Best Inventions of 2016

Every year, TIME selects the most effective inventions that area unit creating the globe higher, smarter and—in some cases—a very little a lot of fun. within the past, we’ve featured everything from the real-life hoverboard to the desktop deoxyribonucleic acid science lab. Here’s which of them created this year’s ungraded list.
1) The Levitating electric light
Since he was a baby, Simon Morris has been obsessed on creating objects float in point. At one purpose he even managed to show a skateboard into a hoverboard, tho’ as he remembers it, “I couldn’t ride on that.” currently he’s applying that very same passion to Flyte, a electric light that depends on electromagnetism to levitate and spin, and on resonant inductive coupling—a technical term for wireless power ­transmission—to shine. Morris sees his style as a seamless mix of science and art compliance each pragmatists, like Thomas Alva Edison, and dreamers, like Tesla.

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And shoppers seem to agree: Morris says Flyte has sold thus well since its official Gregorian calendar month launch that his team is getting to introduce a full scheme of floating product, together with a planter, Lyfe, that debuted in Gregorian calendar month. “We’re simply scratching the surface,” he says.
2) The Folding Bike Helmet
Like several cyclists, Jeff writer has been concerned in an exceedingly serious crash—one that may have killed him were it not for his helmet. So why, he questioned, do such a large amount of of his contemporaries refuse to wear one? seems, it’s mostly because they’re hard to carry around; they’re thick and bulky, and don’t fit into bags or backpacks. And that was a problem that Woolf, an engineer, knew he could fix. The result: Morpher, a bike helmet made from interweaved plastics that is just as strong as its traditional counterparts (it meets general safety requirements in both the U.S. and Europe), but flexible enough to fold almost totally flat, making it easier to transport. Woolf recently shipped the first units to his Indiegogo backers, who helped raise almost $300,000; he’s now in talks with stores too. “It’s inevitable that as more people take to the road on a bicycle, more people will have accidents,” Woolf says, adding that he hopes Morpher will save lives.
3) Solar Panels That Don’t Stick Out
Help the environment, save some money—and litter your roof with bulky metal boxes. That’s the dilemma home-solar-panel buyers have faced for years. Tesla’s response: the Solar Roof, a series of tiles designed to blend together while also harnessing the power of the sun. The product line, which will be available next year, is a collaboration between Tesla and SolarCity, a longtime provider of traditional solar panels. (The former is set to acquire the latter.) And although pricing information has not yet been released, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive is optimistic about Solar Roof’s potential. “It’s addressing a new segment,” he says, referring to the 5 million Americans who install new roofs each year, some of whom might want to go solar.
4) Shoes That Tie Themselves
Almost everyone who sees Back to the Future wants three things: a time-traveling DeLorean, a working hoverboard and a pair of self-lacing shoes. Now, because of Greek deity, the shoe dream could be a reality. once wearers press a button close to the tongue, the HyperAdapt one.0s mechanically tighten and loosen around their foot. And though this technology might sound flippant, it’s not only for kicks: simplified shoe fastening may provide athletes a footing throughout competition, and it’s particularly helpful for individuals with impaired motor perform. “We’re already seeing powerful feedback” from the disabled community, says Tinker Hatfield, Nike’s vp of style and special comes.
5)Soccer Fields That Fit Anywhere

The Khlong Toei district within the heart of capital of Thailand is packed tight with buildings and ­people—which doesn’t leave a lot of area to create new parks, not to mention large rectangular fields on that children will play football game. thus realty firm AP Asian nation took a distinct approach. As a part of a recent project, the corporate used aerial photography to search out what developer Pattaraphurit Rungjaturapat calls “untended areas,” or unco formed patches of land that weren’t being employed.

