15 biggest breakthroughs in technology

We’ve come a long, long way in the past few centuries. Technology has vastly and remarkably improved, with new innovations and inventions being developed all the time. Sometimes we take for granted all of the incredible products and technologies we have at our disposal. In many cases, we can’t even remember life without the things we use everyday.

To help remind you of how far we’ve come, here are some of the biggest breakthroughs in technological history.


First and foremost, this is the biggest and perhaps most important technological advancement the world has ever seen. Without the power of electricity, many of the following things on this list would not be possible.

Following extensive research and development from scientists such as Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison and Joseph Swan, the power of electricity was harnessed and the creation of the light bulb was conceived.

Soon, electricity would be the vital source of energy for a range of day-to-day appliances.

Image Source: Wikipedia


The invention of the first commercial telephone is widely credited to Alexander Graham Bell, a Scottish scientist, inventor and engineer.

Following advancements in technology, it became a major household feature and enabled people to keep in touch more easily than ever before.

Wooden wall telephone with a hand-cranked magneto generator. Source: Wikipedia

Of course, now the telephone has taken on an entirely different purpose…


Mobile phone

There was once a time when the phone was restricted to a couple of rooms in the house. Now, they are basically attached to our hands at all times. Not only did the mobile phone change how we communicate with friends and relatives, it also introduced us to the world of text messaging.

Of course, now we have a whole range of communication tools on our smartphones which we can use to access the internet and even play games.

When the idea was first developed, it seemed businessman and rich individuals would enjoy exclusive use of the technology. Now, it is an essential feature of everyday life for a huge number of people across the globe.

A Qualcomm QCP-2700 (left) c. 1998, and an iPhone 5 (right) from 2012. Source: Wikipedia


The radio offered a new form of mass communication which continues to help people access and understand local, national and global news. It also provides an excellent form of entertainment for many households from Radio stations like Radio 1.

The Regency TR-1 which used Texas Instruments’ NPN transistors was the world’s first commercially produced transistor radio.


Most of us can’t remember a time when we didn’t have the blinking box of light flickering in the corner of our living rooms. Although the advancement of television is attributed to many individuals, Scotsman John Logie Baird is considered the father of the goggle-box.

Family watching television 1958. Image Source: Wikipedia

Now, we have smart TVs, 3D TVs, digital and satellite channels, as well as televisions with exceptionally high-levels of definition.

Smart televisions and LED TVs are now incredibly popular and are expected to be even more prevalent in homes for years to come. If you’re interested in the latest TVs using smart TV technology, click here to find out more.

Smart TV from LG. Image Source: Wikipedia

Satellite TV

Who ever suspected that from the early dawn of television, we would have such a gluttonous array of channels? No longer are we restricted to standard terrestrial stations for our nightly entertainment. Today, we can select from a range of programmes, films and sports to watch in the comfort of our own homes.

Typical terrestrial satellite tv dish. Image Source: Wikipedia 


Computers offered a further advancement in how we communicate, work, play games and access information.

IBM 5150 as of 1981. Image Source: Wikipedia
2014 Apple iMac

The computer is now a vital component of modern day life, especially when twinned with the following innovation…

The Internet

The internet is everywhere. We can access it in more and more places everyday and it has truly shaped the modern world. It allows us to communicate more effectively, find information faster and send masses of information in ways we never thought possible.

Today, we can utilise the power of the internet on our phones, our televisions and our laptops.

This NeXT Computer was used by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN and became the world’s first Web server.
Image Source: Wikipedia

Games Consoles

Games console are another example of a device we can connect to the internet. Over the years they have delivered us otherworldly thrills that offer a range of experiences and unique challenges to conquer.

The Magnavox Odyssey was the first video game console, released in 1972.
Image Source: Wikipedia 

Technology has come a long way since it was just two vertical shapes knocking a square ball back and forth. Now, games are increasingly exciting, realistic and fantastical.

2014 Playstation 4 Console


Allowing us to see the bones in a human body, as well as to check items in a suitcase at the airport, the advancement in X-Ray technology is truly remarkable. The medical profession demonstrates the most prominent use of X-Rays, allowing doctors to make effective diagnoses of injuries.

Gamma Knife 

An advancement in technology that is sure to come to more prominence in the following years, the Gamma Knife is the next step in medical technology.

Allowing a surgeon to shrink a brain tumour without the need for an incision, the Gamma Knife is truly a wonder and could soon be advanced for further crucial operations.

Gamma Knife. Image Source: thornburygammaknife.co.uk


Changing the way we travel forever, the car has made it less time consuming to travel across the country and conduct daily activities. In addition to getting passengers from A to B, cars are being tuned to reach incredible speeds in prestigious sporting events.


Thanks to the creation of planes, even some of the world’s most remote destinations can be accessed in just hours. Once a vital tool in warfare, the plane is now used to transport passengers to far-off destinations and incredible countries.

The US-produced B-2 Spirit is a strategic bomber. It has a flying wing configuration and is capable of intercontinental missions. Image Source: Wikipedia

Satellite Navigation

How would we get anywhere without satellite navigation? Gone are the days where arguments would be had over reading a map incorrectly. Today, we simply enter a destination and the friendly sat-nav voice guides us to where we need to be.

MP3 Player

Changing the way we listen and share music, the MP3 file allows us to download albums and single tracks in seconds. The compact nature of the format also allows us to take hundreds of albums on the move.

What does future tech hold for us? things like wearable technology, hydrogen fuel cells as a cleaner way to create commercial electricity, electric driverless cars, lasers that zap malaria-carrying mosquitoes….sounds like objects out of a sci-fi movie but these are all technologies that are currently been developed as we speak. Interesting times ahead.

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