inventions

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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 , Phys.org 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 »

How a College Party Led to a $500K Invention

Simple DropCatch grabs bottle caps to ease cleanup

(Newser) - When a pair of college roommates were cleaning up after a party, there were bottle caps everywhere, so they picked them up with a magnet. Fast forward a few years, and the two have turned the magnet trick into a simple $60 invention—and they've sold $500,000 worth... More »

Teen's Invention May Save Alzheimer's Patients' Lives

Sensor tells caregivers when patients have gotten out of bed

(Newser) - When Kenneth Shinozuka's grandfather, who has Alzheimer's, was found wandering on a freeway at night, it left a deep impression on the 15-year-old; now he has been recognized for an invention to make sure it never happens again. The device is a pressure sensor that can be worn... More »

'Smart Chopsticks' Can Detect Bad Food

Chinese invention started out as April Fool's joke

(Newser) - In a country with as many tainted food scandals as China, using "smart chopsticks" could be a pretty wise move. Baidu, the Internet giant nicknamed "China's Google," unveiled the utensils at its annual conference in Beijing this week, explaining that they could detect tainted products like... More »

Harvard Students Invent Cake From a Spray Can

The 2 students get a big thumbs-up from a Boston culinary star

(Newser) - For two Harvard University undergrads, what began as "an excuse to eat a lot of cake" may turn into the invention of a lifetime. John McCallum, a 20-year-old from Louisiana, was daydreaming about cake his freshman year during his “Science of Cooking” class when he happened to see... More »

Bill Gates' Contest Winner: Cow-Tendon Condoms

The condom of the future could also be made from fish skin

(Newser) - Bill Gates issued a challenge to inventors in March: Come up with a plan for making a more pleasurable condom that more men will actually want to use and win a cool million dollars. His quest to make safe sex better seems to be off to a strong start: The... More »

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