As the quality of life in the first world has increased, we have seen a shift from innovation for necessity to innovation for commerce. It makes sense, right? As an immensely prolific and respected poet laureate once said, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby”. Money motivates, but thank all that’s good in humanity for these few and select innovations that help disadvantaged people have a safer and better life. These are six inventions that are making the world a better place.
See Also: The Power of Possibility
Half of all people currently in hospitals are a result of waterborne impurities and contagions. Almost 2 million people a year die because of the unavailability of clean water. This is tragic in a world that uses clean water so frivolously on one side and because of the lack of clean water people die on the other side. Dean Kamen, Segway and iBot (a standing wheelchair) set out to change this with his water filtration system Slingshot. Taking his engineering cues from nature itself, Slingshot first evaporates the water and then condenses the vapor into potable (distilled and safe) water. In collaboration with the Coca-Cola Corporation, Kamen has already sent 15 units to five schools in Ghana as a trial, and intends to install a total of 2000 all over Africa. Once the pilot program is concluded, he plans to expand to South America.
2. Honorable Mention: Water is Life
This book includes information about water contamination and how to avoid waterborne diseases. Maybe I should mention that it’s also printed on specially prepared paper that can act as a filter that can offer clean water to its user for a whopping four years.
Although clean water may be available, it is sometimes necessary to transport it long distances to get it to people’s homes. Without the availability of motorized transport, this can be a daunting, tiring and laborious act. The Q-Drum’s solution is simple and elegant: it’s a water barrel with a hole in the middle (think of a giant plastic wheel or donut) that can be threaded through with a rope and pulled/rolled from the water source to the person’s home. Not only does it carry 50 liters compared to the meager 15 liters traditional containers hold, it also makes the task more efficient.
4. The Soccket
Innovation to better the world doesn’t have to be dark and gloomy, as proved by the Soccket. This device is a kinetic electric generator located inside a soccer ball. As the children (or adults, I won’t judge) kick the ball around, it stores energy and is then converted in a 3 LED lamp to illuminate living space without access to electricity.
War is one of the most frivolous wastes of human life. Devastating technologies are used to kill, maim and amputate, but a small Oregon start-up, RevMedX, looks to help save more lives with their simple invention. It is a syringe packed with small chitosan (a clotting agent) covered sponges that expand and adhere to moist surfaces. Not only do the chitosan-infused sponges promote clotting, but as the sponges expand, they exude pressure on any potential arterial bleeding that, in most cases, result in the patients dying. Luckily, the invention was recently approved by the FDA and will soon, hopefully, soon find its way onto the battlefield to save lives.
6. 3D Bioprinting
3D printing has been around for quite a long time and, despite the futuristic “print anything” device we were promised in sci-fi films, it has proven to be a very valuable tool for industry, design and, soon, medicine. Using bio-media or biological material, doctors are now printing things such as bones, implants and, in the foreseeable future, even entire organs.
Is there another technology you would like to add to the list? Let me know in the comment section below and feel free to follow me on CareerAddict.com!