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This time last year, we looked at some of the most incredible inventions underway for 2010. An electric eye to help the blind see, NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope to find other habitable planets, a SixthSense wearable gestural interface to bring the digital world to life with the touch of your fingertips…
Now, here is a look at some more amazing innovations in store for 2011.

Google Prius


Image source: Fortune

Oh Google! Is there anything you can’t do? Giving us the power to access the world’s information in a matter of seconds, now you join forces with Toyota to bring us motorized sofas on wheels! Otherwise known as driverless cars. These specially designed Toyota Priuses are the same as the regular Prius (full hybrid electric mid-size car) with the addition of cylinder-shaped sensor (the vehicles eye) attached to the roof. Using artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car it mimics the decisions made by a human driver.

The aim is not only to create more efficient and environmentally-friendly cars but also to help prevent traffic accidents, free-up people’s time and eventually reduce car usage.

Seven of these robot-cars have already been tried and tested, and drove more than 140,000 miles with very little human control. These hybrids are not yet for sale and for now, only accessible to its employees.

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Straddling Bus

Image source: NYTimes

Image source: archdaily

Have you ever been stuck in traffic and wished you could just say ”Go Go Gadget Car” then lift off and fly right over everybody? China’s new straddling bus concept (which is not a giant female monster riding a school bus), designed by Youzhou Song of Shenzen, is about as close as it gets- and promises to be the new solution to the country’s pollution problems and highly congested roads.

This 18 ft tall, 25 ft wide public bus, which can carry up to 1,200 passengers, is powered by a combination of municipal electricity and solar power derived from panels on the bus’ roofs and at bus stops. It travels at an average speed of 25 mph (40 km) and could reduce traffic jams by 25 to 30 percent on main routes.

The New York Times reports the straddling bus could replace up to 40 conventional buses, potentially saving the 860 tons of fuel that 40 buses would consume annually, and preventing 2,640 tons of carbon emissions.

Plans to start work in China should begin this year.

Youzhou Song presents a demo video translated into English:
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Google TV

Image source: zedomax

GoogleTV now comes standard on the majority of Sony televisions but starting this year, it’s also going open source (much like the Android platform) to allow developers to create apps. A great way to create a community around the product and ensure fresh features are added on a regular basis, Google TV is yet another one of Google’s innovative products changing the nature of entertainment as we know it.

Incorporating social media, personalization, e-commerce, music and photo viewing, you can do everything you’re accustomed to doing online and even use your Android phone or iPhone as a remote control.

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Glasses-Free 3-D Television

Image source: tech.blorge

3D seems to have taken over the home entertainment industry overnight and now Toshiba smugs its other 3D TV competitors saying “Pfft… 3D glasses are so 10 minutes ago!”

Toshiba has already launched 12-inch (~$1,400) and 20-inch (~$2,800) versions of its glassless REGZA 3D TVs. The company plans to unveil prototypes of 56-inch and 65-inch models at CES and will probably launch two models, one over 40 inches and another over 50 inches.

How it works:
Using the integral imaging method which enables natural 3D viewing. Essentially, by simultaneously showing several pictures from different positions and angles, the viewers left and right eyes can see different pictures creating a 3D effect without the help of bulky glasses.

Watch demo video:
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Toshiba has also been putting together 3D concept laptops based on the technology and could be ready to bring a glassless 3D laptop to market by the end of the year.

Martin Jetpack

Image source: Engadget

Ask just about anybody (that doesn’t have a fear of heights) what superpower they wished they had- and I’ll bet the ability to fly would probably top the list. Personal flight will become possible thanks to the Martin Jetpack (which is not a jet or rocket-powered) and will sell for a hefty sum of $100,000.

The Jetpack, designed by Glenn Martin of New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft Company, uses a premium gasoline engine with 200-horsepower and two ducted fans to provide lift. It can reach a speed of 60 miles per hour, an altitude of 8,000 feet, and fly for about 30 minutes on a full fuel tank.

