Genius Inventions Proving You're Living in the Future
Let's explore some amazing ideas, inventions and gadgets proving we're living in the future!Technology
People had all kinds of predictions about what the future would look like – from flying cars to commercial space travel, the British boyband Busted even said we’d live underwater; but what if I told you you’re living the future already? Here are some genius futuristic inventions you probably didn’t know existed!
20. Green Man Plus
Helping old people cross the street is always a good deed done, but what if they didn’t need to worry about rushing to the other side before that green man turns red again?
This is the reality for pensioners in Singapore, who are now eligible for a special ‘Green Man Plus’ EZ-link card which can be swiped at the crossing sensor, giving them an extra 3 to 13 seconds to cross – depending on the size of the street.
This thoughtful and touching system – which is also available to disabled citizens – has already been implemented on over 400 crossings around the city since 2009 and should definitely make its way overseas soon.
19. Charge on the Go
Running out of mobile phone power is one of the most common problems in the technological age, and – without a spare cable or socket nearby– a dead battery can spell disaster. Thankfully, this crafty and affordable little invention has been created to ensure you never run out of juice again.
Designed in Tel Aviv, the‘ Mobeego’ is a tiny can-shaped mobile phone ‘energy drink’ which can be purchased from local stores. The device contains a lithium cell battery pre-packed with a fixed portion of power which is instantly ready for use with your android or iPhone device – and the best part? They can be recycled afterwards!
18. Cyclee Bicycle Light
Despite growing in numbers, cyclists still remain some of the most vulnerable road users, and a staggering number of motor accidents involving bicycles happen at night with poor visibility. There are of course vast ranges of bike lights available on the market to aid bike safety, but the ‘Cyclee’ stands one cut above the rest.
Azerbaijani designer Elnur Babayev created this self-mounted laser system which can project a series of relevant warning signs on the cyclists' back during their journey; notifying drivers if they are stopping or changing direction. The program can be edited wirelessly using a mobile app that can pre-program any route, while a unique chipset identifies any changes in movement.
17. Kite Patch
This tiny red sticker should be a staple item for anyone prone to the attention of mosquitos, the party poopers of the insect world; a single bite can itch like hell for days!
Thankfully, the scientists at Kite have thought up the nifty little ‘Kite patch’ which will help kiss goodbye to unwanted mozzies as the world’s first totally harmless deterrent. Each wearable patch contains eco-friendly, non-insecticide and DEET tech which blocks mosquitos' CO2 receptors, manipulating their sense of smell and thus acting as an invisibility shield for us humans.
I’m sure we all know someone who needs one of these in their life, but the Kite patch also holds life-changing potential for preventing the spread of malaria in third-world countries.
16. Warm on Pebbles
There’s nothing worse than settling in for a long relaxing soak and suddenly finding your bathwater turning cold – and the effort of partial draining and refilling is both wasteful and a bit of an ambience killer.
Worry no more, because the brilliant minds at Yanko Design have come up with an easy solution called the ‘warm on pebbles’ which are designed to regulate and maintain water temperature for you.
These pleasing artificial stones recognize the water's initial temperature and activate when your bath cools below it, mimicking nature’s own volcanic springs by circulating water and radiating heat from a built-in heating system.
15. EXPAND R5090
From a convenient little gadget to a huge time-saving invention, the EXPAND R5090, designed by French company Pellenc, is set to revolutionize the fruit harvesting industry. This huge mechanical tarpaulin can automatically extend up to 11 meters, surrounding any ready-to-be-harvested trees while the Pellenc Buggy 5000 shakes the ripe fruit onto the mat below, which then retracts filling a trough with fruit.
This winning team of machinery can harvest up to 1200 trees a day, bringing over 600lbs of fruit like olives, almonds, cherries, and oranges while seriously saving on money and manpower.
14. YAPE Self-Driving Home Delivery System
If any invention comes close to our ancestors’ wacky ideas about future tech, it’s this little guy – Your Autonomous Pony Express, otherwise known as the YAPE self-driving home delivery system. Designed and built by the Italian company e-Novia, this nimble two-wheeled robot is the most efficient and immediate method of parcel delivery out there.
