Today’s technology allows us to access vast unending amounts of information on demand, even if we do just use it to spy on our exes. Although movies and literature have promised us a dystopian future where technology enslaves, controls and regulates humanity, the most technologically innovative countries of today’s world stand as proof against this foreboding and ominous future, or do they?
I hear the crowd collectively sighing and yes I know that Japan is the most painfully-robot-finger-wavingly obvious choice, but not without reason. Does the U.S. have automated underground bicycle parking as seen in Tokyo? Yes, the simplest transportation innovation, the bicycle, is combined with the most futuristic method to store vehicles, underground in a vending machine like turnstile, check it out in action here. Japan is not only innovative for robotic bicycle valeting, but also robotic companionship for the elderly, people with physical, mental or emotional disabilities and did I mention that it looks like a not-quite-right baby seal and costs about $6.000?
How about you dim the lights in your living room, take a nice big ball of cotton candy, relax in your air-conditioned home and then thank American inventors for all of those things. Now use the scroll wheel to see the next entry while playing that addictive new Adobe Flash game that also happens to be another couple of American inventions.
Speaking of computers, the Germans had put forth the first ideas for a universal computing language named the Turing Machine, which ultimately became the Opa (German for grandfather) of modern day computer languages.
Every young boy’s dream and every old man’s fishing companion, the Swiss army knife can open cans, wine bottles and with their latest iteration can store digital data. Let’s not forget though the Swiss innovation of private banking and Velcro, it seems that the Swiss must have a thing about securing stuff.
5. Great Britain
From a country that is well known for its respect of tradition and ceremony, Great Britain has been on the forefront of technology that, well, makes us move fast. From the bicycle, to the steam engine and more recently the jet engine the British have the need for speed and managed to feed their need with innovation after innovation in the field of locomotion.
6. The Netherlands
Here we have another contender for financial innovator of the modern era. Dutch merchants created the foundations for the contemporary stock market, so if you would like to blame someone for the recession, go ahead and hunt down a few 17th century Dutch merchants.
Paper, gunpowder and the combination of the aforementioned; fireworks are inventions of ancient China, but Modern day Chinese are no slouches either. Carbon Aerogel, anti-ship ballistic missiles and easily the grossest entry on the list turning urine samples into brain cells.
Some of you might not remember this but there was a period in history were the only sound computers made was beep, beep and a longer more annoying beeeeep. A small little company called Creative launched the Soundblaster in 1989 and the rest is full-sound history.
If you have every used Skype to talk to friends, loved ones or even had a business suit on top, shorts and flip-flops on the bottom during a video interview, you can thank Luxembourg for housing the headquarters of the company that brings us even closer toghether than Nokia could ever hope for.
Millions of people around the world have Swedish inventors to thank for keeping their tickers ticking with pacemakers, created in 1958. Another little life saving device the Swedes literally gave us? The three point seat-belt that was pioneered in 1959 by inventor Nils Bohlin for Volvo and then given the patent to use for free to other car manufactures.
If you have any other innovative countries you would like added to the list, please use the comments section below to let us know!