plasmonic motor. iPod 5th Generation white.
The Millenium Bridge comes down and pedestrians start walking across the Tyne, two communities reconnected.
The Millenium Bridge comes down and pedestrians start walking across the Tyne, two communities reconnected. | Source
Nanoscale plasmonic motor.
Nanoscale plasmonic motor. | Source
 iPod 5th Generation white.
iPod 5th Generation white. | Source
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Solucar PS10 is the first solar thermal power plant based on tower in the world that generate electricity in a commercial way.Falkirk wheel A boat lift (rather than a canal lift bridge) and piece of spectacular engineering
Solucar PS10 is the first solar thermal power plant based on tower in the world that generate electricity in a commercial way.
Solucar PS10 is the first solar thermal power plant based on tower in the world that generate electricity in a commercial way. | Source
Falkirk wheel A boat lift (rather than a canal lift bridge) and piece of spectacular engineering
Falkirk wheel A boat lift (rather than a canal lift bridge) and piece of spectacular engineering | Source
  1. 2000 - T.V. Oommen invents environmentally friendly transformer fluid from vegetable oil.
  2. 2001 - AbioCor artificial heart invented by Abiomed.
  3. 2001 - Dr. Kenneth Matsumaura and the Alin Foundation invents the artificial liver.
  4. 2001 - Aprillia invents the fuel cell bike.
  5. 2001 - PPG Industries invents self-cleaning windows.
  6. 2001 - Jonathan Ive's invention, the Apple's iPod, is publicly annnounced on October 23, 2001.
  7. 2001 - David and Jay Groen, two brothers from Utah perfect the gyroplane.
  8. 2001 - Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Gifford and Partners, civil engineers invent the Millennium Bridge an alternate design to the drawbridge.
  9. 2002 - Ryan Patterson invents the Braille Glove.
  10. 2002 - British Waterways Scotland invents the Falkirk Wheel, the World's First Rotating Boat Lift
  11. 2002 - Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical invents the birth control patch.
  12. 2002 - Richard Merrill invents the Date Rape Drug Spotter.
  13. 2002 - Jorg Schlaich invents the Solar Tower.
  14. 2002 - Canesta and VKB invent the virtual keyboard.
  15. 2003 - Alex Zettl invents the nanoscale motor small enough to ride on the back of a virus.
  16. 2003 - Toyota's Hybrid Car is introduced in Japan.
  17. 2003 - Claudia Escobar and Skini invent Salmon Skin Leather used primarily in bikinis.
  18. 2003 - Rod Sprules invents the Java Log made from used coffee grinds.
  19. 2003 - Singapore Technologies Electronics and the Singapore Defense Science and Technology Agency invent Infrared Fever Screening System used to scan for people with high temperature or SARS in public buildings.
  20. 2003 - Adam Whiton and Yolita Nugent invent the No-Contact Jacket that protects that wearer by electric shocking any attackers.
  21. 2004 - Intel Express Chipsets are invented by Gransdale and Alderwood; they will provide built-in sound and video capabilities for the PC.
  22. 2004 - St. George's Medical School in London invents a process to grow vaccines in plants leading the way for cheaply manufactured vaccines.
  23. 2004 - SonoPrep, that injects medication by sound wave, is invented by bioengineer Robert Langer .
  24. 2005 - YouTube is invented by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim.
  25. 2005 - An international team of British, American, and Japanese, scientists believes it has found a master switch for cancer which they have called Pokémon (for POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor) .
  26. 2005 - Smart plastics that change shape with certain light wavelengths are invented.
  27. 2006 - Infrared alcohol test is invented in Albuquerque, N.M. for quickly identifying drunk drivers.
  28. 2006 - The Clever Car which runs on natural gas, getting 108 m.p.g. is invented by BMW, and various European institutions.
  29. 2006 - Tesla Motors invents the Tesla Roadster 100 that runs on a huge lithium-ion battery taking it up to 250 highway miles.
  30. 2006 - Shanghai-based Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies invents a toy car powered by hydrogen extracted from tap water.
  31. 2006 - Aqua Sciences invents, 'The Rainmaker', which harvents drinking water out of the air.
  32. 2006 - Allerca invents a mixed breed hypoallergenic cat.
  33. 2006 - INSCENTINEL of Britain invents a system to train bees to detect explosions,
  34. 2006 - HelioVolt invents Solar Skin, which can be printed directly onto glass, metal and other building materials so skyscrapers will go up solar ready.
  35. 2007 - Jonathan Ive of England invents the iPhone for Apple.
  36. 2007 - Bruce Crower invents a steam/gasoline hybrid car that travels 40% farther than traditional gas powered engines.
  37. 2007 - A British research team led by Sir Magdi Yacoub, a professor of cardiac surgery at Imperial College London and one of the world's leading heart surgeons, invents a process to grow part of a human heart from stem cells for the first time.
  38. 2007 - The Espresso Book Machine is invented which prints out a 300 page novel in 3 minutes at $3 a book.
  39. 2007 - Sony invents the Bio Cell, a battery that runs on any sugary solution and glucose-digesting enzymes to extract electrons creating electricity.
  40. 2007 - Frank Pringle of Global Resource Corp invents an emission-free process for pulling oil out of shale rock, tires and plastic using microwaves.
  41. 2007 - Henry Liu invents a process to compress mercury-laced ash, from coal power plants, into bricks made at room temperature also conserving energy.
  42. 2007 - Hyshot Scramjet Engine is invented by a team from the University of Queensland led by Professor Allan Paull. It is designed to boost a vehicle to hypersonic speeds.
  43. 2007 - Alex Zettl invents a nanoscale radio receiver.
  44. 2007 - The Electro Needle Biomedical Sensor Array is invented. It is a patch that takes blood readings without external extraction of the blood.
  45. 2007 - Dow Corning invents special clothing for bikers that remains soft unless impacted by a fall upon which time the entire piece of clothing becomes ridgid, protecting the body.
  46. 2008 - TX Active, a smog-eating cement is invented by the Italian Company, Italcementi, which destroy airborne pollutants by up to 60%.
  47. 2008 - Flying Windmills are invented by Sky Windpower, a San Diego company that extracts energy from the jet stream possibly satisfying the planets energy requirements.
  48. 2008 - The Deakin T-squared Green Car is invented by students from Deakin University in Melborne, Victoria Australia. It uses compressed air as its fuel and is, therefore, a zero emission vehicle. It is cheap to produce since it uses light-weight materials, only has three wheels and uses a 'drive by wire' system meaning that there is no steering rack or steering rod. A person controls the vehicle by an electronic connection rather than by a mechanical connection between the hands and wheel.
  49. 2008 - Spray on Skin Gun is developed by Australian Dr. Fiona Wood that uses a persons own stem cells for regenerating skin tissue.
  50. 2008 - The Nintendo Wii is released which is the first interactive gaming system.
  51. 2009 - The Sixth Sense wearable gestural interface is invented letting natural hand gestures interact with a computer.
  52. 2009 - Retinal Implants are invented by the Retinal Implant Research Group. It is a microelectronic implant that restores vision to patients with macular degeneration and blindness.
  53. 2009 - Tank-bred Tuna System is invented by Clean Seas Tuna of Port Augusta, Australia.
  54. 2011 - Swedish Engineer, Alex Breton invents the Print Brush, a combination camera, injet printer that can take a picture and then 'brush' the picture onto any medium.
  55. 2011 - The Bed Bug Detective utilizes a digitized organic compound sensor that detects bedbugs by sensing two pheromones that they produce.

