Trying to predict the future is a fool's game.
What seems a failure at first (like, say, the electric light) becomes indispensable. And what seems destined to succeed (Hello there, Apple Newton!) can soon become a toss-away item. So claiming any invention as a "sure bet" is an easy way to set yourself up for humiliation.
There are items, though, that certainly have the potential to dramatically impact the way people live—from interacting with the world around them, to exploring deep space, to simply finding ways to survive in hostile environments.
Some have been on the market a few years; others are just gaining traction; and others, still, are in the late formulative stages, but each of these inventions has the potential to change the world as we know it today.
—By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 11 June 2014