6 Innovations That Changed The World For The Better

A list of 2016 technology developments that make living in this planet a little less painful

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We’ve come to realize that technology is one of the most essential necessities in our society today, and that has vastly developed over the years. Technology continues to make people’s lives faster and more convenient. However, there are still some individuals who deem that technology is bad. They still believe that newly developed technology makes people lazy, stupid, and dispensable. And that multi-billion dollar companies don’t care about what they are selling to the public, as long as they’re making money from it. But this is not entirely true.

What these ‘anti-technology’ factions fail to consider are those innovations that have changed and helped the environment and the people, and are continuing to do so. Here are the top 6 innovations that make the world a little better to live in.

1. Apple

Good Guy Apple is taking a step towards renewable energy to act against climate change. During the Apple Event held last March, Vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa Jackson introduced the public to ‘Liam’—the robotic arm, which takes a dead iPhone, tears it apart, and reuses the materials for reintroduction into the global supply.

Jackson also announced Apple Renew, the project name given to Apple’s environmental initiative to reuse and recycle Apple products. Users can bring their iPhone, iPads, or iPods to the Apple store to be taken a part by ‘Liam’, which Apple says will be "safe for your data, and safe for the planet."

2. Toyota

In over five years, Toyota has been investing in robotic technology that focuses on aiding the elderly, and now, the automotive giant its first and most advanced wearable device labeled as Project BLAID. This device is designed for the blind to help them navigate indoors by detecting any blockages or doorways and guiding them safely to their destinations.

Shaped like a horseshoe, Toyota’s wearable device is meant to be worn around the shoulders, sort of like a neck pillow. The company claims that this device will have built in cameras that can recognize exits, escalators and signage.

3. Bakeys

Bakeys is a company based in India, and they have 1 premise: to start a cutlery revolution by making edible spoons and other utensils. According to kick starter “40 BILLION plastic utensils are used just within the United States within a year. Worldwide, this becomes a figure at 16 times this magnitude. A majority of these utensils are only used once and then discarded.” This project aims to completely demolish the use of plastic utensils to prevent waste at its source by eating it!

Made by 3 flours: wheat, rice and sorghum, the edible cutlery line is completely organic, healthy to consume, and most importantly—it’s delicious! Bakeys goal is to replace disposable utensils available in the market that only contributes to more waste by making their edible cutlery degrade after being exposed to nature within 10 days.

4. Ari Jónsson

Ari Jónsson is a young designer who uses red algea to create biodegradable water bottles, which was exhibited during the year s Reykjavik design festival DesignMarch. According to the designer "I read that 50 per cent of plastic is used once and then thrown away so I feel there is an urgent need to find ways to replace some of the unreal amount of plastic we make, use and throw away each day," Jónsson told Dezeen. "Why are we using materials that take hundreds of years to break down in nature to drink from once and then throw away?"

After intensive research, Jónsoon discovered a powdered form of agar, a substance made from algea. He then mixed the substance with water, which formed into a jelly-like material, freezes it, and molds it into a water bottle form. He tested this material and came into a conclusion that as long as the bottle is full of water, it will keep its shape, but as soon as it is empty – it will begin to decompose.

5. Autodesk

Autodesk, a 3D software company, backed by KIDmob has designed a program to allow children who are in need of prosthetic arms, to work alongside professional designers and engineers to envision and prototype their own superhero arm called the Superhero Cyborgs program.

A 10 year-old girl named Jordan Reeves has participated in this program in San Francisco, and she self designed and engineered what girls like her could only dream of—a glitter-shooting prosthetic arm of happiness.

Children as young as Jordan find it difficult to look for the perfect prosthetic arm, since it’s not advisable to get more expensive ones until they’re old enough to outgrow them. Superhero Cyborg’s program is the most practical and creative solution for kids to have a prosthetic arm, and it enables them to find some sort of enjoyment with their disability.

6. London Pigeon Patrol

It seems like it's difficult to get people’s attention when the topic is about environmental awareness, but not for London. They have figured out a cute and innovative way to raise awareness about air pollution crisis in London by having a group of pigeons tweet about the air condition in the country.

The pigeons wore a small backpack that has a pollution sensor and a GPS tracker. According to the guardian “the 25g sensor records the nitrogen dioxide produced by the city’s diesel cars, buses, and trucks and tweets it at anyone who asks for a reading”. Although this project ran for 3 days only, we hope other countries use this as a motivation to raise global awareness in the most creative way.