Friday, November 19, 2010

TIME : The 50 Best Inventions of the Year

As my little unplanned hiatus from post-writing draws to a close, I find myself captivated by the shear amount of news that has flooded the world. The most astounding perhaps is TIME's 50 best inventions of 2010. Before we get started on the list however we must remember the words of Galileo: "Doubt is the father of invention". To strive towards creating something new and unexpected is one of the most daunting experiences of all time. I applaud all the inventors that have realized our deepest cravings and dreams. Even though those dreams may not be apparent at first they are fulfilled. Many reasons have pushed people to invent stuff, in the modern age this is mostly sloth or laziness such as the English-teaching robot. Others have surfaced from sustainability issues about the environment. Some have even been motivated by frugality or in other words 'discoveries by complete accident using home-available products' such as chrome-cleaning baby oil. Enough introductions it's time to announce my favorite inventions of the year. Eureka!

1. First Synthetic Cell
To be honest, the idea already came to my head a few years ago but never would I have thought that it would be possible. It took J. Craig Venter 15 years to finally achieve a living bacteria. Such synthetic life would in fact make it possible  to generate new biofuels as well as improve bacterium-induced processes such as yogurt production.

2. eLegs Exoskeleton
Most likely inspired from popular game cultures such as Halo, this suit serves its use perfectly. Paraplegic patients are now able to stand up and even take a few steps. The robotic legs even use artificial intelligence to analyze the wearer's arm gestures via a set of crutches. Even though this will not be available for many year's to the public marker it is a big step forward for the mentally handicapped.

2.5 Iron Man Suit
In demonstration videos users that wore this incredible armor were able to lift 90 kg weights without even breaking a sweat. Another example of how science fiction is becoming a reality.

3. Martin Jetpack
The jetpack. Most likely the stuff of dreams for most nerds and scientists alike. The ability to simply fly into the sky with nothing but a propeller is simply outstanding. It is quite literally the depiction of the future. Although the Martin model is an enormous, 200 horsepower flying beast and costs roughly 100 thousand dollars a piece it's still an awesome patent that must have been made by some kind of genius.

4. Google's Driverless Car
Already discussed in a past post, this ingenious device is able to pilot itself through traffic over long distances with no assistance from the driver whatsoever.

5. Body-Powered Devices
I have always thought of the human body as an immense factory producing and using energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triophosphate). Now it seems that using particular piezoelectric crystals in a rubber-like material we can in fact generate power due to the body's metabolic reactions. Such devices may produce enough electricity to power personal electronics such as pacemakers.

However there were also many inventions that did not spark any interest in me. Some should not have even made it to the best inventions of the year. One such example is probably the most hated product on this website : the iPad (
Others include the Oakley 3D glasses (seriously how many people could possibly have a 3D television in their homes? not many I believe) and the Lifeguard robot (complete unnecessary won't even discuss),28757,2029497,00.html


Agnieszka said...

Wow, ironman suit is the winner for me. I'd like to have one. Wouldn't have to ask anybody to move the furniture anytime I want.