London: Move over, smart phones. The humble paper clip, sticky plasters, and tissue papers are among the 40 breakthrough inventions most Britons can't live without, it has emerged.
From elastic bands to bubble wrap, experts have compiled a list of inventions that cost mere pennies but are a vital part of everyday life for billions of people. In fact, they may not be as revered as the latest iPhone, but are as much a ‘genius’ product and possibly more influential.
Between them the items cost less than 100 pounds to buy and many would, individually cost less than a penny. They include: sticky tape, sticky plasters, tissue paper to teabags and light bulbs to barcodes, all of which have changed lives around the world.
The products were showcased at an exhibition devised by Hi-Cone, the little known manufacturers of the plastic ring carriers that hold six packs of beer or multiple packs of soft drinks.
Hi-Cone Director Ton Hoppenbrouwers said: "The objective of the Hi-Cone hidden heroes exhibition is to highlight the genius of everyday things and the remarkable technologies that sit behind the contents of kitchen drawers."
He added: "Whether the products hang our clothes, make tea or hold a six-pack, they are indispensable to consumers. They are design classics which do their job brilliantly. Yes, they evolve to meet changing needs, but they do not change dramatically. Everyone who sees it will be able to appreciate just how ingenious these products are."