© 2012 Teresa Coppens

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    • profile image

      Bailey 

      6 months ago

      This is awesome and RAD

    • profile image

      Angie 

      3 years ago

      This is a very helpful and informative list! However, the Nintendo Wii was actually released in 2006, not 2008.

      Thanks for the list, it certainly came in handy for my project! :)

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks so much iguidenetwork. I enjoy the process of research. Glad you enjoyed the fruits of my labour!

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 

      5 years ago from Austin, TX

      What a very good and exhaustive list! I admire the amount of work and research you put into this hub. Thanks for posting! :)

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks so much Daniella. I'm so glad to be of help!

    • profile image

      Daniella 

      5 years ago

      You help me with school a lot thank you

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      FLUSSIG, so glad you enjoyed the hub. If I hear at all about any sites that may help you in your quest as a inventor I will post them here. Good luck!

    • FLUSSIG profile image

      FLUSSIG 

      5 years ago

      It's crazy when you think about how much stuff is invented every day. Definitely getting my creative juices flowing. I'm in the plumbing business, and have some good ideas for some tools. Does anyone know of a place where I could "pitch" my idea? There are some websites out there which give some good information like www.inventiontomoney.com . Maybe ill start there for right now.

    • profile image

      Brytle 

      5 years ago

      amazing inventions

    • profile image

      Ankit ashish 

      6 years ago

      Harami kutte sale chor

    • profile image

      RandomHaha 

      6 years ago

      Cool

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      So glad you're enjoying these hubs. I've learned a lot of 'Trivial Pursuit' material writing them.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Self cleaning windows. Where have I been? Will have to check out these, you know for the dream home that I'll probably never have. Great list. I enjoyed the one on the 20th century and this one too. Up useful and interesting!

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Human discovery seems to ble moving at breakneck speed and the inventions become more fantastic. I'm curious to see what will be commonplace for my grandchildren if I am so blessed.

    • Kadmiels profile image

      Kadmiels 

      6 years ago from Florida

      its amazing how the invention list becomes weeks and not months over time thanks great info

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Glad you liked it Lori. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I heard rumor that one physicist believes the molecular transporter will be a reality within the next 100 years. Considering that so much of what has been accomplished in the last 25 to 30 years was once considered 'impossible', I don't discount anything. On the other had, I don't think I'd like to be among the first few thousand to try to beam myself to Paris for lunch.

    • LoriSoard profile image

      LoriSoard 

      6 years ago from Henryville, Indiana

      Wow! Impressive list. I love seeing the advances in technology. Nice job.

    • lone77star profile image

      Rod Martin Jr 

      6 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      An impressive list. Wow!

      As for Star Trek's transporter, I can't see how they'd get around Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. I guess they'd need to invent the compensator, first--perhaps something that mirrors the sub-atomic processes so that we never really need to know location and momentum.

      I do love gadgets, but then again, faith can move mountains and that doesn't take any physical instrumentality.

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Nice to see you back! Glad you find it useful.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 

      6 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Absolutely fascinating.

      Formidable research.

      Thank you so much.

      Great Hub.

      Voted up, interesting and bookmarked for personal research.

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