The Most Useful Piece of Technology: Revealing the Top Innovation of Our Time

Choose the piece you think is the most useful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 25, 2024 06:55
Welcome to StrawPoll's latest interactive ranking – "What is the most useful piece of technology?"! In a world where innovation is rapidly transforming our lives, we invite you to cast your vote and join the thousands of others in determining which technological marvels truly stand out. From smartphones and laptops to AI and 3D printers, we've got a diverse list of options for you to choose from. But, if you think we missed something essential, don't hesitate to suggest your own contender. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into this exhilarating exploration of tech titans and help us crown the ultimate game-changer. The future is in your hands!

What Is the Most Useful Piece of Technology?

  1. 1
    Smartphones have revolutionized the way we communicate, work, and access information. They allow us to stay connected with people, access the internet, and use a multitude of apps for various purposes.
    Smartphones are mobile devices that combine the functionality of a mobile phone with features such as internet connectivity, touchscreen displays, and various applications. They offer a wide range of capabilities beyond traditional voice communication, including multimedia playback, web browsing, social media access, and app-based functionality.
    • Operating System: iOS, Android, Windows, etc.
    • Processor: Quad-core, Hexa-core, Octa-core, etc.
    • RAM: 2GB, 4GB, 6GB, etc.
    • Internal Storage: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, etc.
    • Display Size: 5.5 inches, 6.2 inches, 6.7 inches, etc.
  2. 2
    Computers have become an integral part of our lives, enabling us to perform complex tasks, store and manage data, and access a wealth of information. They have transformed the way we work, learn, and communicate.
    Computers are electronic devices that can perform various tasks by executing instructions. They are designed to process data, perform calculations, control peripherals, and communicate with other devices.
    • Processor: Central processing unit (CPU) for executing instructions.
    • Memory: Storage for data and instructions.
    • Operating system: Software that manages computer hardware and software resources.
    • Storage: Permanent storage for data and programs.
    • Input devices: Devices for entering data into the computer (e.g., keyboard, mouse).
  3. 3
    The internet has transformed the way we access and share information, enabling us to communicate, learn, and work remotely. It has revolutionized the way we do business, shop, and entertain ourselves.
    The Internet is a global network of interconnected computers that allows for the transmission and exchange of data and information. It provides a vast array of services and resources, including websites, email, file sharing, online communication, and access to databases and libraries.
    • TCP/IP: Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) provides the essential communication protocols for data transmission across the Internet.
    • World Wide Web: The World Wide Web (WWW) is a system of interconnected hypertext documents and resources accessible via the Internet.
    • DNS: Domain Name System (DNS) translates domain names into IP addresses, allowing easy access to resources on the Internet.
    • HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the foundation of data communication in the World Wide Web.
    • Email: Email, or electronic mail, enables the exchange of messages and files between users connected to the Internet.
  4. 4


    Global Positioning System (GPS) technology has made navigation easier and more accurate, helping us find our way around unfamiliar places and providing vital information for emergency services.
    GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based navigation system that allows users to determine their exact location and obtain accurate time information anywhere on Earth. It is used for a variety of applications including navigation, tracking, and mapping.
    • Accuracy: It provides location accuracy within a few meters.
    • Availability: It is available worldwide 24/7.
    • Satellite Constellation: It consists of a network of 24 satellites (plus spares) orbiting the Earth.
    • Triangulation: GPS uses triangulation to determine the user's position by measuring the distance to at least three satellites.
    • Time-keeping: GPS provides highly accurate atomic clock time information.
  5. 5

