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Researchers and engineers generally choose to specify innovation as used science, rather than as the things that people make and use. More just recently, scholars have actually obtained from European theorists of "technique" to extend the meaning of innovation to different kinds of critical factor, as in Foucault's deal with innovations of the self (techniques de soi). Dictionaries and scholars have actually offered a variety of definitions. The deals a definition of the term: "making use of science in market, engineering, etc., to create helpful things or to fix problems" and "a maker, tool, approach, etc., that is developed by technology." Ursula Franklin, in her 1989 "Genuine World of Technology" lecture, offered another meaning of the idea; it is "practice, the way we do things around here." The term is often used to suggest a particular field of innovation, or to describe high technology or simply consumer electronic devices, rather than technology as a whole.

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In this use, innovation refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems. It is a significant term that may include simple tools, such as a crowbar or wooden spoon, or more intricate makers, such as a spaceport station or particle accelerator. Tools and makers need not be product; virtual technology, such as computer system software and company methods, fall under this meaning of technology. W. Brian Arthur defines technology in a similarly broad way as "a means to fulfill a human purpose." The word "technology" can also be utilized to refer to a collection of strategies.

When combined with another term, such as "medical technology" or "space technology," it refers to the state of the particular field's understanding and tools. "State-of-the-art technology" describes the high technology offered to humankind in any field. Innovation can be deemed an activity that forms or alters culture. Furthermore, innovation is the application of mathematics, science, and the arts for the advantage of life as it is understood. A contemporary example is the rise of communication innovation, which has actually reduced barriers to human interaction and as a result has helped spawn new subcultures; the increase of cyberculture has at its basis the advancement of the Web and the computer.