From Bluetooth showers to COVID-19 trackers, these are the inventions that are changing our lives in meaningful ways!
Every year, we get closer to the sci-fi future that pop culture envisioned for us. This year was no different as many new and interesting technologies made the news, from DALL-E, an AI that can draw like an artist, a tablet that can be folded in half by Asus to color-changing cars by BMW.
While you may have heard about DALL-E or the color-changing BMW, there is a huge list of lesser-known inventions released this year that deserve attention for how they have improved our lives. Here is a recap of some of the top inventions across industries in 2022.
Scale AI: Security and crisis management
The software company Scale AI made its way into Time magazine’s top 200 inventions of 2022 for its ability to assess war damage. The machine learning tool created by Scale AI uses commercial satellite imagery and provides humanitarian organizations with geotags (geographical markers for photos and images) of affected areas so that they can reach those in need of help.
Opteev’s ViraWarn: Disease prevention
Health safety company Oteev released their virus detection tool ViraWarn this year at the annual trade show CES. It is a tabletop device that detects the presence of respiratory viruses inside a closed space. ViraWarn consists of a silk-based biosensor that attracts the electrical discharge of respiratory viruses. If a respiratory virus is found, the LED lights on the device are activated, and an alarm is played to alert people of the virus’ presence. ViraWarn can detect COVID-19, flu and other airborne viruses present inside closed quarters.
Intuition Robotics’ ElliQ: Elderly care
Another entry from Time magazine’s list is ElliQ, an elderly care AI that is like a companion for the elderly. The AI takes them through guided workout sessions and meditation routines. It holds conversations with the elderly, helps them remember important events and tells them when they are running out of food. Based on the permissions set by the user, ElliQ can also give family members updates on the elderly person’s health and general well-being.
Group 14’s silicon battery technology: Electric vehicle technology
The battery storage tech company Group 14 Technologies released SCC55, the next iteration of their silicon battery technology this year. SCC55 is a silicon-carbon material that converts traditional lithium-ion batteries (like the ones used in electric cars) into high-performance, fast-charging silicon batteries. Using SCC55 batteries has been proven to give electric vehicles (EVs) a 25% energy boost.
GAF Energy’s Timberline Solar shingles: Green energy
GAF Energy’s Timberline Solar shingles received a spot on Popular Science’s top 100 Best of What’s New 2022 list. Timberline Solar shingles are made up of solar panels meant to provide electricity to a house. What makes Timberline Solar shingles so special is that these can be mounted onto your house just like traditional roofing. These are a discreet alternative to the clunky rack-mounted solar panels that we have seen so far. This technology has the potential to increase solar panel adoption in the U.S. by 10%.
Hai’s Bluetooth showerhead: Household appliances
Another entry on Popular Science’s list was Hai’s smart Bluetooth showerhead. The developers of Hai understand that people often leave the shower on and wander off to do other things while waiting for hot water. And so, Hai provides an LED light that turns on when the shower is warm and ready to get into. It also sends you push notifications on your smartphone if you are too far away to see the light. The best part? You don’t need a professional to put in the showerhead for you. All you have to do is unscrew your old showerhead and replace it with Hai’s to receive a smarter showering experience.
Movano’s smart ring: Health and fitness technology
Another device that made its debut at CES 2022 was the Movano smart ring. A replacement to the smartwatch many of us sport today, the Movano smart ring does all the things your typical smartwatch would do (like tracking sleep and activity metrics). The ring is yet to make its way to the market but the initial study reveals that it is doing a pretty good job of tracking blood oxygen levels (SPO2).
According to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Institute of Statistics, global research and development spending is nearly US$1.7 trillion. With so much money going into innovation, we’re bound to see more unique products enter the market. Naturally, it would be impossible to include every single invention from 2022 in this list, but hopefully, it got your creative juices flowing and inspired you to create your own innovative products in the future!
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