    Medical Imaging Technology

    Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen
    Medical imaging technology, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans, have revolutionized the way doctors diagnose and treat diseases. They provide non-invasive images of the internal structures of the body, helping doctors to identify and treat medical conditions.
    Medical Imaging Technology is a field of technology that involves the use of various imaging techniques to visualize the internal structures of the human body for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. It enables healthcare professionals to non-invasively examine and analyze the anatomical and physiological conditions of patients.
    • X-ray imaging: Allows visualization of bone structures and certain soft tissues using X-ray radiation.
    • Computed Tomography (CT): Produces cross-sectional images of body organs and structures using X-ray technology.
    • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): Utilizes magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of the body's organs and tissues.
    • Ultrasound imaging: Uses high-frequency sound waves to generate images of internal body structures.
    • Nuclear Medicine: Involves the use of radioactive tracers to detect and visualize physiological functions and diseases.
  6. 6
    Electric Vehicles
    High Contrast · CC BY 3.0 de
    Electric vehicles have the potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions, making them a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly mode of transportation.
    Electric Vehicles are automobiles that are powered by one or more electric motors, using electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries. These vehicles provide an alternative to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles and are known for their reduced emissions and lower operating costs. Electric Vehicles are gaining popularity worldwide as a greener and more sustainable transportation option.
    • Range: Varies across different models, typically between 150-400 miles per charge.
    • Charging Time: Depends on the charging station and the vehicle, but can range from a few hours up to several hours.
    • Acceleration: Fast and smooth acceleration due to the instant torque provided by electric motors.
    • Top Speed: Varies across different models, typically ranging from 80 to 200+ mph.
    • Battery Capacity: Varies across different models, typically between 40 kWh to 100+ kWh.
    Electric Vehicles in other rankings
  7. 7
    Robotics technology has the potential to revolutionize many industries, from manufacturing to healthcare. Robots can perform tasks with speed, precision, and accuracy, helping to increase efficiency and productivity.
    Robotics is an interdisciplinary field of science and engineering that involves the design, development, programming, and application of robots. It encompasses various aspects of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and artificial intelligence. Robotics aims to create intelligent machines that can perform tasks autonomously or with minimal human intervention.
    • Sensing: Robots are equipped with various sensors, such as cameras, microphones, and touch sensors, to gather information about their environment.
    • Mobility: Robots can have different types of mobility, including wheels, legs, or even flying capabilities, allowing them to move and navigate in their surroundings.
    • Manipulation: Robots can have arms, grippers, or other types of end-effectors to interact with objects and perform physical tasks.
    • Artificial Intelligence: To enable autonomous decision-making and learning, robotics heavily relies on artificial intelligence algorithms and techniques.
    • Programming: Robots can be programmed using various programming languages and software frameworks, allowing users to define their behavior and tasks.
  8. 8
    Renewable energy technology, such as solar panels and wind turbines, can help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and provide a more sustainable source of energy. They have the potential to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.
    Renewable Energy Technology refers to the various methods and technologies used to harness energy from renewable sources, such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and biomass. These technologies help in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and mitigating environmental impact.
    • Solar Energy: Converts sunlight into electricity using photovoltaic (PV) panels.
    • Wind Energy: Generates electricity by harnessing the power of wind through wind turbines.
    • Hydro Power: Generates electricity by capturing the energy of flowing or falling water.
    • Geothermal Energy: Utilizes heat from beneath the Earth's surface to generate electricity or heat buildings.
    • Biomass Energy: Converts organic materials, such as crop waste or wood, into energy through combustion or biochemical processes.
  9. 9
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has the potential to transform many industries, from healthcare to finance. AI can analyze large amounts of data and provide insights and predictions, helping to improve decision-making and increase efficiency.
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that focuses on the development of intelligent machines capable of performing tasks that typically require human intelligence. It involves the creation of algorithms and models that enable computers to learn from and adapt to data, make informed decisions, and perform complex cognitive tasks. AI is often used in various domains, including military technology, to enhance decision-making capabilities, optimize resource allocation, and enable autonomous operations.
    • Processing Power: AI systems utilize advanced processing units, such as CPUs or GPUs, to handle complex computations at a rapid pace.
    • Machine Learning: AI algorithms leverage machine learning techniques to extract valuable insights from data, enabling adaptive and predictive functionality.
    • Natural Language Processing (NLP): AI systems can understand and generate human language, allowing for seamless interaction with users through voice or text-based interfaces.
    • Computer Vision: AI technologies employ computer vision techniques to interpret and understand visual information, enabling object recognition and image analysis.
    • Autonomous Decision-Making: AI systems can analyze complex situations, consider multiple variables, and make informed decisions with minimal human intervention.
    Artificial Intelligence in other rankings
  10. 10

    Virtual Reality

    Ivan Sutherland
    Virtual Reality (VR) technology has the potential to revolutionize many industries, from entertainment to education. VR can provide immersive experiences, allowing users to explore new worlds and learn in a more engaging way.
    Virtual Reality (VR) is an immersive digital technology that simulates a realistic environment, enabling users to interact with and explore it in a three-dimensional space. It typically involves the use of a head-mounted display (HMD) and controllers, providing a visual and auditory experience that tricks the user's senses into believing they are in a different reality. VR has gained popularity in various industries, including gaming, entertainment, education, and healthcare.
    • Head-mounted display (HMD): Used for visual output and typically includes built-in motion tracking sensors
    • Controllers: Enable users to interact with the virtual environment using hand gestures or handheld devices
    • Immersive visuals: High-resolution displays with wide field of view offer a realistic visual experience
    • Spatial audio: Audio technology that mimics directional sound sources, enhancing the sense of presence
    • Tracking system: Tracks the user's movement in physical space, allowing them to explore and navigate within the virtual environment
    Virtual Reality in other rankings

Missing your favorite piece?


Ranking factors for useful piece

  1. Impact
    How significantly has the technology impacted our lives? Does it make our lives easier or better?
  2. Functionality
    Does the technology perform a useful function, and do people rely on it on a daily basis?
  3. Price
    Is the technology affordable, or is it only available to those with high disposable income?
  4. Innovation
    Is the technology cutting-edge, and does it push the boundaries of what is possible?
  5. Compatibility
    Can the technology be integrated with other products or services to enhance their usefulness?
  6. User Experience
    Is the technology easy to use and intuitive, or does it require a steep learning curve?
  7. Durability
    Is the technology built to last, or is it fragile and prone to breaking?

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most useful piece of technology. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or piece is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 151 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each piece once every 24 hours. The rank of each piece is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most useful piece of technology

In today's fast-paced world, technology plays a crucial role in our daily lives. From smartphones to laptops, there's no denying that technology has made our lives easier and more efficient. But with so many technological advancements, it begs the question: what is the most useful piece of technology? While opinions may vary, one could argue that the smartphone is the most useful piece of technology. With the ability to make phone calls, send texts, browse the internet, and access countless apps, smartphones have become an essential part of our lives. They provide us with instant communication and access to information, making our day-to-day tasks more manageable. However, others may argue that laptops or tablets are the most useful pieces of technology. These devices allow us to work from anywhere and have become essential tools for students, professionals, and creatives alike. With the ability to access the internet and run various applications, laptops and tablets have transformed the way we work and learn. Ultimately, the answer to this question is subjective and depends on individual needs and preferences. However, there's no denying that technology has drastically improved our lives and will continue to do so in the future.

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