The Top 25 Innovations of the Last 25 Years

Of the 2,500 Best of What’s New winners we’ve anointed since 1988, these are the innovations that have made the greatest impact and kept us safer, healthier, and (dare we way) happier than we could have ever been without them.

By Popular Science EditorsPosted 11.15.2012 at 9:00 am

Ever since we inaugurated the Best of What’s New (BOWN) awards 25 years ago, the bar we as editors set for our honorees has remained extremely high. Looking back over the 2,500 BOWN-winning products and breakthroughs shows us a history of innovation over the last 25 years. Within that history are digital cameras, smartphones, drones, private space planes, HIV drugs, genome sequencers, personal robots, space stations, electric cars, wireless internet connections, HDTVs, electronic books, MP3 players, and Mars landings.

Selecting the 25 most-important innovations from this auspicious group is no small task, so we called in reinforcements. We assembled a panel of nine BOWN editors (past and present) to sift through our roster of winners and select those innovations that have had the greatest, most-lasting impact.

With years of collective BOWN experience in the room–an unprecedented reunion–we whittled the list from 2,500 to 25. If the bar to get into BOWN any given year is high, than the bar to be dubbed among the best since 1988 is stupendous. In the end, we all agreed on one thing: We can’t imagine a world without these 25 inventions. Nor would we wish to.

Read more: The Top 25 Innovations of the Last 25 Years | Popular Science.

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