Top 20 Tech Gadgets That Changed Our Lives Forever

Top Tech Gadgets

The top tech gadgets really have changed everything. The last 200 years have seen the creation of inventions that have forever changed society and our lives. From indoor plumbing to the 3D printing of prosthetic limbs, we’re reliant on technology to solve problems and make our lives better every day.

But how did these innovations begin? How big is their influence on us? And what are the most important inventions and gadgets that have changed our society as we know it?

At TechReport, we’re passionate about technological innovations, and we love seeing the difference they’re making in the world. For that reason, we put together this guide to the top 20 tech gadgets that have changed our lives forever. 

Before we begin, though, we’d like to explain that this list only features gadgets. As much as we love the World Wide Web and Bluetooth, they’re not physical gadgets, which is why they’re excluded from this guide.

Ready to learn more about the technology that changed everything? Let’s dive in.

Cameras & Digital Cameras

Camera photography

The earliest cameras appeared in the 19th century via the camera obscura. The first ever photo was taken in 1826 – before the process known as the daguerreotype began the photography revolution.

Back then, however, photography was very expensive – a far cry from today’s world, where all you need is a smartphone. But as photography became more democratized, with the launch of the Kodak, Leica, and Polaroid cameras, the manufacturers started using lower-cost components.

Cameras have proven to be immensely useful, though, especially in scientific advancements. As digital cameras came onto the scene in the latter half of the 20th century, it marked a cultural shift, making amateur photography far more accessible.

Today, it’s hard to imagine not using a camera as we make memories, and a huge number of people use them for self-expression. It’s also a vital information medium today – after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.


Television gadget

Although most households have a TV today, the electronic device was invented less than 100 years ago, in 1927. Those TVs had no means of receiving moving images, although it wasn’t too long before that was implemented, and TVs began to be commercially produced in the 1930s.

In the 1950s, the world saw the first color televisions, originally created by CBS, although RCA took over soon enough.

Since then, it’s served as one of the most important means of entertainment and the delivery of information in our society, not to mention becoming a huge medium for advertising. Watching popular TV shows like I Love Lucybecame a popular family pastime.

With digital and smart TVs coming onto the scene in the 2000s, our relationship with TV became ever more layered, allowing us to customize and control our experiences. As a result, TV has become a gateway to global culture, along with computers – which we’ll look at next.


It’s hard to think of an invention that has had a more profound impact than the computer. The device’s original purpose was to carry out computations, and its origins can be traced all the way to the abacus.

The first mechanical computer was designed in 1821 in the UK by Charles Babbage, and Ada Lovelace wrote the first-ever computer program in 1848. However, the prototypes for modern electronic computers weren’t around until the mid-20th century. 

Needless to say, computers are essential in every industry today, thanks to their power to process huge quantities of data and execute complex operations in a short time. Meanwhile, personal computers, or PCs, have been invaluable to individuals and businesses.

Thanks to the digital transformation of society, it’s now nearly impossible to carry out many tasks – from governmental verification to shopping – without a PC. And in the 2020s, computers are continuing to change the world, with cloud computing and mobile phones opening up a new world of possibilities.



The Automated Teller Machine (ATM), or cashpoint – which we use to withdraw money – has revolutionized banking and finance, as well as our relationship with money. When the world’s first ATM appeared on the scene in the 1960s in the UK, it was a symbol of brand-new levels of banking efficiency and convenience. 

ATMs gradually moved beyond vouchers to magnetic cards and expanded their capabilities to deposits, bank transfers, and paying bills. As a result, consumer habits have evolved, as we no longer have to line up at banks or wait for opening hours.

These were the first signs of a digital transformation of banking, leading to the prevalence of electronic banking today. The global system of ATMs means we can withdraw money almost anywhere in the world now, and some ATMs even offer cryptocurrency withdrawals.

Smoke Detectors

First invented in Switzerland in the 1930s, smoke detectors are essential safety technology today. They’re designed to alert you to the potential danger if there’s smoke or fire in the building.

Smoke detectors were large and expensive in the 1950s and, therefore, only used in large commercial facilities, but by the 1970s, they became widely available for homes. Today, most homes and offices use them, as they’re compact and effective.

Over the years, smoke detectors have undergone various innovations. From carbon monoxide detecting to sending alerts to your phone, they help mitigate the risk of fires and enable faster emergency responses.



The telephone has come a long way since Alexander Graham Bell’s patent in 1876. Controversies aside, his was the first ever device to make a voice travel long-distance. 

Since then, the gadget evolved into a rotary phone with switchboard operators, who were essential for establishing connections – but the switchboard had limited capabilities. After that, we saw a video phone, a touch phone, a cordless phone, and eventually, a mobile phone.

These devices signified an unprecedented leap forward in long-distance communication, and each iteration made conversations more convenient

With mobile phones appearing in 1983, it became easier than ever to communicate and stay in touch. And as they evolved into smartphones, the era of instant communication began. Let’s look at them now.


smartphone user

Source: Statista

Smartphones are the supremely successful marriage of telephones and computers. But contrary to popular belief, the first smartphone wasn’t an iPhone.

