21st century
The inventions from the 21st century has changed the way we live. Source: Philip Fong/AFP

As we enter the 21st century, our lives have drastically changed.

New inventions accelerated the way we develop technology and conduct research

It’s hard to believe that the first iPhone was released 16 years ago, yet we can’t live without a smartphone today. 

Statistics from Oberlo show that over 6.8 billion people around the globe own a smartphone. 

With no plans of slowing down, we can expect to see huge leaps of technology in the future that could bring about self-driving cars and aeroplanes and even advancements in the field of medicine. 

While many 21st-century inventions have shaped our world today, these are some of the most important examples.

21st century

Smartphones have become an essential part of many people in their everyday lives. Source: Pau Barrena/AFP


Are you surprised that smartphones are at the top of the list of the most popular invention of the 21st century? In 2022, statistics show that 95.8% of all Internet users owned smartphones. 

Since the first iPhone was released in 2007, smartphones have come a long way. Today we are able to do just about anything on our smartphones. 

This one device allows us to communicate over text or call and take more pictures than we ever could. 

You can also use it to browse the internet, watch your favourite shows and even for banking.

No wonder phones have become our prized possessions. 

GPS Navigation

The GPS navigation system was invented before the 21st century. 

It wasn’t until 2000 that President Bill Clinton signed a bill to make it more accessible to the public. 

GPS navigation has become essential for humans. Whether you are looking for a restaurant or going on a road trip, your GPS is there to guide you.

It has become an important part of our lives and helps us locate ourselves anywhere on the planet. 

What’s more, this navigation system isn’t only beneficial for your simple day-to-day use; it also helps in situations of natural disasters like earthquakes to locate and rescue victims. 

21st century

3D printing could one day change the field of medicine with the printing of artificial organs. Source: Jean-Francois Monier/AFP

3D printing

While 3D printing isn’t exactly an invention from the 21st century, this device was rapidly developed during this period.

Today, through cheaper manufacturing methods and open-source software, you can easily buy a 3D printer to use at home from your desktop. 

3D printing has changed the face of production in many areas, including consumer and industrial products and automotive and aerospace prototypes. 

It could one day change the face of medicine as it is being considered to print artificial organs


Imagine being able to carry all your favourite books in your hand no matter where you go.

The invention of e-readers has made this dream a reality. The portable library allows you to store all your books in one handheld device.

With this, books are more accessible and printed books are slowly becoming obsolete.

One popular e-reader is the Amazon Kindle, which kickstarted the trend of e-books. 

In fact, 72% of the e-reader market uses an Amazon Kindle.

Human genome mapping

Another important 21st-century invention that has changed the face of medicine is human genome mapping. 

The Human Genome Project produced a genome sequence in 2003 that accounted for over 90% of the human genome. 

Thanks to this invention, researchers can efficiently study individual genes. The project will show how a disease transmitted from parent to child is linked to one or more genes. 

Understanding what makes up our genes has resulted in treatments for many diseases, including cancer. 

This is only the beginning of what genome mapping can provide us. 

Who knows what knowledge it will give to help us to live longer, healthier lives?