Welcome to 2019. It’s going to be an interesting year, at least on the innovation front. The past year saw futurists watch their predictions come true much sooner than expected, with unprecedented progress and crazy new ideas. But there were some inventions that changed our lives in ways unique to them, and the simplicity of some will blow your mind, to say the least. In no particular order, the following are some of the inventions of 2018 that truly stood out.
- Opinionated AI.
AI definitely claimed the lion’s share of the technological advancements we’ve made last year. But this particular project by IBM is one to watch, as ‘Project Debater’ becomes the first AI system capable of debating humans on complex topics.
- Most potent HIV drug ever.
Biktarvy by Gilead Sciences is the most potent drug for the treatment of HIV to ever be approved by the FDA. Administered once a day, it consists of three drugs that attack the retrovirus in different ways, thus contributing to its efficiency.
- Post-it revolution.
The new Post-it notes just received a major update. No longer so easy to peel or blow off, they are capable of sticking to materials like plywood and concrete. Coated with a polymer, they’re also waterproof. This is thanks to the new adhesive made of microspheres that extend its stretching and conforming properties. I think we can safely say- Post-it went beast mode.
- Jet suit.
Goodbye, jetpacks. Hello, jet suits. Ranked one of TIME’s best inventions and with a mission to ‘re-imagine the future of manned flight’, Gravity industries’ jet suit is the closest thing to the classic iron man’s suit as of date. It uses three microturbines- two at the hands and one at the back, which thrust the body upwards and stabilize the body, almost like a tripod. It costs 447,000$ and is worth every penny.
- Migraine prevention.
The first and only migraine preventive Aimovig (approved by FDA), targets the CGRP (Calcitonin gene-related peptide) and prevents it from attaching itself to the CGRP receptor by blocking the CGRP receptor. With almost twelve percent of the population suffering from migraines and its debilitating side effects, it was proved to reduce the effects by fifty percent, with far lesser side effects.
- Temperature control mug.
We all need our beverages to be a certain temperature. Not a degree hotter, not colder. Thermos flasks did pretty well at insulating our drinks, but the ceramic mugs by Ember can keep your drinks at the exact temperature of your choice for an indefinite period of time. Placed on a saucer that also functions as a charging pad, you could leave your drink there for an hour, and come back to exactly how hot you left it.
- Fastest electric car.
Every single figure associated with this will amaze you: Rimac C_Two, with 1914 horsepower, 258 mph, 1.85 seconds to 60 mph and 412 top speed, is a ‘hypercar’ with zero emission and electric motors at each wheel. Built by Rimac Automobili, a technology powerhouse, it focuses on providing technological solutions to global automotive problems.
- Revolutionary robotic arm.
Robotic equipment was one restricted to the wealthier corporations, but Franka Emika is set out to change that. Based in Germany, the firm has created an easy-to-program robotic arm aimed at smaller businesses and organizations. ‘The robot for everyone’ called Panda, claims o be sensitive, inter-connected, adaptive and cost-efficient. Equipped with torque sensors in all 7 axes, artificial reflex system, highly integrated joint modules and learning ability, it is simple, straightforward, and yet insanely efficient.
- 3D printed homes.
A Texas start-up, ICON has built the first permitted 3D printed home in America, definitely making us stretch our imagination and rethink the possibilities of 3D printing. This creates humungous opportunity to create safe and economic spaces for the 1 billion who have no place to call home.
- Seabin project.
It is, quite literally, a floating garbage bin on the sea. Capacitated to move with the flow of the tide, it manages to gather floating rubbish by sucking in water and passing it through a ‘catch bag’. It consists of a submersible water pump capable of displacing 25000 liters per hour while leaving all the trapped garbage behind.