Looking back on 2019’s ‘Best Inventions’
Every year Time Magazine selects 100 of the ‘Best Inventions’ from around the world. These inventions are chosen because they make the world that we live in a ‘better one, a smarter one and even a more fun one’. These inventions come from a plethora of countries, categories and functionalities – some are more superficial in terms of their purpose and category, while others can be seen as life-changing. In order to compile the list containing 100 of the ‘most ground-breaking’ inventions, Time assesses the nominations received from its correspondents, editors and the online application process by using the following criteria – the invention’s “originality, creativity, influence, ambition and effectiveness.” Ultimately the resultant 100 best inventions are those that “[change] the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.”
This year’s inventions were categorised under 20 different sectors of functionality, with the final and 21st sector being the ‘Special Mentions’ category. These sectors included: accessibility, augmented and virtual reality, beauty, consumer electronics, design, education, entertainment, experimental, food and drink, gaming, healthcare, home, parenting, productivity, social good, sports, style, sustainability, transportation and wellness. Undoubtedly of course, some of the greatest inventions and those with the potential of the achieving widest reach are those that fall under the healthcare sector. These inventions include the likes of an OR Black Box that essentially records data in a variety of formats of patient procedures in order to track procedural data for future use as a teaching tool. Other great inventions to come out of the health sector are the ‘Ultrasounds on the go’ which are aimed at making ultrasounds more affordable and accessible, Moxi, a product of Diligent Robots, is a robot designed to assist with the more menial duties a nurse is tasked with in order to free up time for the most important aspect of a nurse’s job description – patient care.
The sustainable sector also presented some fantastic inventions that provide real-time solutions for some of the environmental concerns that we are currently faced with, including ways of achieving ‘greener flights’; harnessing wind more effectively as an alternative energy source, a “micro plastic-sensing autonomous underwater vehicle” that does exactly what its name suggests; PureCycle’s repurposing of polyethylene plastics for reuse as well as TerraCycle’s Loop where consumers can drop off some of their name brand packaging and receive a refundable deposit, the packaging is then cleaned and reused.
The rest of the categories encompass inventions that showcase sustainable fashion through recycled trainers, protein-packed cereals, one-stop-shop hairstylers, talking hearing aids, multitasking ovens, solar suitcases, hands-free vibrators, a simplified universal remote, and robot assistance for the elderly. The list is an expansive and impressive one and definitely speaks to the infinite invention possibilities and capabilities of humans to problem solve.
For the full list, visit: https://time.com/collection/best-inventions-2019/ .