Insights · December 9th, 2011

Popular Science recently featured the 100 Best Innovations of the Year. Here are 10 of the most exciting and interesting ones.

Recreation:
Lifesaving Wetsuit
The Billabong V1 is more than just a wetsuit. This suit inflates a bladder in the back of the suit once an attached ripcord is pulled, helping the wearer float in case of an emergency. Learn more from Billabong.

Engineering:
Versabar VB10000
This rig remover can unearth an entire oil rig from under water in a few short hours and for a quarter of the price. The Versabar VB10000 is extremely necessary, as the U.S. has identified 1,800 rigs that have to be excavated within 10 years.

Green Tech:
Bio Soil Enhancers Forage Boost
These bio soil enhancers raise productivity and lower watering needs. Grass yields increase by 20% over standard fertilizer. Learn more about the inventors at AuroraAgra, LLC.

Wysips
The world’s first transparent photovoltaic film. Wysips turn almost anything into a power source. This film has thin strips filled with solar cells alternating with transparent areas, so it appears transparent has thousands of potential applications.

Health:
Diagnostics for All
All it takes is a drop of blood on a stamp-size paper chip and in 15 minutes a color will appear that indicates liver health. Diagnostics for All’s “chip lab” costs less than a penny to make and allows patients to pay about a nickel for treatment.

Avita/ReCell Spray-on-Skin
ReCell Spray-On-Skin grows cells quickly and applies new skin to a bad burn, helping it heal more quickly.

Aviation and Space:
Messenger
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab’s Messenger probe was the first spacecraft to enter Mercury’s orbit. The probe sent back the first close-up photos taken of Mercury since 1975.

Security:
Recon Scout XT
This bot is tough enough to be thrown into any environment, even through a window, beaming back to its handler live video footage.

Gadgets:
Eye-Fi Direct Mode
Eye-Fi SD cards do not need Wi-Fi to share photos and video from a camera on the Web. All you need is a location with cell service and you can download, upload and share through e-mail any photos you want.

Home Entertainment:
Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface
This 40-inch thin tabletop computer sees and responds to whatever gets placed on it.

Writer: Mallory Smith worked as Program Manager & Administrator at Futurist.com

Category
Environment & Energy Innovation Science & Tech Space
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Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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