From idea to reality: Inventions that can change the way we do things

By , on June 11, 2014


As consumers, we are always interested in buying the latest gadgets, which are not just trendy, but also make our lives easier. To be able to keep up with consumer demand, innovation has become the name of the game for many companies—both established and startup. Even tech behemoths like Google and Facebook have to regularly upgrade their services to keep the attention of their users. Aside from these business giants, there are also the startup companies. Although many startups fail, entrepreneurs continue creating and selling ideas, with the hope of one day turning them into million-dollar ones.

Because of that, every now and then, we consumers encounter products that we only once wished to exist in the future, or never imagined being available to us at all. Here are some of the latest inventions that might change the way we do things, or significantly improve the lives of many in the future:

Mink 3D printer

Screen grab from TechCrunch's YouTube video
Grace Choi, inventor of Mink 3D printer/ Screen grab from TechCrunch’s YouTube video

Imagine owning a desktop printer that instantly prints out all kinds of makeup in all varieties of colors. Well, that’s what Mink is. Harvard Business School graduate Grace Choi has invented this 3D makeup printer to help save women from spending a lot of money at high-end makeup stores like Sephora. Mink can take images from the Web and transform them into wearable color cosmetics. Just search for the color you like online and Mink will print it for you.

Braille phone

UK-based mobile phone company OwnFone has released the “world’s first” Braille phone.  OwnFone has been known for producing small, lightweight phones, which quick-dial buttons can be customized with the names of people you would contact in the case of emergencies. Because of its simplicity, the company mainly endorsed the phones to elderlies and children who do not need all the features of smartphones. Now, the company has also thought of selling the technology to blind people by printing Braille buttons on phones using 3D technology. Other Braille phone prototypes have come out in the past, but OwnFone is the first company to get it commercially available.

Cue

Screen grab from Cue's YouTube video
The Cue device/ Screen grab from Cue’s YouTube video

Have you ever anxiously waited days or weeks to hear back from your doctor’s office about the outcomes of your medical tests? Cue’s revolutionary technology will allow you to perform medical exams wherever you are and view the results from your phone within minutes. With Cue, all you have to do is take a blood, saliva, or nasal swab sample using a small wand and insert it into a cartridge loaded to your Cue device. After a few minutes, you will get the results on your phone through an app with suggestions on how you can improve your health based on the results. Cue is able to test for fertility, testosterone, Vitamin D deficiency, influenza, and inflammation indicators.

RainHouse

The RainHouse at Milan Design Week/ Screen grab from IVANKA Concrete's YouTube video
The RainHouse at Milan Design Week/ Screen grab from IVANKA Concrete’s YouTube video

Ivanka, a company based in Budapest, unveiled the technology during the Milan Design Week in April. RainHouse has a bio-concrete storage tank, which filters collected rainwater through solar distillation. This innovative filtration system is part of the organization’s Water of Life Project and aims to provide potable freshwater to small and big scale users.

 Luna Washing Ball

The Luna Washing Ball concept/ Photo source: www.electroluxdesignlab.com
The Luna Washing Ball concept/ Photo source: www.electroluxdesignlab.com

The Luna Washing Ball concept, created by Colombian industrial designer Juan Camilo Restrepo Villamizar, won people’s choice at the Electrolux Design Challenge. Luna is a metallic sphere washing machine, which you drop into your laundry basket and which then releases a cloud of steam with electrostatically charged particles to clean your garments. Using the Luna Washing Ball, you will never have to put clothes in the washing machine again. Instead, it will do the reverse for you.

 

Screen grab from IdeaSpace's website
Screen grab from IdeaSpace’s website

Entrepreneurs in the Philippines do not lack in innovative ideas as well. A non-profit organization called IdeaSpace has been functioning as an incubator and accelerator for startups for years now. The organization has already helped a number of budding technology entrepreneurs transform their breakthrough inventions into successful businesses by helping them find funding or investors, and also providing them mentoring programs. These two businesses, which received support from IdeaSpace, look promising:

TimeFree Innovations

TimeFree is a virtual queuing system, which goal is to help business owners enhance customer experience and engagement. Using this technology, customers will never have to wait in line again, because the system will allow users to leave the establishment after registering. A text message will be sent to notify them [customers] if their turn is coming soon.

PinoyTravel

PinoyTravel is an online bus-booking service, which permit consumers to: quickly reserve a seat through their computers, tablets, and phones, so they don’t have to wait in long lines at bus terminals, and track bus locations to lessen roadside waiting time. This website is particularly helpful when planning a trip during holidays or long weekends, when the number of passengers increases tenfold.