Every now and then, a highly anticipated new product bursts onto the scene, effectively causing a sensation among consumers. These hot items are no doubt the result of countless man hours spent designing, testing and marketing the product until success in the marketplace is all but guaranteed. But the competition is particularly fierce in today's tech-savvy world. Out of a sea of inventions, only a few rise above the rest to leave an indelible mark on a given industry. The people and companies who develop these inventions strive to make them so creative, valuable and with such staying power that they could earn an Edison Award, the prestigious honor given to applicants who meet and exceed specific criteria exemplified by many of Thomas Alva Edison's inventions.
Edison, for whom the awards are named, was no ordinary inventor. Not only did he rack up a still unsurpassed total of 1,093 patents during his lifetime (1847 - 1931), he managed to cross into an impressive variety of industries, impacting virtually every area of modern life (electric power, telecommunications and motion picture technology, to name a few). Chances are, you take for granted many everyday items that simply weren't in existence before Edison began to tinker with them. Read on for a list of five amazing innovations that have been granted the prestigious Edison Award.