16 Pieces of Tech That Solve Problems You Didn’t Know You Had
By M. W. Byrne, The Coolist, 30 June 2016.
By M. W. Byrne, The Coolist, 30 June 2016.
Since the industrial revolution, technology has been advancing at an increasing rate, with each previous invention compounding the speed and efficiency in which the next one can be created. The result is a world full of solutions to issues that we haven’t even recognized in our lives. Inventors churn out products at a prodigious pace, making it impossible for the average person to keep in tune with all the gadgets they could be using right now to enhance their lives, better their experience, and live more fully.
Losing weight, moving, touching, and smelling are all enhanced by something on this list, which means that odds are good that you’ll find something you didn’t know you desperately need on our collection of 16 pieces of tech that can solve your woes and ease your worries.
1. Inmotion V3 Electric Unicycle
Image via cyberspaceandtime.com
The Inmotion V3 Electric Unicycle is meant to do what the goofy Segway and flaming Hoverboard were meant to do; provide a simple, portable, effective means of transportation. That, and allow jugglers to impress their lady fair without actually learning to ride an ordinary unicycle. (Price: US$520)
2. SpiderSense 2.0
Image via University of Illinois
Intended for the blind and anyone who wants to navigate the world while wearing a stylish blindfold, the SpiderSense 2.0 is a jacket with 12 sensors that spread across arms, torso, and back. Using echolocation it seeks out nearby objects and then applies pressure to the sensors closest to the obstacle, so you can feel when you drawn near to something.
3. Sign-Language Translation Gloves
Image via University of Washington
Probably the most useful item on this list, these specialized gloves are programmed with traditional American Sign Language gestures and can translate movement into words via a speaker built into the simple computer. Best of all, it saves us from the horror of having to learn sign language to understand the deaf.
4. MIT’s inForm
Image via YouTube
The inForm is a dual-purpose machine. First, it allows people to use their hands and body to interface with data that exists in the digital world. Second, it permits users to literally reach out and touch someone by providing the capacity to interface with the world via sensors that transmit movement to mobile blocks, similar to the next item…
Image via BGR
The easiest way to understand the Cubimorph is to think of it as a smartphone with screens on every surface that can change into simple shapes, depending on how it is being used. When acting as a flat surface, naturally it’s flat, but switch to a game and it becomes a controller for your hands. Described as building blocks made out of touchscreens, the Cubi is the beginning of morphing technology.
Image via Techy Gadgetz
Wearable tech is a wonderful, strange arena that has been gaining significant attention in recent years. Along with fitness trackers and pedometers that keep your exercise goals on point, Belty is there to help you lose weight. It vibrates happily when you walk, offers encouragement as you ascend stairs, and whines that you need to stand up straight, drink more water, and stop talking to that awful Tammy who’s no good for a nice boy like you. Note: Belty is a nagging mother around your waist.
7. Swallowable Robot
Image via IFL Science
Built to patch up simple wounds or help to dissolve swallowed items, this tiny robot is similar to the bloodstream nano bot we saw while seeking life-saving medical implants. Instead of riding along the bloodstream, it uses tiny crawlers to propel itself through your body that use light friction in one moment, then a slippery slink the next to get where it is told to go.
8. Bufalino Camping Scooter
Image via Boing Boing
Forget about requiring a minimalist apartment, the Camping scooter is the urban option for those who prefer to live on the go. Made for the modern cowboy this has all the comforts of home and car packed into a space about the size of a golf cart. From driving to working to sleeping, it’s a single person’s simple RV.
9. Vibrating Insoles
Image via Boston Magazine
Insoles that direct you around town or offer GPS for finding your loved ones are already out there. These are not made to help you follow a path, but rather to help you stand fast when you get there. The unnoticeable vibrations that these put out help align your body better for improved balance while standing still or walking.
10. Naked 3D Fitness Tracker
Image via Naked.fit
Part scale, part mirror, part app, Naked 3D helps you see how your body is changing and keep track of weight lost or muscle mass gained over time. It keeps an accurate rendering of your body and illustrates both how you look now, how you looked before, and how you will look when you hit your goal and swimsuit season descends. (Price: US$499)
11. USB Battery
Image via Amazon
Rechargeable batteries are good, but they need an outlet and a special apparatus to get their power back. Not so with this USB battery. The flip top lid closes down to turn it into a standard AA battery, or opens up for a quick recharge from any device with a standard USB port. (Price: US$11/pair)
12. Algaculture Feeding Helmet
Image via Fast.Co.Design
Horrifying and wonderful at the same time, this feeding helmet can provide you with nutrient-rich algae to keep you well-fed at all times, just like if you lived in the world of Dune. Though not terribly attractive, if it can deliver steak-flavored algae on a moment’s notice, we’re in.
13. Solar Bikini
Image via Gizmag
A notion that comes and goes every few years, the solar bikini (or iKini) is a set of solar panels turned into a bathing suit that can keep your devices running at the beach, right up until you take a dip without unplugging them and the whole thing goes haywire.
14. ‘Nasal Ranger’ Smelloscope
Image via St. Croix Sensory
There’s plenty of devices that allow you to hear and see further, but an oddly limited range that extend your ability to smell at a distance. Intended for tracking down drug dens by scent, the Nasal Ranger offers up a dog’s eye (or rather, nose) view of the world.
15. BioLogic Second Skin
Image via MIT Media Lab
True, it looks similar to any tight performance clothing, but the Second Skin has an eerie hidden secret. As your body gets warmer, it changes shape, opening up vents that allow your skin to breathe more easily. Weird, certainly, but also refreshing.
16. Horizontal Shower
Image via Dornbracht
Because standing for the 10 minutes required to shower is too agonizing, the horizontal shower allows you to get clean while lying on a slab. It conserves water over baths, and doesn’t feel like you’re soaking in a whole petri dish of water-borne bacteria, which might be worth it.
Top image: MIT inForm. Credit: MIT Media Lab.
[Source: The Coolist. Edited. Some images added.]