Australia is famous for a great many things but one thing that we tend to overlook is the ingenuity of Australian inventors. They, along with their inventions, have contributed a great deal to our daily lives and many of us may not have been aware of their origins. Here is a list of inventions that Australian pioneers have created that have not only had ramifications in Australia but around the world:
1. Wi-fi – Yes, the technology now used by more than a billion people worldwide was invented by John O’Sullivan and the CSIRO in 1992. The technology was developed using research from radio astronomy originally intended to better understand black holes.
2. Spray-on skin – In 1999, plastic surgeon Fiona Wood and scientist Marie Stoner took healthy skin cells from burns victims and used them to grow new skin cells in a lab. This was then sprayed onto the damaged skin to significantly reduce recovery time and scarring.
3. Google maps – In 2003, Danish brothers Lars and Jens Rasmussen and Australians Neil Gordon and Stephen Ma developed a mapping platform that used high resolution imagery taken from aerial photography. This was bought a year later by Google and has now become one of its most well known applications: Google Maps.
4. Black box flight recorder – When working on air crash investigations in the 1950s, scientist David Warren, who lost his own father to an aircraft tragedy, came up with the idea of a black box. This virtually indestructible box records flight instrument details and voices of the pilots allowing one to reconstruct the cause of an aeroplane accident.
5. Ultrasound – In 1976, Australian company Ausonics discovered a way to utilise sounds beyond the range of human hearing to bounce off soft tissue in the body and convert them into TV images. This allowed parents to see their baby without harming it unnecessarily with exposure through x-rays. It is now utilised to diagnose medical problems related to the brain, breasts and reproductive organs.