Top 10 inventions of this decade

Date:4 December 2019 Author: Leila Stein Tags:,

The decade is almost up and what a decade it’s been. Technology is rapidly changing and affecting us all in both positive and negative ways. Here are just some of the amazing things invented between 2010 and 2019.

iPad (2010)


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Can you believe the iPad was only released this decade? It feels like these slim tablets have been around for ages, especially since we are already on the 7th generation. Steve Jobs had already been talking about an iPad-like invention since the 1980s, with the “computer like a book” being realised just 9 years ago. Tablets had long been talked about and attempted in tech, but Apple was the first to make one people actually wanted to buy and use.

Reusable rockets (2017)


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Although the Space Shuttle is considered the first reusable rocket, in 2017 the Space X Falcon 9 rocket booster became the first re-flight of an orbital class rocket. First launched in 2015, the rocket landed back on Earth, touching down on the drone ship named Of Course I Still Love You. In 2017, the rocket booster was relaunched and landed back on the same drone ship, making it the first-ever to do so.

Self-driving cars


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Self-driving cars have been discussed and attempted for years, ever since cars themselves became commonplace. While not perfect yet, it is in this decade that they have made incredible strides forward. Audi began work on a fully driverless car in 2018 and despite major flaws, Uber released updated self-driving cars in 2019. While this technology is in its early stages of testing and practical implementation, the 2020s could be the breakthrough year for fully automated self-driving cars.

AirPods (2016)


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As with most things, Apple took what was already on the market, wireless headphones, and near perfected them. Using their iconic earbud design, Apple got all of us walking around with tiny white sticks hanging out our ears and most people consider it perfectly acceptable. On a technical front, the first generation AirPods included abilities beyond the scope of the standard headphones including a microphone, detecting when they are out your ear to pause music and connects automatically with your iPhone.

Period-proof underwear (2015)

The struggle to avoid leaks and stains in your underwear during your period has been a problem for centuries. Disposable period products like tampons, pads and pantyliners also contribute to landfills, harming the environment. The search for period-proof underwear that could be used over your period while still avoiding leaks has been on the cards for years but in 2015, Thinx, perfected the period panty with a product that is washable, reusable and equipped with four layers of moisture-wicking, antimicrobial fabric.

Amazon Alexa (2014)


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Virtual home assistants or robots that respond to your every beck and call, have been a staple in sci-fi movies but in 2014 Amazon made this a reality with their Amazon Alexa. Households could now instruct Alexa to play music, make lists, set alarms, provide weather, news and traffic reports. This home device changed how people could multi-task and gather information and took a leap forward into the realm of smart homes.

The Impossible Burger (2016)


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The Impossible Burger, a burger that looks and tastes like meat but is entirely plant-based, was introduced during the rise of the vegan lifestyle boom. Made using heme harvested from the leghemoglobin molecule found naturally in the roots of soy plants. By genetically engineering a yeast, the company can produce large quantities for bigger scale manufacturing. Coconut oil replicates the animal fat and potato protein makes the burger have a firm exterior when it’s seared.

Siri (2011)


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The hallmark of virtual assistant technology, Siri was introduced by Apple for their iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS and tvOS operating systems. Advertised as both a new technology which would adapt to an individual user’s language, Siri was also promoted as a way for blind people to use their smartphones more effectively.

Medicine ATMs (2018)

Getting medicine can be a lengthy affair, waiting in pharmacy queues. This can be even more tiresome if you’re collecting chronic medication in the third world, where public hospitals can be crowded and it can take hours to be called up to collect your meds. In 2018, an NGO in South Africa piloted Medicine ATMs that can dispense ARVs, lowering waiting times and encouraging continued treatment.


Image: Pixabay

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