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(Pocket-lint) - War isn't exactly a topic to be gleeful over, but technology has always played its part. When countries go to war, it's the one with the best technology who's most likely to win. That's always been the case, whether talking about weapons used hundreds of years ago or tech used in more recent conflicts. 

What we're focusing on here though is how military technologies in the 20th and 21st centuries found their way into civilian life and have improved the world as a whole.

Let's check out all the ways that we use original military tech in our everyday lives. 

NASA; Naval Intelligence Support Center, via Wikimedia Commons Military technologies that changed civilian life image 20
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Digital Cameras

Digital camera technology originally started life in early spy satellites where they were used to capture high-resolution aerial images of enemy installations.

The technology progressed in the military sphere, especially during the Cold War and in the 1970s the first self-contained digital camera was created. This early technology would take years to progress into the DSLRs we use today, now digital photography is everywhere, even in our pocket. 

Seen in this image - Left, the design of the KH-11 was believed to be based on that of the Hubble Space Telescope (pictured here in 1985). Right: A leaked digital image of the Nikolaiev 444 shipyard in the Black Sea taken by KH-11.

Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection; Staff Sgt. Erik Cardenas, via Wikimedia Commons Military technologies that changed civilian life image 3

Walkie-talkies

The classic walkie-talkie, like many things on this list, started life during WWII. It was initially developed for infantry use, then for field artillery and tank crews to provide convenient communication on the battlefield. 

In peacetime, the use of walkie-talkies spread into civilian life starting in public safety, appearing on job sites and more. Now they're available to purchase in a variety of forms including for private personal use. 

About the image - A sergeant at Fort Myer, Virginia demonstrates a "walkie-talkie" in the field in 1942. On the right A U.S. Marine, with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Battalion Landing Team 1/4, radios in medical evacuation details during a downed-vehicle exercise in 2013.

Wikimedia Commons; Look Sharp! [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons Military technologies that changed civilian life image 13

Ambulances

In around 1487, the very first ambulances appeared on the battlefield.

They were used by the Spanish army to pick up wounded soldiers from war zones. They weren't usually sent in until after the battle had finished though, so many died waiting to be saved. In later years, horse-drawn carriages appeared in greater numbers working more effectively as ambulances and rescuing people quickly from active battlefields. 

Ambulance use changed greatly when motorised vehicles were introduced and they quickly made their way into civilian life too. 

About the image - On the left American Zouave ambulance crew demonstrating removal of wounded soldiers from the field, during the American Civil War. On the right a 1970’s era British Air Force Landrover Ambulance.

Evan-Amos; NASA/Eugene A. Cernan via Wikimedia Commons Military technologies that changed civilian life image 16

Duct Tape

The Duct Tape we know today comes in a variety of forms of strong, durable and highly adhesive tape that's multipurpose and can be used for a number of day-to-day applications.

The original Duct Tape was invented as a necessity of war. During World War II, an adhesive tape was invented that was made from a rubber-based adhesive applied to a durable duck cloth backing.

This tape was capable of resisting water and dirt and was strong enough to be adapted for a number of uses including repairing military equipment, vehicles and weapons. The idea originally came from the thought that seals on ammo boxes would cost soldiers precious time on the battlefield that might also cost them their lives and something new was needed. 

The resulting product has improved over the years, so much so that Duct Tape has built up a name for reliability and durability and was even used by NASA during space flight. You've probably got some in your house too.

About the image - Duct tape can be used to repair virtually anything as demonstrated in this 1972 Apollo 17 mission shot.

Jpbarbier Jean-Paul Barbier [CC BY-SA 3.0]; Paul Mashburn [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons Military technologies that changed civilian life image 26

Canned Food

Keeping troops fed, supplied with ammunition and with ready access to medication is an essential part of successful warfare. Starving soldiers are not effective soldiers.

The idea of food that could last longer and go further is not a new concept. In around 1810, the French government offered a large cash reward to anyone who could come up with a cheap way to preserve large amounts of food. One investor discovered that food cooked inside a jar did not spoil unless the seals leaked and so sealed food containers were born. These were ideal for supplying troops - though somewhat cumbersome. 

