Technology overwhelms us over and over again each passing year, and for 2015, this was no exception. From apps that can lock your front door, to gadgets that can stop you from snoring, and toys that will amuse your young ones, this year has been packed with truly innovative creations. It goes without saying: we’re a year closer to the futuristic world we have always envisioned. Here are 14 surprising inventions that caught our eyes during 2015.
1. The ‘Hoverboard’ Scooter
You may have heard of Segway, but these self-balancing scooters are the fresher, smarter versions. All you need to do to control your direction is shift your body weight, so you can simply hop on and “hover” around with ease. Performing stunts is also possible with this exciting product, ranging from hallway races, to motorized dance routines.
2. Pantelligent: The pan that teaches you how to cook
If you’re terrible at cooking like I am, your life is about to change with this smart and innovative pan, which uses Bluetooth to synch the pan with your phone. Simply select your desired recipe from the respective smart phone app, then leave it up to the pan to give you real-time instructions about when to flip a steak or add your ingredients.
3. The pot that can grow with your plant
A growing plant requires the changing of its pot, but nowadays, technology has this sorted for you. Thanks to this expanding origami pot, created by Studio Ayaskan, your pot can now grow with your plant in the most stylish way possible, without needing to get your fingers dirty.
4. Samsung’s Safety Truck: A truck you can see through
Samsung have come up with one outstanding solution for blocked visibility experienced by car drivers driving behind long vehicles – a problem that has been the cause of numerous traffic accidents around the world. After partnering up with ad agency Leo Burnett, Samsung created a system with a four-screen display that gives a view of the road ahead to the drivers behind.
5. Upright: The device that stops you from slouching
If you are willing to improve your posture, whether for personal or health reasons, this device is the perfect must-have. ‘Upright’ is to be worn on the back, where it will begin to vibrate every time you start to stoop or slouch. You can then review your goals and achievements by means of the statistics that can be accessed through the connected app.
6. The Drinkable Book: the book that can filter water
The Drinkable Book was created with the aim of reducing the water problem that affects around 663 million people, due to the expensive cost of filtration. The unusual pages of this book were purposely developed to be able to serve as water filters, killing over 99% of harmful bacteria.
7. Cognitoys: The smart, talking toy
For several generations, we’ve seen toys that can talk when shaken or pressed. But so far, no toy has been as intelligent as Cognitoys, the wifi-enabled figurines that can engage and interact with kids by answering plain-language queries and learn from their responses. Apart from being both entertaining and amusing for the kids, this toy can also help them improve their math skills and challenge them in other educational subjects.
8. Tzoa: The personal pollution detector
If you’ve ever wondered whether your area is significantly polluted or not, here’s how to find out. The device and smart phone app, Tzoa, can detect information on the atmospheric temperature, particulate matter, and UV exposure in a given area, by using sensors. This way, you can avoid hazardous areas and inform yourself, and other institutions, better about the quality of the air you are breathing.
9. Hackball: The ball that teaches kids to code
Coding is not normally a hobby kids have, but with the new Hackball, made by the New York City-based firm Many, this is about to change. This ball can sync with a smart phone app, allowing users to alter how and when it lights up, and then see how those programs affect their lives in the real world. It offers a fun and interactive way for kids to learn coding, deviating from the usual screen-based method.
10. Smart Ears
Here’s the invention we’ve all been waiting for – wireless earphones. But these are not simply earphones, they are also smart – making you able to control real world audio so you can choose whether you want to be fully immersed in your audio environment or not. Users can control this, along with other functions and preferences, by using the smart phone app.
11. Nora: The device that stops you from snoring
The ultimate snoring solution is now out, thanks to this stupendous device called ‘Nora’. Without requiring you to wear any strips or masks, this device can detect your snoring and gently moves your head by inflating a padded insert under your pillow, accordingly. This way, your partner won’t be woken by any snoring, and you will be able to breathe normally in your sleep.
12. Sproutling: The ultimate baby monitor
We’ve seen several kinds of baby monitors before, but this one is the most sophisticated version produced so far. Sproutling baby monitor comes in the form of a wearable band that can record and predict your baby’s sleep habits and optimal conditions, and sync all the information to an app on your phone.
13. Sesame: The app that can lock your front door
Be sure not to forget the front door open again by using Sesame, by Candy House. With this impressive gadget, you can say goodbye to your keys and control the lock through your very smart phone. It comes with a secure app that enables you to do this, and it can also recognize who goes in and out of the house, and the time they do so.
14. Microsoft HoloLens: The virtual-reality system
Welcome to the future! Microsoft has released their first virtual-reality system, by which you can easily find yourself swimming with dolphins or fighting in the Battle of Waterloo, in one seriously realistic way. Apart from being a tool for entertainment, the HoloLens can also aid professionals in their work – such as engineers to manipulate and plan 3-D models, or surgeons to follow directions on the human body.