IdeaBuyer Favorite Inventions of 2008
Of the several patents filed in 2008, the following 10 are our favorites! Some because they have been recognized as having the most potential for changing the world and others because they are cool.
1. Diamond Kidney Dialysis
For people dealing with kidney failure, this new method of removing toxic chemicals from the blood could be a lifesaver. Most patients facing kidney failure have the option of organ transplantation or dialysis. Unfortunately, with a shortage of donors, and complications with current dialysis filters, treatments are severely limited.
This new method of filtration is claimed to more closely reproduce the filtration function of the kidney, in its ability to filter proteins. William Fissell at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, with help from colleagues at the University of Michigan, designed the filtration system to be potentially implanted within the body. Made from several layers of nanoporous diamonds, each layer will only filter a specific protein size, removing what needs to be removed and keeping what the body needs to keep.
2. Muskrat Feces Antibiotic – Weird!
An antibiotic with the capability of killing the Salmonella bacteria, the cause of most food poisoning cases, has been found in Muskrat faeces by Ki Keun Kim and colleagues at Pusan National University in South Korea. Found to also be effective against Staphylococcus (commonly referred to as a Staph infection) and termites, the compound is extracted through drying the faeces and using an organic solvent.
The gross factor doesn’t change the fact that it kills the bacteria that can kill us!
3. Hurricane Suppression through Supersonic Boom
From the University of Akron in Ohio, Arkadii Leonov has patented a method “sufficient to suppress, mitigate and/ or destroy a typical sized hurricane/typhoon”. The patent application claims, all that is needed are two F-4 jet fighters flying at Mach 1.5. The jets fly in concentric circles around the eye of the hurricane, calming the area the hurricane is rotating around.
4. Bionic Contacts
Scientists are currently working on the contact lens, everyone will want, even those without vision problems. A digital contact, capable of zooming on distant object and displaying information about the object, has become a reality. Engineers have been able to install an electronic circuit and lights on a regular contact lens, proving it possible to build a SAFE electronic lens.
For all of us that have dreamt about being terminator for a day… it’s not too far-fetched anymore!
5. Pollutant Killing Sidewalk
The latest weapon in the fight against pollution is TX Active, cement with a chemical composition capable of neutralizing pollutants. Sunlight activates the main ingredient, titanium dioxide, oxidizing any pollutants that come into contact with the cement. While it seems like a great idea, some scientists are not as optimistic about the products potential, explaining that this is not a cure for pollution.
6. Enhanced Fingerprints
A way to analyze fingerprints off a gun after it has been cleaned, discovered by English physicist, John Bond, is already being used by police to re-open some cases. Because sweat corrodes metal, a fingerprint pattern can be revealed when an electric charge and fine carbon powder are applied.
7. Flying Wind Power
Higher elevation, higher wind speed. But building a taller wind turbine to get to the stronger wind is no longer necessary. Sky Windpower, Laddermill and Magenn are all companies working toward flying the windmill! If these flying wind turbines can harvest just 1% of the jet streams wind power, demand for power in the US would be supplied.
8. The Touch-Sight Camera
Chueh Lee, while working for Samsung China, designed the world’s first camera for the blind. The easy-to-use digital camera does not have an LCD, rather a flexible Braille display sheet allowing the user to touch their photo. Not only does this camera display a 3D embossed image, it also records sound for three seconds after the shutter button is pressed. When reviewing previously taken pictures, users are able to reference the sound for a better understanding of their picture. Research concluded that for stability and accurate aim, the forehead was the best placement. All the user has to do is place the camera on his/her forehead and click!
9. New tools for Spies?
Michael Yu at John Hopkins University and colleagues have made a rubbery-plastic-based material that allows for piezoelectric devices (microphones and speakers) to be put in previously impractical places. Flexibility for piezoelectric devices used to be extremely difficult. Adding silicone to the rubber material solves this problem. The group is looking at applications such as wallpaper speakers, and foldable speakers.
10. Cost Efficient Solar Power!
Nanosolar has set the standard for cost efficient solar power with their thin-film solar panels. Bulky silicon panels are a thing of the past. The technology used in the manufacturing process of the thin-film is the crucial component that makes Nanosolar able to produce 100x thinner solar cells 100x faster.
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About the author of this article:
Lindsey Yeauger is the Product Marketing Director for Idea Buyer LLC, a new product development company that owns and operates IdeaBuyer.com- The Online Marketplace for Intellectual Property. The site gives inventors the opportunity to showcase their intellectual property to consumer product companies, entrepreneurs, retailers, and manufacturers. You can email her at Lindsey@IdeaBuyer.com.