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Archive for the ‘Inventions’ Category

Researchers from MIT have figured out a way to let NAVY SEALs and other deep sea divers survive in cold waters for twice as long as is currently possible.  They did this by creating an Artificial Blubber of sorts to surround the divers, replacing the air in their wetsuits with a heavy gas.

According to Futurism, “The material used to construct most standard wetsuits is neoprene, a synthetic rubber that resembles a dense foam with lots of little air pockets. These air pockets help slow the transfer of heat from your body into the colder water surrounding you.

The MIT researchers realized that replacing the air in the neoprene holes with a heavy inert gas, specifically xenon or krypton, slowed the transfer even more. Instead of surviving less than one hour in 10 degree Celsius (50 degree Fahrenheit) water, a person could survive two to three hours.”

This breakthrough could also lead to designing wetsuits that are thinner and even easier to move around in.  The implication being that this technology could have military applications or could lead to saving more lives on civilian rescue missions.  It’s also possible that the technology could get refined even further as alternate gases are tested.

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Is an Artificial Blubber the Greatest Idea Ever?

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It’s finally happened.  I’ve finally found the Greatest.  Idea.  Ever.  A wearable device actually worth wearing.  One designed to create an impenetrable force field around you.  That’s right.  We now have a wearable capable of ensuring that you’ll never get another mosquito bite for the rest of our life.

Mosquito bites are one of nature’s worse creations.  They itch, annoy us, prevent us from getting a good night’s rest, and may even prevent us from staying outside for as long as we’d like to or going to locations that we would have wanted to go to.  Not to mention the way they carry and transmit diseases.

They’re such a nuisance that people like Bill Gates have gone to great lengths to try and genetically engineer solutions as they aim to reduce Malaria’s impact on the developing world.  But what if there was a better way to deal with our mosquito problem?  What if, instead of playing God, we could just make it so that the mosquitos can’t even get close to us?  That’s where Bandito comes in.

Digital Trends explains how this incredible wearable works, “The first line of defense that the Bandito offers is the use of sonic waves set at a frequency that repels a variety of different types of bugs. The sound is imperceptible to the human ear, and won’t bother pets either, but will quickly drive mosquitoes away. The device  also uses non-toxic scent strips to release an odor that will smell good to humans but will repel bugs. Those scents include citronella, peppermint, and lemongrass.  Each of these methods is highly effective on its own, but when combined with one another, they should greatly reduce the number of insect bites that you’ll receive while outside.”

They add that, “An individual Bandito is built for consistent use throughout a single season. It comes with an internal battery that can function for about 500 hours, while each scent strip lasts about two weeks before it must be replaced. The device ships with 12 strips, which is enough to cover three months of consistent use outdoors.  Those numbers are based on using the Bandito for up to 5.5 hours each day.”

I don’t think I can overstate just how amazing this invention is.  Just imagine how great it would be if you could sleep with the window open on a warm summer night and not have to worry about waking up covered in bug bites.  Just think about how great it would be if you could go hiking off the beaten path near a pond or lake and not have to worry about wearing long clothing.  Armed with a single Bandito I could freely sit on my balcony and read a book or write a blog post for hours on end.  Currently, I’m afraid to even open the door to my balcony on account of all the bugs I may encounter out there.

All in all, I wonder if this technology could expand to other life forms?  Could I scrap my plans to develop mobile body armor and instead just wear a Bandito on a hike to keep all the snakes, scorpions, and spiders at bay?  Furthermore, could its size and range be expanded so that the sensors could blanket entire regions, keeping entire communities free from the risk of a mosquito born disease outbreak?

Only time will tell.  But for now if you want to learn more about what Bandito can do or if you want to support the creation of the greatest wearable of all-time be sure to check out their Indiegogo page.

Is Bandito the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Here’s a quick look at everything that tickled my fancy over the last week:

Tiny Robot Olympics

DARPA is looking to host an Olympics of sorts in order to push innovation in the field of robotics.  The goal would be to design tiny bug-sized robots capable of conducting surveillance, assisting in search and rescue missions, or being used to repair hard to reach places inside of autonomous vehicles.  In other words DARPA is trying to bring the technology behind Ant-Man to life.

