Synopses & Reviews
From the iPod to the Nintendo Wii, the first decade of the twenty-first century has already brought us incredible inventions we could not have imagined before, yet that have already changed how we live our lives and spend our free time. Although the twenty-first century is only beginning, the number of new patents that have been filed bears witness to the ongoing ingenuity of inventors around the world and the fact that technology is changing more rapidly than ever before.
Following on the success of Stephen van Dulkens previous surveys of invention, Inventing the 21st Century examines the leading inventions of this century, including the Blackberry, the teen-repelling Mosquito Tone, the Segway, mixed-source DNA analysis, and E-book readers. Van Dulken is careful to describe both the technical aspects of the inventions as well as the human interest stories behind them; to this end, he includes personal interviews with the inventors themselves, providing an engaging insight into how and why they came up with their unique ideas.
Illustrated throughout with the original patents for the inventions, this absorbing and readable account of the amazing technological leaps already taken this century—and the creative inventors behind them—will be of interest to anyone fascinated by the world of modern technology and gadgets that surrounds us.
About the Author
Stephen van Dulken is patents curator at the British Library. His previous books include Inventing the 19th Century, Inventing the 20th Century, and Inventing the American Dream.
Table of Contents
The rise of e-books
A smart wheelchair
The ‘bladeless fan
Tubular containers for confectionery
The iPod MP3 player
Fed up with abusive teenagers hanging around your shop?
The Gocycle bicycle
The Magnamole cable guide
The Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit
The Searaser wave-powered pump
The Road Refresher no-spill dog bowl
Nintendos Wii game console
Wide-image scanning of the retina
Who invented the MRI? A Nobel Prize dispute
Leaves on the line
Reprieve for the BlackBerry
Carbon capture in the ocean
Stamping out smoking
The Silent Knight anti-snoring ring
The hand cream that blocks MRSA transmission
Self-service checkouts at the supermarket
The electronic supermarket trolley
Recyling PET plastic
Business method patents
Protecting the computer and its users
Harry Potter and intellectual property
To Arthur! 250 years of the black stuff
The electronic nose
Inventions in the Universal Studios theme parks
Inventions on Dragons Den
A novel broom
The yoomi self-warming baby bottle
The fight over high-definition recordings
The Segway personal transporter
The Roomba robot vacuum cleaner
Automatic number recognition
Bricks from ash, not straw
Near-field communication - ‘wave and pay
Computer-generated imagery in films
The future for the car?
How the patent system works, and suggestions for research