YAPE can move at 6mph effortlessly crossing streets and navigating sidewalks by producing a digital map of the city and reacting to its real-time surroundings with camera sensors. With the connected mobile app, users can safely send and receive post which is then delivered by using facial recognition software.
The first trial YAPE fleet was reportedly rolled out in Italy in 2017, so watch out for these buddies in a neighbourhood near you.
13. FOBO Tire Plus Sensor
Realizing you have a flat tire while on a long journey can be a huge inconvenience, but the FOBO Tire Plus Sensor is here to prevent that from ever happening again. This easy wireless pressure monitoring system can be self-installed on any tire cap and connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth to provide you with real-time updates on individual tire pressure.
The device can give alerts when the pressure becomes low and even comes with its own theft-deterrent system, making this invention a great one for peace of mind.
Sleeping next to a snoring partner can be a total life-ruiner and has even been ranked the 3rd highest cause of divorce in the U.S. Luckily, Snorelax – not the Pokemon kind – is a simple yet incredibly effective solution.
These easy-to-apply strips provide overnight jaw support by relaxing and opening the airways and have been medically proven to eradicate snoring without being unnecessarily invasive. The strips are comfortable, reusable, and even beard friendly with painless removal – what’s not to love?
11. Biodegradable Golf Balls
Some of the best inventions are those which give pre-existing objects a new purpose in the afterlife, which is even better when that purpose serves the environment. Ever wondered how many golf balls are currently hanging about in ditches, verges and ponds around the world not degrading?
Boscombe Pier in the U.K. has recently trialed a world-first crazy-golf course which uses German-manufactured biodegradable golf balls with a fishy twist – meaning they literally turn into fish food when they fall into the sea after the 18th hole; there’s a new one for you, Nemo.
10. Driveway Snow Melt System
There are some things we just can’t control, most of which are caused by mother nature – and a snow-covered icy driveway or pavement can be unexpectedly lethal, especially before your morning coffee.
Fear not, though, because the floor-heating company Warmup has come up with a shortcut to manual snow removal or tedious de-icing by creating a pavement system which is invincible to extreme cold weather.
It involves installing one of two types of ‘heating cable’ designed for concrete and asphalt before laying down tarmac, which then instantly warms up after sensing ice or snowfall. This clever system can even work in temperatures up to -20°C – so there’s no need to tread so carefully in those winter months.
9. Air Umbrella
I’m well aware of the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but after seeing this crazy invention you’ll be leaving your old manual umbrella at the door. The ‘Air Umbrella’ – which kinda looks like a magic wand – is the first umbrella designed without a canopy of any kind, working entirely by air manipulation instead.
Chinese inventor Chuan Wang says his invention uses a powerful ‘force of air’ to create an invisible layer of protection around its user by using a bladeless rotating fan mechanism at the top. It may seem pretty neat, but I can’t say the unfortunate person standing in the resulting spray would agree.
8. Life Straw
The Air Umbrella might be a ‘want’ more than ‘need’ kind of item, but this next invention could literally save your life. The appropriately named Life Straw has been carefully designed with a built-in filter which removes 99.9% of all parasites and bacteria and 96.2% of dangerous viruses which could be contracted by drinking contaminated water.
With an unlimited shelf-life, this little device has already had a massive positive impact on dedicated survivalists as well as those with no access to clean water, making the Life Straw one seriously genius invention.
7. Intelligent Packaging
How do you decide when food or drink has gone bad – do you rely on smell? Or maybe you wait for the first speckles of mold to appear. Often, supermarket ‘best before’ labels aren’t entirely accurate, so it can be hard to tell which ‘gone off’ produce is still good to use – but this creative solution could put an end to all that.
A company called Braskem has proposed an ‘intelligent’ range of food and drink packaging which would accurately indicate when the product is no longer usable by reacting to pH levels and instinctively changing its color.