According to Popular Mechanics, “Researchers will design and test new ways to power the small robots, as well as try new materials that could improve the robots’ performance without compromising on size or weight. Competitions that test robots’ untethered actuator-power systems will measure how high and far a robot can jump, how much weight it can lift, how far it can throw objects, and how it fares in a tug-of-war. Another contest will evaluate complete robot designs to see their rock piling, climbing, navigation skills, or put them through a biathlon.”

Hopefully, NBC won’t be airing these Olympics on a 12 hour tape delay.  I don’t know what I would do with myself if the tug-of-war results are spoiled ahead of time on Twitter.

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Pocket Espresso Machine

Speaking of things that are tiny….there is now an espresso machine that you can put in your pocket and travel around with!

As Mental Floss puts it:

“If you’ve been putting off buying an espresso machine until you have the counter space, check out the Nanopresso from Wacaco. The gadget is smaller than most travel mugs, and it lets you brew hot, fresh coffee in even remote, electricity-free locations.

According to Bustle, Nanopresso operates through a hand-powered system. Just load water and your favorite blend of finely ground espresso in the right compartments, screw it back together, and pump the button on the side. Soon you’ll have a shot of espresso you can squeeze directly into the detachable cup.”

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No More Liquid Travel Ban?!?!

A detailed new Computed Tomography scanner could provide security personnel with such high resolution images that airports won’t need to restrict the amount of liquids that you can carry onto planes.  That means no more taking liquids out of your luggage, moving them into plastic bags, or having to discard items that don’t met the size threshold requirement.

According to The Guardian, “The regulations on carrying liquids, which require passengers to keep liquids of up to 100ml in transparent plastic bags, came into force in 2006.

The new technology, which could lead to the removal of the 100ml limit, has been tested at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and John F Kennedy airport in New York City.”

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Amazon’s Part Finder

Phones are already pretty handy but now they can literally act like a handy man.

According to Digital Trends, “Your days of going to Lowe’s or Home Depot with a random screw in your hand and a look of quiet desperation on your face will soon be behind you, and it’s all thanks to Amazon. The online retail giant’s greatest gift to us this year may not have anything at all to do with Prime Day, but rather with a new mobile app feature that lets you simply point your smartphone camera at the spare part in question so that Amazon can scan it, match it with the correct item, and then send you to buy said item online.

The app is appropriately named ‘Part Finder,’ and could be a real game changer for home improvement projects everywhere.”

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Weird New Fruits

Not only can gene editing cure diseases and create designer babies but it may one day lead to the creation of exotic new fruits as well!  Or even significant improvements upon existing fruits such as creating sweeter tasting strawberries! As if that would even be needed.

According to The Guardian, “While researchers have previously produced plants with specific traits through traditional breeding techniques, experts say new technologies such as the gene-editing tool Crispr-Cas-9 could be used to bring about changes far more rapidly and efficiently.

It could, they say, potentially open the door to a new range of fruits and vegetables that look, taste and feel very different to those we are used to.”

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Are any of these the Greatest Idea Ever?

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The Quantified Self Movement is in full swing as more and more people don wearables that track their footsteps and other vital signs.  That’s all well and good as they motivate us to get up and move around.  But what if we were to take the idea of a wearable one step further?  What if we all had wearables inside of us to track our progress from within?!?! Thanks to a new “FitBit for the stomach” that future may soon be possible.

According to The Week, “These so-called ‘conformable decoders’ are packaged inside a pill and swallowed by a patient…The pill dissolves, and an embedded device latches to the stomach lining. It can then start transmitting messages, revealing how your stomach behaves when you’re stressed, eating, or sleeping.

The device powers itself on heartbeats and other organ movements using a form of electrical energy Pierre Curie first discovered in the 1800s. And since it conforms to the stomach wall, the decoder can likely stay in the body indefinitely…Eventually, it could be used to diagnose gastrointestinal issues.”

If this conformable decoders prove to be comfortable and helpful could we soon find ourselves carrying around several of them throughout our bodies, to track how all of our various systems are working?  Could we have one that monitors our brains or one that monitors our immune system?!?

