Time's Best Inventions of the Year 2012

27 December 2012

Time Magazine has released its list of the best inventions of 2012.

At the top of the list is the indoor cloud by the Dutch artist, Berndnaut Smilde. Using the perfect temperature, lighting and humidity, Smilde draws out the cloud using a fog machine. It only lasts for a few seconds but is an extremely clever piece and reminds us of the ephemeral nature of art.

The next two on the list are for the DIY lovers. The first was created by Marcin Jakubowski who built a tractor in six days and then told the world how to do it complete with a budget and instructional video. The second is the motion-activated screw driver called the 4v MAX Gyro.  The screw driver senses wrist motions just like a smart phone or a Wii remote.

Also on the list is the invention that will change the world for Ketchup addicts everywhere, LiquiGlide. This plant-based product creates a surface that anything can slide off, meaning there will be no need to de-ice the car anymore!

Next on the list is the OraQuick Home HIV Test. With a swab of saliva and a 20 minute wait, the test can identify the antibodies that signal an HIV infection.

The Eliodomestico Solar Water Distiller also features as designed by Gabriele Diamanti. This is the latest technology  in solar powered distillers and is for use in costal areas in the third world. The distiller is cheaper but more efficient than other models.

The next invention on the list is designed to help those who are hearing impaired. Four students have created gloves that recognise sign language and can translate it into text and then into spoken words so they can communicate with those who don’t understand sign language.

The new Tamagotchi, Techpet is next on the list. Techpet was created by Bandai and is an app which plugs into a dog shaped dock and recognises gestures and verbal commands.

Also on the list are two NASA creations, the Curiosity Rover Mars car and the Z1 Space Suit which provides longer radiation protection.

Another robotic creation that features is Baxter. Created by Rodney Brooks, Baxter is perfect for light tasks such as packing and sorting and even has a face!

The Nike Flyknit Racer also features as one of the best inventions of 2012. These eco-friendly, precision fit trainers are the latest offering from Nike.

Self-inflating tyres are next on the list. These Goodyear tyres have an internal pressure regulator and pump air back into the tyre without the driver even knowing something was wrong.

Another amazing invention of this year is Bounce Imaging. This orb gives the police and fire fighters the full picture of a burning building or hostage situation by taking photos when thrown up in the air.

Next on the list is the women’s body armor that the U.S. military are in the process of testing. Until now, women have worn men’s extra-small which is too big for 85% of female troops.

The only camera on the list is the Sony RX100. The camera looks like a normal point and shoot but gives the quality of an SLR, bridging the gap between the two.

This year marked the first ever Wingsuit Flying World Championship in China, another invention on the list. Participants wear bat-like suits and descend from a 5000 foot cliff before gliding through a valley course.

Next is the invention from Google which has caused great debate. Glass is essentially a computer built into a pair of glasses so you can share and take photos and even video chat. The product will be available to buy in 2014.

The second computer-related invention on the list is the MakerBot Replicator 2 which is a 3D desktop printer. This latest offering from MakerBot prints faster and more precisely than before.

The Switchblade Drone is next up. The two foot drone can fit in a bag and the person in control receives a video feed from the drone to help crash it into a precise target.

The only car featuring on the list is the Tesla Model S, a four door electric Sedan, with touch screen controls. A network of supercharger stations are being built so the car is not tied to one home port.

Following with the environmentally friendly trend, Hawaiian Kampachi Farms have invented a drifting fish farm, tracked by GPS in an attempt to harvest thousands of sustainable kampachi.

Next on the list is Element 113. A team at the Riken Nishina Centre in Japan have, after nine years, finally created three atoms of Element 113, it is as yet unnamed and has a nucleus of 113 protons and 165 neutrons.

Another invention on the list is the Deepsea Challenger Submarine which was created by the filmmaker responsible for Titanic and Avatar, James Cameron. The submarine has been built to withstand 1,000 atmospheres of pressure, has digital 3-D cameras and has reached the oceans’ deepest point.

The final invention that features is the Al Bahar Towers. On these towers are specially designed shapes made to open and close as a response to the sun. This reduces heat gain by more than 50%, meaning less air conditioning is needed and carbon emissions are reduced.

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