7 tech inventions we can’t believe people actually lived without

From GPS to microwaves to vacuums, we sure are glad someone had the ingenuity (and time) to think up these handy items.

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Remote control for TV. Remote control for TV. (Photo: Tomas Urbelionis / Shutterstock)

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Remote control

Channel changer. Clicker. Remote. That thing you and your siblings fought over for the entire first 16 years of your life. Whatever you called it, the television remote control was a game changer for the Baby Boomer generation and helped usher in the term "couch potato." Early versions of the technology included a wire, but by 1956, the folks at Chicago-based Zenith Radio Corp. had figured out how to use ultrasound waves to change the channel and volume. When the user pushed a button, it clicked and struck a bar, hence the term "clicker."

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