Research, Technology

5 technologies that were ahead of their time

Computers, smartphones, TVs and moretechnologies were invented relatively recently. For example, the date of the invention of the world's first computer is February 15, 1946 - it was called ENIAC, weighed 27 tons and consisted of 18,000 vacuum tubes. But did you know that the first computing device that was capable of performing the tasks of modern computers appeared several centuries before the invention of ENIAC? The English mathematician Charles Babbage was the creator of a device consisting of gears for solving mathematical equations in 1822. Only the lack of related technologies like memory cards and so on prevented him from turning his invention into a full-fledged computer. In my opinion, this is a good example of a technology that was ahead of its time and became possible only after some time. There are many such examples, but in this article I propose to consider five of the most interesting.

Shot from the film Shot from the film "Back to the Future"


  • 1 Contact lenses
  • 2 solar panels
  • 3 vending machine
  • 4 Computer effects in film
  • 5 Radio in cars

Contact lenses

According to the World Health Organization,Around 2.2 billion people worldwide suffer from visual impairment. Vision restoration surgery is out of reach for many, so most have to wear glasses. Some people do not like to constantly wipe them down every time they enter a warm room, so they prefer to wear contact lenses. If you ask, you can be surprised to find out that the lenses are worn by most of your acquaintances - verified from our own experience.

Current contact lenses do not irritate the eyes and are completely safe.

Contact lenses have become widely available to peoplejust 10-15 years ago. But the first prototypes were created a very long time ago. For example, in 1508, Leonardo da Vinci developed contact lenses in the form of a filled ball of water. One hundred years later, the French scientist René Descartes created a water-filled tube with a magnifying glass. And in 1887, the German ophthalmologist Adolf Fick managed to create lenses that were as similar as possible to modern ones. The only downside was that after a few hours of wearing, a person's eyes began to hurt badly. This technology was also ahead of its time, because people were not aware of materials that do not irritate the organs of vision during prolonged wear.

This is what some of the earliest contact lenses looked like.

Solar panels

When it became known that thermalBecause power plants emit huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the environment, people began to look for alternative energy sources. Everything came to the fact that many countries began to massively build wind and solar power plants.

Modern solar power plant

It may seem that solar panels forThe conversion of light into electricity is relatively recent. But, in fact, they were invented in 1883 by the American scientist Charles Fritts. The panel was made of selenium coated with a layer of gold. At that time, the efficiency of the panel was extremely low and amounted to only 1%. The technology was promising, but clearly came at the wrong time. It took a century to increase the efficiency of panels to the current 13%.

The first solar panel was developed back in 1883, but no photographs of it have been preserved.

See also: Where are the solar and wind power plants in Russia located?

Vending machine

Today, in any shopping center and even in officesthere are vending machines. By putting a coin into them, you can get chocolate bars, a bottle of soda, ice cream, coffee and other products. Vending machines appeared in their current form in 1880. Since then, they have gradually improved and become ubiquitous.

Vending machines are popular all over the world

But did you know that the first vending machine wasinvented in the 1st century AD? According to historical data, it was created by the Greek mechanic Heron to sell water in temples. When a person lowered a coin into the slot, it fell on a lever that opened and closed the cork - so the device gave people the same amount of water and did not allow them to drink too much. This is also an invention ahead of its time, because such devices became mass-produced only after a huge number of centuries.

The world's first vending machine was created to sell holy water

Computer effects in cinema

Today's superhero films are almostconsist entirely of scenes filmed against a green background. The so-called chroma key is needed so that filmmakers can use computer special effects. Until about the early 1980s, fantasy films were made using realistic dolls, but in 1982 the film Tron was released, which was the first to use computer graphics. One would assume that everyone was delighted with such a film. However, even experts from the American Film Academy did not appreciate the decision to use computer effects and did not give the film an Oscar for breakthrough technologies. They felt that using a computer was against the rules and too easy. But then, a few years later, computer effects became the norm.

Shot from the movie "Tron"

Radio in cars

The first cars that appeared at the beginning of XXcentury, they only knew how to ride. Air conditioning, radio and other devices appeared in them much later. Especially a lot of controversy caused the addition of radio to cars. Paul Galvin was the first person to equip his car with a radio in 1930. To show how much music enhances the ride, he traveled 1,300 kilometers. People liked his idea, but the insurance companies were against it - they believed that listening to music while driving would increase the number of accidents. However, over time, it turned out that the radio in the car is a very useful thing that reports the weather forecast and other important information.

One of the earliest car radios

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All these technologies appeared in not quitethe right time. However, there are inventions that appeared on time and still do not need improvement - they are perfect. You can read more about them in this article.