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It's a Chair. No, It's a Bulletproof Vest

Seattle inventor's seat converts into a life-saving device

(Newser) - An enterprising attorney has created a portable chair that converts to a bullet-proof vest, for use in schools and entertainment venues. Aaron Ansel came up with the idea for the CoverMeSeat following the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. "I just thought, is there any sort of technology-based... More »

Shark Tank Didn't Want It. Amazon Just Paid Big Bucks for It

'Smart' doorbell company Ring scooped up for a reported $1B

(Newser) - Five years ago, Jamie Siminoff left the ABC show Shark Tank "in tears" after a "smart" doorbell he created was spurned. On Tuesday, Ring, the company he built around that invention, was sold to Amazon in a deal Reuters reports as being worth more than $1 billion—one... More »

Patent-Pending Straw Does What Other Straws Can't

High schoolers' invention tests for date rape drugs

(Newser) - Victoria Roca, Susana Cappello, and Carolina Baigorri immediately bonded in their entrepreneurship class. For one thing, they were the only females in the class at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, reports USA Today , so when asked to create a product and business plan, they teamed up to address an issue... More »

Amid Craze, Fidget Spinner Inventor Makes Nothing

A cash-strapped Catherine Hettinger let the patent expire

(Newser) - It's hard to make money if you don't have any. That's the lesson from Catherine Hettinger, who is credited with inventing the original fidget spinner about three decades ago. In 2004, she says she could not afford the $400 patent renewal fee and thereby had to surrender... More »

Scientist: I've Fixed Age-Old Problem of Wine Bottles

A small groove eliminates drips after a pour

(Newser) - It may be a first-world problem—that little drip of wine that slides annoyingly down the neck of a bottle after it's been poured—but to one scientist, it was simply a physics challenge waiting to be overcome. Biophysicist Daniel Perlman at Brandeis University, an inventor with more than... More »

NY Factory Turns Fungus Into Furniture

They're making footstools from toadstools

(Newser) - The sturdy stools and spongy cushions made at an upstate New York factory are formed with fungus. Ecovative Design is a business staking its growth on mycelium, the thread-like "roots" of mushrooms, the AP reports. The mycelium grows around small pieces of stalks and stems to create a material... More »

Oregon Girl Invents 'Smart Bandage,' Wows Google

13-year-old's invention wins her $15K scholarship

(Newser) - An Oregon teenager has invented a bandage that can tell doctors when it needs to be changed, impressing Google judges and securing a $15,000 scholarship. Anushka Naiknaware, 13, placed in the top eight in an international science contest run by Google, the AP reports. She won the Lego Education... More »

Finally, an Alarm Clock That's Good for Something (Coffee)

Barisieur is designed to 'stimulate the senses'

(Newser) - How soon after waking up do you like your morning coffee? If your answer is "before I wake up," then the Barisieur may be for you. The "designer coffee and tea alarm clock" will gently rouse you from your slumber with the sounds and aroma of coffee... More »

These Gloves Turn Sign Language Into Speech

College students awarded $10K prize for invention

(Newser) - Some half a million people use American Sign Language to communicate. Now, communicating with others who don't know ASL could be as easy as donning a pair of gloves. Navid Azodi and Thomas Pryor, undergraduates at the University of Washington, were recently awarded a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT Student Prize... More »

Town Has Honored Bust Since 1977— It's the Wrong Guy

Stockton-on-Tees commissioned a bust of the wrong John Walker

(Newser) - Try as they might, the denizens of Stockton-on-Tees, England, just can't seem to pay homage to John Walker, a 19th-century resident of the town and inventor of "one of the most significant objects in modern history," per the the Northern Echo . Take, for instance, the bust of... More »

Inventor Called 'Bill Gates of Home Repair' Dies at 96

German creator Artur Fischer had more patents than Thomas Edison

(Newser) - Think "inventor," and Thomas Edison's name will likely come to mind. But German creator Artur Fischer had a handful more patents to his name (over 1,100) than the famous US inventor (1,093), earning him a lifetime achievement award from the European Patent Office. That prolific... More »

Hangover-Free Booze Is Now Supposedly a Thing

Except North Korea "invented" it, so it's probably not really a thing

(Newser) - While some North Koreans have kept busy exchanging propaganda packages with South Korea and supposedly making H-bombs , other good citizens have reportedly invented the thing the world really needs: a ginseng-derived booze that doesn't cause hangovers. Citing an article in the Pyongyang Times, CNBC notes that the brewing process... More »

Teens Invent Condom That Turns Colors Near STDs

Glow-in-the-dark prophylactic emits different hue for each detected disease

(Newser) - Three young teens from the UK are among the brightest, most colorful students at London's Isaac Newton Academy—and so are their condoms. Two 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old took home the top health prize of the TeenTech Awards for designing a condom that not only glows in the dark... More »

A New Way for the Blind to Read

Finger-worn device from MIT translates text to speech in real time

(Newser) - A new invention could help blind people "read" books and other written text without the need for Braille. MIT researchers have created a prototype of a finger-mounted device that uses a camera to scan text, which is then converted to speech in real time. "For visually impaired users,... More »

Scientists Create New 'Super Steel'

Titanium-strength metal is lighter, stronger, cheaper—and less likely to break

(Newser) - A group of South Korean scientists says it's finally come up with the perfect metallurgical cocktail to create a new form of steel that's flexible, lightweight, relatively inexpensive—and as strong as titanium, Popular Mechanics reports. The South Korean study published in Nature , which is being heralded by... More »

This Year's 25 Coolest Inventions

From a hoverboard to a sign-language translator

(Newser) - With 2015—and another year's worth of exciting inventions—fast approaching, Time is taking a moment to look back at this year's coolest new gadgets and gear. They range from a Back to the Future prop made real to a tablet system translating sign language to spoken words.... More »

Inventor: I Make Farts Smell Like Chocolate

Christian Poincheval says 'fart pills' make a great gift

(Newser) - Christian Poincheval was enjoying a meal out with friends six years ago when he had his eureka moment and the idea for a new product popped into his head. What sparked his creativity? "After a hearty meal, we almost suffocated as our farts were smelly," the French inventor... More »

Slick Invention Can Un-Stick Your Ketchup, Toothpaste

LiquiGlide, SLIPS Technologies take advantage of 'liquid-impregnated surfaces'

(Newser) - Hate when you can't get the last of the toothpaste from the tube? Or when your plane is delayed so it can be de-iced? Those days may soon be over thanks to what are essentially surfaces coated with liquid. Researchers at both Harvard and MIT have taken advantage of... More »

The Future Is Now: Hoverboards Exist

And you can help fund them on Kickstarter

(Newser) - It is now officially the future: Hoverboards are real. A company called Arx Pax has developed a skateboard-style device that rides on air instead of wheels, and it's raising money to "perfect" the project on Kickstarter , reports. Arx Pax has already surpassed its $250,000 goal.... More »

Physicist Paid Only $200 for His Nobel-Winning Invention

Company that Shuji Nakamura worked for also sued him for trade infringement

(Newser) - Shuji Nakamura's world got a little bit brighter yesterday morning when he found out he'd won the Nobel Prize in physics , along with Japan's Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano. But even though McKinsey guesses that Nakamura's invention—blue light-emitting-diodes, or LEDs—will be worth about $80... More »

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