These everyday things didn't exist before 9/11. Now they're trillion-dollar industries.

"No single digital device has had a more profound effect on the past twenty years than the smartphone," said TechRepublic's Bill Detwiler.

Two major technological innovations had a major impact on the economy, politics and everyday life for Americans in the years following 9/11: smartphones and the cloud.

The cloud is digital infrastructure that supports web technology, social networks, business tools and apps. Smartphones are essentially miniature supercomputers that work with the cloud and serve as Swiss Army Knife-like tools, TechRepublic editor-in-chief Bill Detwiler said. And devices become more powerful every year, in large part because of apps and cloud computing capabilities.

"No single digital device has had a more profound effect on the past twenty years than the smartphone," Detwiler said. "These devices help us work, learn, shop, ensure we don't get lost, track our health, warn us during emergencies and of course help us communicate."