I’m not entirely sure.  But one thing is clear though.  When it comes to wearables we may be getting more than we bargained for.  Even if no one will notice that we have them.

Image result for comfortable decoder and stomach fitbit

Is a FitBit for the stomach the Greatest Idea Ever?

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#1,340 – Lumen

We all say that we want to work out more, eat better, and live healthier lifestyles.  Or at least that’s what we all should be saying.  Very few of us actually take the initiative to get in tune with our bodies, figure out a plan of action, and follow through on it.  Thankfully, there’s a new device hitting the market, called Lumen, that could help us do just that.

As New Atlas puts it, “There are a growing number of fitness trackers hitting the market that claim to offer detailed insights into your heath using a variety of biomarkers. Perhaps the most striking of these devices to date is Lumen, a tiny breathalyzer-styled gizmo that is claimed to measure a person’s metabolism from just a single breath.

Lumen’s technology is based on the very real metabolic measurement called respiratory quotient (RQ). For decades scientists and dieticians have used RQ to determine how a body is metabolizing macronutrients and which energy pathways are being individually favored, from carbohydrates to fat.”

In theory if you knew what fuel sources your body was pulling from you could optimize your diet to ensure that your body stays in balance at all times.  That’s where Lumen would come in.

“Instead of delivering your RQ value as a dry decimal, Lumen translates that data into a spectrum that spans fat to carbs and then suggests meal plans that can optimize your day according to your specific metabolic profile. Via a paired app, the system can subsequently track your sleep and activity to constantly modulate its recommendations.”

Is this knowledge enough to revolutionize health and fitness as we know it?  We shall see.  But I for one am intrigued.  Especially if improving my diet means I won’t have to go to the gym anymore.

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Is Lumen the Greatest Idea Ever?

 

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For the most part I think I’ve lived at the perfect time.  Growing up before computers and cell phones became ubiquitous allowed me to have a normal childhood, free of distraction and full of imaginative wonderment.  While coming of age in the Internet Era has allowed me to enjoy all the conveniences of modern life.

However, my timing may have been off in one regard: growing up without Noveto.

According to CNBC, “The start-up has created a technology that can deliver audio directly to a single person, who’s not wearing headphones, allowing everyone else in the vicinity to go about their business uninterrupted. Meanwhile, the listener can also still clearly catch surrounding noise.”

This use of targeted sound means that two college roommates can co-exist in the same space while one studies for an exam and the other watches Rick and Morty.  It also means that long road trips, like the ones I dreaded as a kid when I knew I would be subjected to Oldies Music for four hours, can now become bearable.

Just think about how many marriages this technology can save.  Just think about how many childhood fights among siblings it can prevent. Just think about how much heartache and anguish it can stave off.  If only it existed when I was growing up.  It really is true what they say.  Timing is everything.

 

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Is Noveto the Greatest Idea Ever?

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Luckily I’ve never been car sick.  Not unless you count that one time my friend’s dad did 80 mph around the ramps in a parking garage at Yankee Stadium.  I can’t imagine it being a pleasant experience though.  Not only would it be annoying to deal with, but it would also make you not want to drive anywhere, resulting in social isolation and boredom.  Thankfully, the people who do suffer from car sickness now have a weapon at their disposal in the fight against this problematic condition: a pair of glasses that counteract the effects of their out-of-whack equilibrium.

According to Oddity Central:

“French car maker Citroën recently unveiled a pair of glassless, liquid-filled eye-glasses that can reportedly treat the symptoms of motion sickness.

Called Seetroën, the ingenious eyeglasses use Boarding Ring technology, which was created by a French start-up of the same name, to treat motion sickness in just a few minutes. According to the official press release, after being worn for 10 to 12 minutes, “the glasses enable the mind to resynchronise with the movement perceived by the inner ear while the eyes were focused on an immobile object such as a smartphone or a book,”…[best of all] the wearer can [then] just take them off and enjoy the rest of the journey.”

In other words, these glasses won’t prevent motion sickness but they will cure it after the fact.  Welcome news for everyone who has ever been afraid to travel in a car.  Unfortunately, there’s still no cure for bad driving.

Image result for Seetroën

Is Seetroën the Greatest Idea Ever?

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