Steve Wozniak is arguably one of the greatest innovators of our modern age, and you likely know him as one of our era’s great technology pioneers. He is one of the Steve’s responsible for the founding of Apple and he was a driving force behind developing the groundbreaking Apple II Computer. Apple’s influence has gone on to shape not only the industry but fundamentally has wielded an impact on the way we live (just see how many times Apple appears on Time Magazine’s most influential gadgets of all time list).
But what you may not know is that Steve Wozniak’s innovative acumen goes far beyond the Apple computer. There are several other lesser known, but equally influential inventions that can be credited to Steve Wozniak. Here are just a few.
The First Programmable Universal Remote
Besides his efforts on the Apple II computer, another of Steve Wozniak’s inventions came from another company that he founded, CL9. In his time there, he is credited with inventing the very first programmable universal remote. With the proliferation of media and technology, it’s not uncommon for people to have several devices in their living spaces, each with a remote that can control its basic functions. Wozniak’s group at CL9 developed a single remote that could be programmed with the necessary information. The result was one device doing the job of many.
This is yet another example of how Wozniak’s clever innovations revolutionize the way we live. His inventions fill needs that we’ve not yet identified as a society, which is the true mark of a innovative visionary; someone who can see into the future and develop products or services that fill gaps to make life seamless.
The Origins of GPS
Steve Wozniak was also involved with another invention that you might use more than you think: GPS. In 2002, “the Woz” founded Wheels of Zeus, which was responsible for developing the technology behind GPS.
Like many super-useful inventions, GPS technology started innocuously enough, initially developed because Wozniak was having trouble keeping track of his pet dogs, which repeatedly were breaking through their electric fence. The initial GPS technology was meant to connect to wireless technology to allow people to keep tabs on things or people that get lost (pets, children, elderly relatives, etc.) GPS technology, of course, has evolved to be a crucial tool in a number of industries and consumer use. Read this MIT Technology Review for more information on how Wozniak’s GPS tech came about.
Part of Wozniak’s cultural influence is how he creates simple but essential technologies that speak to a need. His innovative mind has been involved with the creation of the universal remote, and GPS technologies, both of which are invaluable to people and businesses around the globe. Who knows what essential technology he will innovate next!
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