Satellite navigation is everywhere nowadays, and most people just rely on their smartphones to direct them to their destination – but fixing your device in a safe and convenient position can be tricky, to say the least.
Carloudy eliminates this unnecessary frustration by offering the first entirely virtual navigation system, projected right from your smartphone onto the windscreen.
This voice-controlled head-up display connects to already existing apps like Google Maps, and even works under direct bright sunlight, making it an incredibly useful device for the future of driving… if cars don’t drive themselves, that is.
Do you get easily bored of the décor in your home but hate the effort of constant redecorating? This next one might be for you – if you’ve got $500 to spare that is. The ‘Scribit’ is a robot specially designed to write and erase on interior walls, creating unique wall art using four erasable wall markers at the touch of a button – all you need are two nails and a plug socket.
The device works as a vertical plotter and can travel up any wall following a pre-planned design route which can be selected or drawn yourself using any smartphone. Allowing robots to do the things kids have been told not to seems like a bit of a parenting nightmare though.
Sometimes the simplest inventions are the most useful for everyday life, and the 4bumpers car gadget is no exception. These little metal plates could save you a lot of aggro down the line – and it’s kinda criminal they took this long to invent.
The sleek solid steel bumper frame can be easily screwed around your existing license plate to provide a well-needed buffer for minor bumper-to-bumper collisions and those annoying parking mishaps.
3. PrintBrush XDR
Printing processes have already come a long way with the invention of the revolutionary 3D printer but just take a look at this impressive hand-held printer which is no bigger than a computer mouse.
The PrintBrush XDR is the world’s first color inkjet printer designed specifically for on-the-go use with smartphones and prides itself on its paperless eco-saving qualities.
Marketed as the ‘magic wand for printing’, the PrintBrush puts portable printing technology at your fingertips by allowing the user to print text onto any surface – in fact, the process is so gentle that it can even be applied to an inflated balloon. In one sweep, you can bring any design to life – saving time, paper and money.
2. Articulated Bench
There are some seriously wacky bench ideas out there, but this one takes the cake for being both futuristic and practical. The ‘articulated bench’ is the work of designer Brian Lee and is intended to be ergonomic and multi-purpose.
Comprised of connecting wooden slats, it might look like a fence when not in use, but the bench springs into action when you sit on it, moving like a wave to accommodate virtually any seating position.
In fact, with its hammock-like qualities, the bench seems like a pretty decent spot for an outdoor nap – which could be risky for anyone not expecting to doze off in the middle of the day.
Roborace offers us a real glimpse into the future of driving and competition racing with its world-first championship for entirely autonomous race cars. The tournament will hold races between a variety of independent teams, all aiming to create the fastest racecar with their own AI software.
The competition is brand new, with the first official Roborace season taking place in 2021. The tournament is experimenting with different formats in seasons alpha and beta to make the tournament as entertaining as possible. Major tech and automobile companies, as well as universities, will be involved.
The focus is on the software, not the car itself, so initially they plan for all racecars to be the same, with each team coding the AI software. 2 vehicle platforms are currently being used: Robocar and DevBot 2.0.
The former doesn't seat a human and is an all-wheel drive, while the latter is a rear-wheel drive and can be driven with or without a human driver. If Robocar seems like something straight out of Tron Legacy, that’s because it is. It was designed by Daniel Simon, who previously worked on vehicles for the movie.
It has been specially engineered to push the limits - with Guinness World Records naming it the world's Fastest Autonomous Car in March of 2019, reaching a speed of 282.42 km/h, or 175.49 mph.
The teardrop-like design of the car means it is incredibly aerodynamic. It relies on a mix of optical sensor systems like radars, lidars and ultrasonics to inform the AI algorithm to make its own informed decisions while driving.
Beyond entertainment, Roborace is all about accelerating the development of autonomous software that will be relevant to our roads. When Roborace takes off, it's likely to supercharge breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and road software. Roborace is one futuristic tournament to keep your eyes on.
These genius inventions suggest that the future may be here already. They definitely have the potential to make our lives better. Thanks for reading!