Top inventions of the past 25 years – and what they have in common

07 May 2019

Wifi and smartphones are the most important inventions of the past 25 years, according to a survey published today, with the top-25 list packed with innovations from the communications sector.

The survey by Product Focus asked 2,000 people to name their top inventions from the past quarter of a century. Wifi is joined in the top three by smartphones and online banking.

The list is dominated by tech that makes our lives easier. Ofcom’s role is often to help these innovations to grow – by regulating the networks they use, or overseeing them once in place so they work efficiently and safely.

We make sure people get the best from their broadband, home phone and mobile services, as well as keeping an eye on TV, radio and on-demand services.

We also look after the airwaves used by wireless devices like cordless phones, some headphones, walkie talkies and even some car keys and doorbells.

Here are the inventions that topped the survey.

  1. Wifi
  2. Smartphones
  3. Online banking
  4. Online search, such as Google
  5. Online shopping, such as Amazon
  6. Stem cell technology
  7. GPS
  8. Flat-screen TVs
  9. Contactless payment
  10. Tablets
  11. YouTube
  12. 3D printers
  13. Netflix
  14. Data encryption
  15. Skype
  16. Modern electric cars
  17. Kindle
  18. Bluetooth
  19. Facebook
  20. Wireless headphones
  21. Ancestry DNA kits
  22. Sony games consoles (PlayStation line)
  23. Amazon Echo
  24. Spotify
  25. Fitbit