Tech

Innovation from the military

Updated 2:46 PM ET, Thu January 17, 2013
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Many products and technologies that are now commonplace in civilian life were first created for military purposes. Take radar, for example, which was developed by several nations before and during World War II. The name Radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging) was coined by the U.S. Navy and is used in a variety of civilian settings, perhaps most commonly in air traffic control. Doug Kanter/AFP/Getty Images/file
The Global Positioning System (GPS) was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense in 1973 to help military vehicles, aircraft and ships accurately determine their position. Today, GPS is used extensively in the earth sciences and, of course, for navigating by car and on foot. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/file
The workhorses of many a 20th and 21st century war the Jeep and the Humvee have made a successful transition to the altogether less rugged and hostile terrain of civvy street. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
The versatile tape was developed during World War II by Permacel (a former division of the Johnson and Johnson company). The polyethylene-coated cloth enabled soldiers to make running repairs to equipment. As popular as ever, duct tape is still offering a flexible, durable and waterproof DIY solution to many a problem at work and in the home. Andrew Burton/Getty Images/file
Microwave inventor Percy Spencer stumbled upon the now ubiquitous cooking aid when investigating magnetrons as part of his radar research for the U.S. Department of Defense during WWII. In the course of his work one day, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket had melted while he was standing in front of a radar set. Further investigations by Spencer eventually produced the first microwave oven. Frederic Lewis/Getty Images/file
UK computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989, but the Internet was developed by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) formerly ARPA in the 1960s. The first data sent over the "Arpanet" was transmitted on October 29 1969. The computers -- one at the Stanford Research Institute and the other at University of California in Los Angeles -- were 400 miles apart. Liu Jin/AFP/Getty Images/file
Invented in Germany (under instruction from Adolf Hitler, so the story goes) the five-gallon metal Jerrycan (or Wehrmachstkanister as the Germans call them) was quickly adopted by allied troops and proved vital on the battlefield. Today, they're more likely to be found in garden sheds and garages ready to help your mower liberate your garden of long grass. STR/AFP/Getty Images/file