Unlike earlier devices called “jetpacks”, the Martin Jetpack is the first to be considered a practical device. Initially designed with the leisure market in mind, commercial demand for the Martin Jetpack has seen the research and development program focus on readying the product for use in a number of sectors including emergency response, defense and recreation, with numerous applications in each sector.

Watch this mega hunk of carbon-fiber in action:
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BodyWave Scanner

Image source:Freer Logic

Having trouble concentrating? Freer Logic’s latest innovation, BodyWave technology, is here to keep your shifting mind on track. BodyWave tells you exactly when you’ve reached a peak performance state, or, if you’re being inattentive or distracted, it helps bring you back into focus.

Using a brainwave monitor that attaches to the arm or leg, it monitors the brain’s physiological signals through the body and filters out other sources of bioelectricity like the heart. Dry sensors then acquire the brain signal and transfer it wirelessly to a mobile phone or PC.

When BodyWave is used with Freer Logic’s 3D computer simulations, it can teach stress control, increase attention, and facilitate peak mental performance.
Beyond job training and potentially gaming, the BodyWave is also being put to use by Freer Logic sister company Play Attention, which hopes to use the technology to help those diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) work on their concentration.

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Synthetic Cells

Image source: Wall Street Journal

Scientists from the J Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Maryland and California succeeded in developing the first living cell to be controlled entirely by synthetic DNA, in other words, they have created the first synthetic cell. (JVCI also created the first synthetic virus back in 2003.)

The researchers copied an existing bacterial genome, sequenced its genetic code and then used “synthesis machines” to chemically construct a copy. The researchers hope to eventually design bacterial cells that will produce medicines and fuels and even absorb greenhouse gases.

In fact, the company already has a $600 million contract with Exxon Mobil Corp. to design algae that can capture carbon dioxide and make fuel, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Environmental groups have already issued a statement asking the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration “to fully regulate all synthetic biology experiments and products”.

Of course, no one yet knows how these organisms will behave in the environment. As Dr Helen Wallace from Genewatch UK (an organization that monitors developments in genetic technologies) told BBC News, “By releasing them into areas of pollution, [with the aim of cleaning it up], you’re actually releasing a new kind of pollution”.

Virtual Therapy

Image source: PopSci

With people now able to work from home (thanks to collaboration tools like Hosted SharePoint!), get a degree from home, why not get therapy from home with your very own virtual therapist? Virtual therapy helps treat patients with various disorders including anxiety, phobia, post traumatic stress disorder, addictions and other conditions. The military has already begun using cyber therapy to treat traumatized veterans as well as to screen soldiers for mental problems and disorders.

Patients and therapists engage in conversations as they would in a real therapy setting only this is a virtual one (custom-built using code from Second Life). Research from Preferred Family Healthcare suggests that patients are more likely to show up for virtual therapy sessions than real-world ones.

They found that 95 percent of those in their virtual-world program completed or attended their sessions, versus only 37 percent of patients being treated face-to-face.
Moreover, many clients may feel embarrassed or too shy to bring up certain subjects when they are sitting face-to-face with someone and may feel more at ease communicating with virtual characters.

Whether or not computer generated interactions measure up to human ones in all cases remains to be seen.

61 comments

Posted by dhyra.com at 1:59 pm at 10. January 2011

like the straddling bus..

Posted by kdance at 4:41 am at 25. January 2011

straddling bus is hugely dangerous though

Posted by Tassimo BrewBot at 1:51 pm at 27. January 2011

So it looks like it’s safe to assume that googs is going to take over the world. I am really excited about being able to view 3D without the glasses. And I am definitely going to have to get myself a rocket pack… The whole synthetic cell thing seems kind of scare too… What will that do to gas prices? I’m sure if Exon is in on it, they will probably go up.

Posted by ishan at 1:25 am at 29. January 2011

awesome new technologies…………..
will definitely help the human kind

Posted by Alex at 1:44 am at 24. February 2011

I don’t know about Virtual Therapy. I think the soul purpose of Therapy would be the one on one real human interaction.

