Influential Inventions of 2017


Nicholas White-Palkowski

Over our lifetime there have been many monumental inventions that have contributed to society. The wheel, the telephone, the light bulb, the internet, and many more have changed the way we live. More recently we have noticed a huge advancement rather than new items. Now let’s talk about some of the newest inventions from the last couple years.

The fidget spinner was one of the biggest inventions of the year. It was a simple tool that got people got so addicted. If you don’t know what one is, you probably lived under a rock for the last year or so. How quick these things blew up was insane. Being sold for 5 dollars each, you can imagine the creator is sitting on top of a pile of money right now. Scott McCoskery is the inventor and he didn’t even sell them till 2017 on an online website. Catherine Hettinger makes even more revenue from the product, as she found out about the little device and started mass production online because she saw the little interest in the product already, and since McCoskery didn’t really sell the product so massively it wasn’t even known he was the inventor until an interview with NPR that Hettinger had where she confessed McCoskery was the founder. So McCoskery isn’t sitting on that stack of money, it would be Hettinger.

The Nintendo switch was another big one. Nintendo has been one of the biggest names in video games for a long time now and upgrading to a portable console was a huge thing. Nintendo sold 7 million and counting of the consoles at $300 each, creating even more fame for the Nintendo brand.

Stronger Safer Football Helmets is a huge one for players of football. There has been many issues with players getting concussions over the years, leading to further problems in the future. About four years ago, Sam Browd, a pediatric neurosurgeon, came up with the idea to  put flexible polymer in helmets. That way if you use that the helmets almost work like a car bumper, reducing the force when there is a collison. Already 18 NFL teams have introduced the helmets and also 20 college teams have brought them in. Alex Smith has been one of the biggest supporters of the helmets. He has missed at least one game a season dating back to the 2013 season and has had 4 grade-one concussions and 2 grade-3 cranial concussions. So obviously this invention is important to some more people than others. The name of the helmet is the VICIS Zero1.

Next up we have the Oculus Go for $199. This VR headset is one of the biggest inventions in the last couple of years and new versions of them continue to come out. The Oculus Go, however, is better off than the originals because you needed extra gadgets (such as laptops, etc) to operate them. Now, with the Oculus Go, you just need the wearable device that operates entirely on its own. The idea of the Oculus Go wasn’t to be the best experience, but to be the most accessible.

Airborne Drones have been a big invention to come out the last couple years, but now there is the DJI Spark. This new drone has a plain and simple goal of just making photo and video quality better. This drone is easier to use, as you can control it with the gesture of your hand. It includes an array of sensors making the drone harder to crash, and $499 is actually quite cheap for a drone.

IPhones are always being put out so the IPhone X won’t be on top forever,but until that next one is out, it’s arguably the most advanced piece of technology you can hold in your hand. From the screen that stretches end to end, a camera smart enough to identify a user by looking at their face, and pretty much any other feature on the phone, was extraordinary. The creators Dan Riccio and Jonathan Ive have called it “in some sense, a completion of a chapter.”

So this year was an advancement for our world, which every year will more than likely be. People are constantly creating and trying to find the next big thing. What’s next?