Scientists and engineers typically prefer to define innovation as applied science, rather than as the things that individuals make and use. More recently, scholars have obtained from European theorists of "method" to extend the meaning of innovation to different types of important reason, as in Foucault's work on technologies of the self (techniques de soi). Dictionaries and scholars have provided a range of definitions. The offers a meaning of the term: "the use of science in industry, engineering, and so on, to develop useful things or to resolve issues" and "a machine, piece of equipment, method, etc., that is produced by innovation." Ursula Franklin, in her 1989 "Genuine World of Innovation" lecture, gave another definition of the concept; 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 just consumer electronic devices, instead of innovation as a whole.
In this usage, technology describes tools and devices that might be used to solve real-world problems. It is a far-reaching term that might include easy tools, such as a crowbar or wooden spoon, or more intricate makers, such as a spaceport station or particle accelerator. Tools and makers require not be product; virtual technology, such as computer system software and business methods, fall under this meaning of innovation. W. Brian Arthur specifies innovation in a likewise broad way as "a method to fulfill a human purpose." The word "innovation" can likewise be used to refer to a collection of techniques.
When combined with another term, such as "medical technology" or "space innovation," it describes the state of the respective field's understanding and tools. "State-of-the-art technology" refers to the high technology readily available to humankind in any field. Technology can be deemed an activity that forms or changes culture. Furthermore, innovation is the application of mathematics, science, and the arts for the advantage of life as it is known. A modern example is the rise of communication technology, which has reduced barriers to human interaction and as a result has helped generate brand-new subcultures; the rise of cyberculture has at its basis the advancement of the Internet and the computer system.