Best Inventions of 2016

Then it lined them with concrete, paint and anti­slip ­materials—all the trimmings of a correct sports venue, while not the everyday boundaries. Not that locals appear to mind: Rungjaturapat says the primary 2 fields, that opened earlier this year, area unit packed with children as presently as college lets out. This December, AP Asian nation plans to open a 3rd.
6) The receiver Leading a Virtual Revolution
In order to access the foremost up-to-date video game, individuals usually ought to dish out thousands of dollars—not only for a receiver (like the $800 HTC Vive), except for a laptop that’s powerful enough to support it. Sony’s PlayStation VR, in contrast, is intended to figure with a console that variant individuals already own: the PlayStation four. That’s a boon for gamers in search of what Sony engineer Richard Marks calls “the most intense, most extreme” action, as well as casual consumers, who now have an easier way to experience VR.
7) Cannabis That Could Replace Pills
Millions of Americans rely on over-the-­counter medicine to treat routine complications such as insomnia and headaches. What if they took hits of pot instead? That’s what California-­based ­Hmbldt is banking on with its new line of vaporizer pens. When inhaled, the pens dispense a dose of cannabis oil that ­Hmbldt says has been chemically engineered to make people feel a certain way—calm, sleepy, relieved of pain—­without getting high. Cannabis-­delivery methods like this one haven’t yet been thoroughly vetted by physicians. But as more states legalize medical marijuana, and more studies show that it does have merits, products like ­Hmbldt’s (now available only in California) could become increasingly commonplace. “This really can help people feel better,” says Jason ­DeLand, the company’s head of strategy.
8) The Ultimate Alarm Clock
It’s hard to believe that an alarm clock—the cruel, clunky gadget that jolts you awake and ruins your morning—could not only be beautiful but also improve your sleep. That it could gauge the temperature, humidity, light and even air quality in your bedroom to help you engineer a perfect sleep environment. That it could monitor your sleep cycles and wake you when you’re least likely to feel groggy—all thanks to simple voice commands. Indeed, Sense (and its companion pillow sensor) is no ordinary alarm clock. It took hundreds of prototypes to get it right, says James Proud, founder and CEO of Hello, which makes Sense. Early adopters report that using the small glowing orb feels almost as natural as crawling into bed. That was key, says Proud, who adds, “Nobody wants to introduce complexity into their lives, least of all when it comes to sleep.”
9) Tires That Spin In Every Direction
As companies race to develop self-­driving cars, Goodyear is reinventing their wheels. Its spherical concept tire, which debuted in March, allows cars to move in many new ­directions, including sideways into a parallel parking space and at specific angles and speeds to counteract slippery surfaces. The key, says Sebastien Fontaine, an industrial designer at Goodyear, is magnetic levitation: whereas traditional tires are bolted to cars, the Eagle 360s hover beneath them, free from “the limits of [traditional] steering.” To be sure, these tires won’t hit pavement anytime soon: they’re meant for self-­driving cars that are likely at least five years away. In order to shift the status quo, says Fontaine, “we need different companies working with us, together.”
10) A Sleeker, Smarter Toothbrush
When it comes to dental hygiene, most Americans are slackers: 1 in 2 don’t brush twice a day, and 3 in 4 don’t replace their bristles every three months, no matter how many times they’re warned of the risks (which include cavities and gum disease). “We needed to get people to care a lot more,” says designer Simon Enever. So he and partner Bill May set out to make brushing feel more rewarding. The result is Quip, a simple, affordable, battery-­powered toothbrush that works like its counterparts from Oral-B and ­Sonicare—a two-­minute timer vibrates every 30 seconds, reminding users to switch ­positions—but looks and feels like something you’d find in an Apple store; customers can even opt for a matte metallic finish. “It’s a nicer experience,” says Enever, who adds that he’s already working on his next design challenge: getting you to floss.
11) Dishes That Work Around Cognitive Decline
After her late grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Sha Yao felt helpless. It was especially frustrating, she recalls, to sit with her during meals while she struggled to perform basic functions, like using silverware without spilling. “There was nothing I may do,” Yao says.

Best Inventions of 2016

galvanized by her grandmother’s plight, Yao created Eatwell helpful ware, a feeding set designed to create hour easier for individuals with Alzheimer’s and alternative diseases that have an effect on brain and body perform. (Among the look hacks: victimization bright colours to assist individuals distinguish their plates from their food and swing wide rubber bases on the cups to forestall spills.) The goal, Yao says, is to “bring back the enjoyment of sharing a meal along.

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