15 patents that shaped the modern world

Our world is defined by an ongoing evolution of new and better products. However, none of these technological achievements would be possible without the patent office. These influential patents span a history of invention and visionary thinking, like the "electronic device" that would one day become the iPhone, or the "locomotion assisting device and method" that would pave the way for modern exoskeletons.

According to Jay Bennett for Popular Mechanics: "Forget the image of the lonely inventor tinkering away in a workshop. Today, it's more common that numerous technologies developed by a variety of inventors suddenly come together to form a cohesive whole, such as the iPhone or the self-driving car. Other inventions, such as the quadcopter drone and 3D printer, were designed decades before the surrounding technology suddenly transformed the core device into a worldwide phenomenon.

Innovation may be different today, but it is alive and well. Here are 15 patents that shaped the modern world."

To learn more, read "15 Patents That Changed the World" from Popular Mechanics.