In later years, canned foods took over. During WWI soldiers generally survived on rations of low-quality canned foodstuffs including corned beef, canned sausages, pork and beans and the like. Production of canned food allowed commanders to transport great quantities of food for troops to survive on. 

Canned foods made their way in the civilian markets and became a staple of grocery store and supermarket shelves for years to come. 

About the image - A Napoleonic era Appert canning Jar is pictured next to a 1966 shot of U.S. Airman's C-rations

Bukvoed [CC BY 2.5] (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons Military technologies that changed civilian life image 17

Drones

Nowadays drones are such a common sight that regulating them has become a headache for governments and there are all sorts of consumer drones available whether flying for fun or for professional photography and videography.

The humble drone began life as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). These pilotless air vehicles were remotely controlled to survey battlefields or go on missions deemed too "dull, dirty or dangerous" for human beings. The idea for drones started well over a Century ago when Austria sent unmanned bomb-filled balloons to blow up Venice in 1849. Technology has progressed a lot since then. Nazi Germany pushed the technology forward during WWII with a number of UAVs aimed at dealing out death, but the US Military is perhaps most well-known for its drone use in more recent years. 

Since the 1990s, UAVs have been used to launch Predator and Hellfire missiles to attack ground targets during a range of conflicts. It is now thought that over 50 countries have employed military drones in one form or another since 2013. Now the skies are full of drones, many with cameras for capturing leisure activities. 

About the image - Israel's Tadiran Mastiff drone is seen by many military historians as the world's first modern military drone. 

Ministry of Health; U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons; Military technologies that changed civilian life image 10

Blood banks and transfusions

The carnage and devastation of the First World War saw the need for the rapid development of blood banks and transfusion techniques. 

Canadian Lieutenant Lawrence Bruce Robertson was the first to push for the adoption of blood transfusion techniques to help save the wounded. The success of his techniques led to increased use. 

The very first blood transfusions had to be made from person to person due to issues with coagulation. Transfusion techniques and storage solutions quickly improved and blood banks were set up to help with casualties.

Medical advances soon saw the techniques move into the civilian world where transfusions and donations continue to save lives even today. 

About the image - Left, a WWII era information poster issued by the Ministry for Health. On the right, Private Roy W. Humphrey of Toledo, Ohio is being given blood plasma after he was wounded by shrapnel in Sicily in 1943.

T5C. LOUIS WEINTRAUB; NASA/U.S. Army, via Wikimedia Commons Military technologies that changed civilian life image 11

Space Programme

During WWII, Nazi inventors worked on creating various long-range rockets for delivering explosive payloads to enemy targets.

These were the first steps towards putting a man-made object into space. After the war, the US took those German scientists involved in the V2 rocket programme back to the states to help them win the space race and to be the first nation to reach the moon. 

Space travel has since become a passion for many, including Elon Musk and more. Travel into Earth's orbit has also been used for commercial purposes with satellite navigation systems, satellite television and satellite radio all coming about thanks to the first developments. 

About the image - On the left German rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, with a broken arm, surrenders to allied forces in 1945. On the right the July 1950 with the launch of the first rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida: the Bumper 8. Shown above, Bumper 8 was an ambitious two-stage rocket program that topped a V-2 missile base with a WAC Corporal rocket.

Wikimedia Commons; Courtesy of Wehrmacht history.com Military technologies that changed civilian life image 4

Night-vision

During WWII, the German Army was the first to develop military night vision devices. By the mid-1940s, the first night-vision scopes and rangefinders were mounted on Panther tanks and made their way onto the battlefield.

A smaller, man-portable night-vision system was later mounted onto Sturmgewehr 44 assault rifles taking the first steps towards widespread military use. 

Night vision is now making its way into the civilian world in cameras and even being installed in modern cars to improve safety at night and make all our lives a bit easier. 

About the image - On the right a WWII era "Vampir" man-portable system being used by the Wehrmacht. On the left a set of modern panoramic night visions goggles.

Courtesy of the University of Minnesota; Gift of U.S. Department of Agriculture, through Dr. Arno Viehoever