It was actually made by IBM in 1994 and was called the IBM Simon.” Of course, it was a far cry from today’s pocket computers, but it had many features of personal digital assistants, including calendars, maps, and information on stocks.

In 2007, the first iPhone made its appearance. It combined the functions of a telephone, a digital assistant, a camera, and a small computer with a full internet connection. 

The iPhone represented a paradigm shift in the telephone space – the mobile phone went from a communication device to an integral part of our identity and an essential tool for day-to-day operations.

The app economy created unprecedented opportunities for businesses to reach new markets and for developers to showcase their skills and make money. With the ongoing transformation of the communications industry with 5G, AI, and other advancements, the impact of smartphones is only poised to grow. 

WiFi Router

Wireless router market statistics

Source: Statista

The wireless router, or WiFi router, is integral to many homes and offices today, as it enables seamless communication and data flow. Although a relatively new gadget – wireless technology was first standardized in the late 1990s – the router was pivotal in enabling indoor and city-wide wireless communications.

With its capability to connect multiple devices to the internet simultaneously, WiFi routers ensure seamless internet access for everyone. As a result of this connectivity revolution – and constantly evolving WiFi technology standards – information travels far faster now than 20 years ago. 

The WiFi router is expected to become even more important as more homes become smart homes” and IoT becomes more prevalent in our lives. After all, WiFi connectivity is cheaper than cellular, and connecting a refrigerator to your smart home assistant is a lot more plausible over WiFi.

Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrush market value statistics

Source: Statista

Arguably one of the earliest healthtech devices, the first electric toothbrush, known as The Motodent was created in 1937. However, the 1954 Broxodent was the first commercially viable electric teeth-cleaning product. 

In 2019, 65 years later, the electric toothbrush market was valued at $1.6 billion. And given its huge impact on oral hygiene, that’s no surprise.

A Cochrane 2014 study confirmed that electric toothbrushes reduced plaque and gingivitis better than manual ones, reducing the need for expensive dental treatments. Moreover, these gadgets are better for children and people with mobility issues and ensure that these groups get access to better dental hygiene.



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Have you heard the expression the best thing since sliced bread?” Though it’s hard to say for sure, we reckon toasters had something to do with how this expression came to be. After all, toasting bread has been around since Ancient Roman times. 

The modern electric toaster, which has become a staple of many kitchens, dates back to 1909. The first toasters only toasted one side of the bread, but a toaster that turned the bread arrived in 1913. The 1920s saw the first pop-up toaster, a modernized version of which is widely available today.

The toaster has become a hugely popular kitchen gadget, and its capabilities have spread to many breakfast foods, including bagels and waffles. It’s so popular that its market value reached $4.28 billion in 2023.


People owning printers by country statistics

Source: Statista

From the invention of the printing press in the 15th century to modern laser printers and 3D printing, printing has become an invaluable medium for recording information. 

Today, technologies like dot matrix printing, thermal printing, inkjet, and laser printing allow people and businesses to produce high-quality documentation and other visual products, such as photographs, posters, and business cards, to name just a few.

Digital transformation and increasing interest in the cloud are making it easier than ever to print materials from anywhere, on any device. 

Gaming Consoles

Game Boy lifetime sales statistics

Source: Statista

As you’ve seen in our article on key milestones in gaming history, games consoles, such as the Game Boy, PlayStation, and Wii, created a brand-new source of entertainment that’s become a billion-dollar market.

Older consoles, such as the Atari 2600, paved the way for modern gaming gadgets, which come in all shapes and sizes. For instance, the Game Boy portable console was a revolutionary device when it first came out in 1989. Today, handheld devices like the Steam Deck likely wouldn’t have been possible without it.

Thanks to innovative home consoles from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, gaming has become part of mainstream culture. Today, games are not only a massive market, but they also offer lots of opportunities for developers, creatives, and enthusiasts to showcase and monetize their creativity.

That’s not to mention the technological innovations of the AR/VR space that are having a huge impact both inside and outside the gaming industry.



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An e-reader, or an eBook device, is a gadget for reading digital books or other print media. Although the idea dates back to the 1970s with Project Gutenberg, modern e-readers are a relatively new phenomenon. And yet, in only two decades, they’ve transformed how we consume literature and periodicals.

E-readers like the Amazon Kindle make reading convenient by offering users access to a huge library of books without the need to carry heavy tomes everywhere. They also allow customization of fonts and print, making reading more accessible and inclusive. And of course, readers can say goodbye to papercuts.

In addition to transforming the readers’ experience, e-readers also opened up a brand-new market for indie authors and publishers, democratizing the publishing industry. For example, Kindle Publishing has helped thousands of new authors break into the market via self-publishing. 

