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The top 10 'inventions' that changed the world

Credit cards, trainer shoes, social networking sites, and GPS technology have made it to the list of things that have changed the world.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2009 14:39 IST

Credit cards, trainer shoes, social networking sites, and GPS technology have made it to the list of things that have changed the world.

To mark the National Science and Engineering Week, a panel of 20 experts from the British Science Association have drawn up a list of the top 10 things that have changed the world, reports The Telegraph.

Here is the list in full:

1. GPS Technology
Originally developed as a navigation system by the United States military, the Global Positioning System is now used in cars, aircraft and boats.

2. The Sony Walkman
In 1979 Sony spawned the era of wearable technology with its iconic personal stereo. The Walkman quickly changed listening habits and became hugely popular as jogging culture took the 1980s by storm.

3. The Bar code
The boring sets of black and white lines can now be found on almost every single item bought from a shop. Norman Woodland first developed an early form of the bar code in 1949 by combining ideas from movie soundtracks and Morse code to help him speed up store checkouts. And now stores can instantly access product details, prices and stock levels with a sweep of a laser.

4. TV Dinners
Convenience food really took off in the 1970s and transformed the way families ate meals, the high-street, the countryside and national health. Traditional family dinners around the table disappeared and pre-packaged "ready meals" eaten on the sofa became the norm.

5. PlayStation
Although games consoles had been around for some time, Sony's PlayStation took gaming out of spotty teenager''s bedrooms and into adult living rooms when it was released in 1994.

6. Social Networking
Everyday, more than three billion minutes are spent by computer users on Facebook. Along with other social networking sites such as MySpace and Twitter, it has completely changed the way we interact and who we interact with.

Millions of people now communicate tiny details of their professional and personal lives by poking, twittering and posting. Online social networking has allowed people to rekindle friendships with friends they lost touch with years ago.

7. Text messages
Text messaging has created a new vocabulary and new grammar that is almost incomprehensible to those who do not use it. LOL and FYI have now passed into everyday English.

8. Electronic Money
Credit cards gave us greater convenience for spending, greater security and the ability to spend money anywhere in the world.

9. Microwaves
Microwaves - electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths ranging between 1 millimetre and one metre - are used by mobile phones, wireless broadband internet and satellite television.

They also gave us a new way of cooking food while the US military has developed a "less-than-lethal" weapon that can blast victims with a heat wave.

10. Trainers
Trainers changed fashion and the feet of generations ever since the Goodyear Metallic Rubber Shoe Company first used a new manufacturing process to meld rubber to cloth in 1892.

With the help of celebrity endorsements by sporting superstars such as basketball legend Michael Jordan, trainers turned from being purely practical clothing for sport into a fashion item.

First Published: Mar 14, 2009 14:34 IST