FingerReaderEveryday we are introduced to innovations that remind us just how much our world is changing and how technology is impacting every aspect of how we live. From the Internet of things to biometric devices, we are often left with our minds blown and thinking, “Is this real life?”

Yes, it is real life and we need to get used to it.

So besides mind-blowing apps (they would warrant their own 2000 word post), here are three product innovations that may make you think that the hover board will be hitting store shelves and we will be hovering across country in no time.

  1. The Birth Control Chip – This is exactly what it sounds like – an implantable chip that releases hormones and works just like the birth control pill. This chip, developed by MicroCHIPS, a Massachusetts-based IT startup in the MIT lab, can be implanted and will continue releasing hormones for up to 16 years. The tiny chip is controlled by a remote control, which allows the implanted woman to turn the tool on and off, allowing her to determine when she will start ovulating and be able to get pregnant. This device is backed by Bill Gates and is expected to head to preclinical trials next year – and could be available for use as early as 2018.
  1. FingerReader – The FingerReader prototype, produced by a 3D printer, is a ring equipped with a small camera that scans text and reads the text aloud through a synthesized voice. This tool is a great innovation for those are visually impaired, and gives them immediate and affordable access to printed words, allowing them to read documents, books, and other materials needed for daily living. If the visually impaired reader starts to stray from the text, the small device vibrates, which lets the user know they should slowly move the device to get back on track.
  1. SimSensei – This prototype, was launched by The University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies’ (ICT) within DARPA’s Detection and Computational Analysis of Psychological Signals (DCAPS), with the goal of using artificial intelligence to identify indicators of psychological distress such as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Using a Kinect motion-sensing camera to monitor facial tics, the SimSensei software produces a computer generated diagnosis determining whether or not the person is depressed (and so far, they are boasting a 90 percent accuracy rate in the technology).

Just think of the implications of these innovative inventions…

Have you recently heard of any mind-blowing innovations? Please share!

Photo credit: MIT Fluid Interfaces Research Group