GPS Gadgets

Americans GPS Cell Phone statistics

Source: Statista

The Global Positioning System, or GPS, isn’t a gadget by itself. It was originally intended for military use by the US government, bu 1983 saw it become available to the public, and it’s since revolutionized the transport and logistics industries, as well as our daily lives.

Today, every smartphone comes with pre-installed GPS software. Those devices, along with gadgets like the TomTom, are invaluable for business and consumer traveling today.

With a GPS device installed in your car or truck, it’s nearly impossible to get lost, even in an unfamiliar city, and you can avoid the most congested roads. Consumer GPS devices, like smartphones, are all but essential in new locations and can help you discover the best a locale has to offer. 

GPS-enabled gadgets are a must for mission-critical response today – not only for navigating busy roads but also for locating and tracing people in distress.


portable music

Source: Statista

Do you remember rewinding cassette tapes with a pencil? If you do, the chances are good you had a Walkman.

Sony’s brainchild, launched in 1979, was a pioneer for personal music devices, thanks to the music only the listener could hear from the headphones. Before it hit the shelves, most people listened to music through a stereo system or a radio.

But the Walkman gave unprecedented autonomy to the listener and offered groundbreaking personalization – well, as much as several cassette tapes would allow.

After the Walkman, the way we experienced music changed forever, and it paved the way for other sorts of portable music devices we use today. One could argue that it was the first step towards personalization, which is at the forefront of most digital devices today.

MP3 Player/iPod

Perhaps the biggest innovation in the personal music space since the Walkman, the MP3 portable media player (PMP) offered a compact and convenient music solution with a much bigger library than a cassette or a CD player.

The MP3 format allowed you to store hundreds of tracks without really sacrificing quality – a must for any music lover. When Apple released the iPod in 2001, users loved its sleek design and huge storage space, which was much larger than any PMP before it.

Over 300 million units were sold between 2006 and 2014, illustrating its success and the shift in music lovers’ preferences. After iTunes came to be, digital downloads became the most prevalent way to source and listen to music.

The playlist feature was also a pivotal influence on music consumer behaviors of today – who among us doesn’t have a playlist for at least one activity?

Although smartphones now have a built-in music library function, the iPod remains an iconic gadget that made the seamless listening experience possible.



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Another household staple on the list is the blender. Invented a hundred years ago by Stephen Poplawski, it was originally intended for mixing drinks and milkshakes. Over time, however, it evolved into the blending, chopping, and mixing tool we know and love today.

The blender is a popular household item around the world – for instance, 65% of American and 79% of Brazilian households owned a blender in 2022. And these statistics aren’t surprising.

Not only is the blender a great time-saver, but it also provides an excellent solution for healthier eating by making it easier to add fruits and veggies to the daily food intake of adults and children alike. Moreover, blenders are a great way to jazz up a social occasion by making all sorts of drinks.

With the evolution of smart homes and IoT, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that a blender could join the smart home device family. The smart blender can connect to other devices, such as your refrigerator and iPhone, to streamline your meal planning and prep activities.


fitbit users

Source: Statista

The Fitbit fitness tracker wasn’t the first wearable of its kind, but it’s arguably the most revolutionary one, as it kickstarted our love affair with wearable technology.

The device’s real-time insights into the users’ health and fitness levels have been motivating millions of people to take better care of themselves since the launch of the first Fitbit in 2009.

In line with other aspects of our lives, the Fitbit popularized community exercise and sharing progress with your peers, thanks to its social features. This helped millions of people motivate themselves by setting goals together with their community. 

Coupled with Apple’s Health feature, wearables like the Fitbit are helping many people pay more attention to their bodies and track their vitals, which is invaluable for healthcare. Since the Apple Watch came onto the scene, the Fitbit has somewhat faded away, but its impact can still be seen in the wearables landscape.


A new kid on the urban transportation block, the motorized scooter, or e-scooter, is gradually changing urban landscapes worldwide. From San Francisco to Manila, e-scooters first appeared on the scene in 2018 and are becoming integral to cities.

Their ease of use and convenience make them popular with commuters, and they’re one of the most sustainable means of transport.

Despite the positives, e-scooters have been the subject of various controversies from both a legislative and a societal perspective. Many people are opposed to them, and they’re not allowed on most public transport. 

These issues notwithstanding, e-scooters are on their way to becoming the future of urban transport as they can help decongest traffic and reduce air pollution.

3D Printer

Global 3d printing market size statistics

Source: Statista

Last, but not least, is 3D printing. The process of creating a 3D object from a digital design has huge cross-industry applications

The first appearance of 3D printing came in 1981, and the 1990s and 2000s saw huge growth in the 3D printing space.

The benefits of the process, such as rapid prototyping and customization, make it invaluable for manufacturing, production, and even healthcare. The 3D printing of prosthetics can forever change the landscape of medicine, for instance.

With the advancement and increasing accessibility of 3D printing technology, more and more people will be able to access it at a lower cost. This could enable many innovators and investors to quickly test and develop their ideas and take them to market.


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