Brain Food: 5 Awesome Inventions & 1 Cheeky Treat to End Your Week On
This week’s Brain Food is jam-packed full of really radical – and perhaps a bit controversial – inventions. LBB’s Addison Capper has plucked out totally switched-on jewellery that’s just a wee bit creepy, a Facebook app getting us ready for crises, the best lock ever (yes, we did just say that), vanishing umbrella and appearing memories.
1. Facebook Safety Check
In the midst of a crisis - whether that be a hurricane, earthquake, terrorist attack - people want reassurances that their loved ones are safe. And many now use social media as their port of call for touching base. That hasn’t gone unnoticed by Facebook who has just launched Safety Check, a helpful tool that makes it easier to reassure your friends. (That’s ONLY your friends for the privacy wary among you.) Facebook will send you a notification in the wake of a crisis asking if you are safe or not. It’ll be able to determine your location by the city listed in your profile, your last location if you’re opted into the Nearby Friends product, and the city in which you are surfing the Internet. If you hit safe, your Facebook friends will then be notified of your safety - as will you be if you have a friend caught in a disaster stricken area. Read more about it here.
2. Energy Addicts
This jewellery might look a little frightening, but it’s really pretty darn clever. Created by Israeli grad student Naomi Kizhner, it essentially turns your veins into a power source. The decorative items are embedded into the wearer’s veins and would then use its movements and blood flow to turn a small wheel inside the device, which in tow would generate electricity. Obviously having something so casually hanging out of your arm isn’t everyone’s - well probably most people’s - bag, but that was kind of the idea. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Kizhner said: “I wanted to provoke the thought about how far will we go to in order to ‘feed’ our addiction in the world of declining resources.” Learn more about the project on Kizhner’s website.
3. Unpickable Lock
Locks aren’t really my ‘thing’. Ok, I didn’t really know locks WERE a thing. But this is ace. In this video, YouTube lock enthusiast bosnianbill is looking at a seemingly unpickable lock that requires an injectable key that’s comparable to a hypodermic needle. Its origin is unknown, but it was apparently purchased in Taiwan and may have been created by a German or American company.
4. Air Umbrella
The Air Umbrella is an ‘invisible umbrella’, designed by Chuan Wang of Nanjing, China. Wang claims that jet airflow is capable of isolating objects - and that apparently includes raindrops, meaning that the Air Umbrella forms an umbrella without a visible cover. I think there’s definitely an issue with the battery life - the most premium version lasts just 30 minutes - but we can’t deny that busy cities would be a MUCH nicer place to walk around in the drizzle if you didn’t have to dodge sharp umbrella ends intent on stabbing you in the eye. It was seeking funding on Kickstarter, but at time of writing (with five hours left on the page) it has 10 times its $10,000 target. Check it out here.
5. Touchable Memories
Touchable Memories is using 3D printing in a whole new way to help the blind re-experience visual memories in a physical way. Created by LOLA Madrid for Singapore-based company Pirate3D, the project took old photos and recreated them in 3D. It also launched with a really beautiful short from Story: We Produce and director Marco Aslan. Check it out below.
6. I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!
VFX artist Dave Fothergill created merely as a test for the Autodesk Maya 3D animation software. And it is bloody marvellous.