The tech world gave us plenty talk about in this year. We can make smarter robots. We can 3D-print pretty much everything. Tablet wars are yet going strong, Snapchat is still a thing and at the present we can binge-watch our favourite TV shows in more ways than ever before.
Yes, this year brought us many amazing innovations that we use every day. However here are some even more incredible ones that you might not have heard about:
The phone you can take apart like Legos
Similar to playing with LEGOs, a modular smartphone is a make-it-yourself device consisting of an endoskeleton base and modules that connect to build a custom phone. Don't care about having a camera? Exchange it for a larger battery. Want to update your display without getting a completely new phone? You can do that, as well.
Motorola has been collaborating on an assignment to make these devices a reality with Dave Hakkens, creator of an alike initiative called Phoneblocks, because this past falls. Project Ara would result in less electronic waste with the devices that last a lot longer. Leading 3-D printer manufacturer 3-D Systems also recently got involved in an effort to get better the phone's blocky aesthetics.
An app that catches your dreams
Shadow is an app designed to wake you up oh-so-gently, because no one likes a jarring wakeup and because that's the best way to bring you into "hypnopompic" sleep -- the space between sleep and awake where dreams are most easily remembered. The app would afterwards prompt you to record your dream via text or voice. It would result in a database of dreams that might not only help individuals better understand themselves, but could give sleep scientists more fodder for analysis.
So you can look out for it sometime almost immediately
A mind-reading camera that makes life GIF-able
How many times have a moment so absolutely unbelievably or hilarious adorable unfolded before your eyes, making you wish you would be holding a video camera? Japanese tech company Neurowear's high-tech headgear, Neurocam, aims to solve that problem for you. The device straps a camera and an electroencephalogram reader to the wearer's cranium. Throughout moments of high-frequency electronic signals detected through skull, a general indication of excitement as the camera switches on to record short 5 second GIFs onto an iPhone that is somewhat awkwardly attached to the device.
A pen that lets you draw 3D stick figures
The toy company WobbleWorks put up a Kickstarter page back to fund its 3Doodler pen, a fun device that allows doodles to get bigger beyond 2-D surfaces. The aim was to raise $30,000 to launch their product. By the campaign's end, though, the company had garnered over $2.3 million in donations. The pen works by heating up and supply a thin plastic filament that cools down fast to create hardened structures. It's like drawing with hot glue, and each one-foot stick of plastic can provide 11 feet worth of doodles. 3Doodlers are yet not quite ready for mass production yet, except they are available for pre-order.
Robot That Devours Insects and Rodents
At the present, robotic vacuum sweepers, singing androids and mechanical dogs are old hat. But British inventors Jimmy Loizeau and James Auger have prepared a quantum leap with Carnivorous Domestic Entertainment Robot, an automaton that will stalk and devour mice and insects and then eat them and digest their bodies to produce its own power.
They have come up with five dissimilar concepts, including the mousetrap coffee table robot that is designed to lure unwary vermin onto its surface, which contains a trap door triggered through motion sensors. Rodent victims trapped by the device will be chemically dismantled and fed to a microbial fuel cell. A light on the side of device would inform the owner of how much energy is being produced by the auto-extermination. Other configurations comprise Lampshade Robot, which would lure flies and moths to their doom, a Cobweb Robot that will trick spiders into weaving webs and next extract and feed them into its fuel cell and the Flypaper Robotic Clock.
Right now these robots are yet just concepts, which you may say is good thing- practically, who wants to watch their coffee table devour a mouse?