Technology-wise, the past 75 years may have been one of the most exciting eras in human history.
From computers and the Internet, to TV and digital media, to cellphones and the atomic bomb, it's impossible to tally all of the inventions and innovations that have changed the world since 1938. It's harder still to determine which ones changed it the most.
But the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) has done just that.
In honor of the its 75th anniversary, IRI has spent the last six months collecting submissions for "the most meaningful technological advances from the past three quarters of a century" and pitting them against each other to determine which ones have mattered most.
And after six months of pouring over entries, arguments and persuasive videos – which you can check out in this handy slideshow – the judges have finally made their decision.
The first-ever Tech Tournament victory goes to the tiniest component that powers the whole technological world: the transistor.
And that seems just about perfect.
Other category winners include:
- Product or Service Innovations: Crown Holding – Orbit Enclosure
- Business Innovations: Corning – ClearCurve FIBER
- Innovations that Enhanced a Societal Good: Roche Diagnostics – PCR Technology
IRI also presented its "People's Choice Award" to Air Products' (IW 500/112) Hydrogen-SmartFuel technology after it attracted nearly 800 votes in the "innovation that enhanced a societal good" category – a fascinating innovation, to say the least: