News & Media

The 12 Days of Inventions

You’ve heard of the 12 Days of Christmas, well, here’s The 12 Days of Inventions, where we look at 12 of the most interesting and exciting inventions from 2016 (and not a partridge in a pear tree in sight!)


 1.  Levitating Light Bulb



Flyte combines magnetic levitation with wireless power transmission technology to make a light bulb which hovers and rotates in the air. Invented by Simon Morris of Stockholm, it comprises two parts: the shatterproof LED bulb itself and the wooden base. The bottom of the bulb has a magnet in it which levitates the bulb using an opposing force in the base. Wireless power is transferred by induction from the base to the bulb. The light can then be switched on and off by simply touching the base, which is plugged into the wall. Magic!


2.  Folding Helmet


Morpher Foldable Helmet by Jeff Woolf - Various Views And Foldable Sequence

Jeffrey Woolf designed this folding cyclist helmet after having an accident in which his helmet saved his life. He then realised how many other cyclists don’t wear them and found 83% said this was because of the lack of portability. These ‘Morpher’ foldable helmets surpass all relevant safety standards and they are totally recyclable too. Genius!


3.  Sense Alarm



James Proud’s Hello Sense Alarm system helps you understand your sleep so you wake up feeling great. It monitors the conditions of your bedroom and recognises your movements in the night to give you a detailed insight into how you can sleep better, using a phone app. The Sense measures ambient temperature, humidity, light, proximity and sound. It glows in different colours and responds to light changes and you waving your hand above it. Good morning!


4.  Assistive Tableware



Sha Yao was inspired to design this Eatwell Assistive tableware set by her late grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease. She found eating to be one of her most challenging daily activities. The set is designed to increase food intake and maintain dignity for its users, while also helping to alleviate caring burdens by making the process of eating as easy as possible.

High-contrast colours help distinguish between food and tableware, specially curved spoons match the contours of the bowls, and the anti-tip design prevents spillages. Thoughtful!


5.  Supersonic Hairdryer



James Dyson has made a shock move into beauty with his new supersonic hairdryer. With a price tag of £300, the device promises to be the quietest and most powerful around with a jet force three times greater than normal devices. Dyson has combined ultra-powerful directed airflow (like in super-fast hand dryers) with heat protection sensors which stop the temperature reaching the point where hair is damaged. Supersonic!


6.  Pocket Printer



Tuvia Elbaum has invented the Zuta Pocket Printer, a portable gadget that only measures four-inches and means you can print on the go. It connects with an app on your phone, then the printer rolls back and forth over a piece of paper until the image from the screen is printed, within about one minute. Useful!


7.  Asthma Management System



As an asthmatic herself, Katherine Kawecki conceived the idea of the Respia Management system. It tracks and records the user’s respiratory health and medication use. It tracks health through a wearable patch. The patch, inhaler and docking station communicate wirelessly via an app. The app then prompts the user with suggestions and keeps the user informed of the quality of their asthma management. Helpful!


8.  Stent Tek Dialysis



Sorin Popa has been developing technology that is revolutionising kidney dialysis and heart disease. The ‘stent graft’ could enable patients to receive dialysis without surgery. This development could reduce the $45 billion yearly cost of treatment. Pioneering!


9.  Bluetooth Bike GPS



Luiz Martin Nuez has invented ‘Haize’, minimalist navigation for city cyclists. It connects with a phone app and works like a magic compass, only it points to your destination rather than North. That makes following directions on the move an awful lot easier. Clever!


10.  Braille Tablet



Kristina Tsvetanova has invented a tactile Bitlab Braille tablet for blind and visually impaired people. It can display a whole page of braille text at once without any mechanical elements. It’s like an e-book, but instead of using a screen, it displays small physical bubbles. Amazing!


11.  Portable Projector



Sony has developed this amazing ultra short throw projector that can turn any surface into a screen! You can connect the portable projector to a computer or television, either wirelessly or through an HDMI cable. It comes with a stylish stand and is battery powered so you can display anything you like, wherever you like. Handy!


12.  Social Robot



Jibo is an 11-inch robot that can answer any of your questions. From social robotics pioneer Dr Cynthia Breazeal, it recognises voices and faces while constantly learning from its interactions with people. The tiny robot can express emotions appropriate to countless situations. It acts like a PA, logging calendar dates and taking messages but is also sociable like a companion. Friendly!


Would you like to change the world and people’s lives by inventing something new? Study Maths and Physics A-levels and you’ll be well on your way to an exciting future whatever you choose to do!