40 percent had never heard of Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the phone in 1876, while 44 percent didn't know what a telegram was.

However, the kids believed the next step in technology would be smartphones able to "send and receive smells" and a total of 20% thought that laptops would vanish within 10 years.

Sandeep Raithatha, head of Innovation Central at BT, said that the children have some amazing ideas for the next generation of communications technology and if their predictions are correct they could see a huge change in the way they live and interact within the next few decades.

He noted that it is surprising that the digital age has led to a knowledge gap, with the innovators of tomorrow having less understanding of where today's developments have originated.