Posted by person at 2:48 pm at 31. March 2011

what kind of gay crap is this

Posted by person at 2:53 pm at 31. March 2011

wtf

Posted by mark at 6:21 am at 5. April 2011

Helmets for the future saving lives today. http://www.reevu.com true innovation for 2011

Posted by mike hunt at 3:00 pm at 13. April 2011

wow what will they think of next

Posted by mike hunt at 3:01 pm at 13. April 2011

matts wierd

Posted by fatima at 2:21 am at 23. April 2011

the straddle bus was a good idea until someone runs the red light while the bus is turning. the light should not light up but flash to warn cars that they are getting too close. and when the bus is about to turn there should be a display screen under the bus that tells drivers to stop while the bus turns other wise you will have to turn with the bus. i like that it is eco friendly and has chargeable pannel at the top.

Posted by Lexi at 2:49 pm at 6. May 2011

i like the straddleing bus, but what did it excatly do again???????

Posted by richard hurts at 6:43 am at 11. May 2011

Ok the straddling bus isnt a bad idea but it still needs alot more done before its actual production. What if there is construction with a crane on the high way that is 24ft tall and the construction is not going to be done for a year, will that cause the bus to be inoperative untill the job is done? and how would a bus switch from a 6 lane divided highway to a single lane street? wouldnt that mean the “straddling bus” would have to be a constant 6 lanes wide? and think of the time it would take each and every person to get off the bus from 12 feet high, i guess a slide would be the most efficient way hah.

Posted by Ed Kim at 11:42 pm at 11. May 2011

cool! really good ideas

Posted by Ed Kim at 11:46 pm at 11. May 2011

cool! all great ideas!

Posted by juicy at 2:22 pm at 13. May 2011

not the worst inventions ive seen made

Posted by khushi at 6:15 am at 26. May 2011

waoooooooooooo what else??

Posted by Hemril at 12:16 pm at 26. June 2011

I think that any kind of transit of the future should not rely on motorists to be good drivers.

My impression is that the straddling bus would be often stopped by accidents with other vehicles.

To solve this problem, I wouls suggest keeping this desing, but raising the rails far enough abouve ground to make sure any kind of accident would not make it stop.

In fact, it would be a newer version of the sky trains found in Seattle and Portland Or.

Posted by aditya at 12:24 pm at 4. July 2011

really guys!
google is going up and up
and these innovations are fantastic and shapping our future towards a bright and technological world
i appericate it and hope for the furture to continue such innovations
thanks MR. GOOGLE

Posted by raunak at 7:21 am at 7. July 2011

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm amazing

Posted by keerthanavenkat at 2:00 pm at 25. July 2011

wow……………wt a innovations yaar…superb………………

Posted by shanu karan at 1:37 am at 27. August 2011

i an immpressed…….with these ideas,,,,,,,,,,google is really takes us beyond future

Posted by patel shiv at 12:52 am at 28. August 2011

invention is one type of good thing for me…….

Posted by patel shiv at 12:55 am at 28. August 2011

please do one invention that i like.
i want one type of perasuite which would be started by one manchuryan.

Posted by YGIOBTUYRCUJ at 8:19 am at 31. August 2011

wow!!!! awesome!!!

Posted by jasmine at 6:55 am at 2. September 2011

itz really amazing

Posted by uggs at 1:21 pm at 9. September 2011

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Posted by umair waheed at 1:19 pm at 10. September 2011

i love this

Posted by chris at 6:19 pm at 13. September 2011

i dont think the virtual therapy is right it should be given soul to soul

Posted by THE ONE at 5:16 pm at 14. September 2011

Ok, the bus thing, screwed up, look. OH LOOK THERES A TURN, I THE BUS DRIVER WILL TURN, and the people under? yea x.x,

Posted by Shirna at 11:26 pm at 15. September 2011

so many amazing inventions of technologies nowadays..there is much that your sensory organs can indulge into…the magic of gadgets….super wow..

Posted by NAVNEETH at 9:19 am at 12. October 2011

Stradding TV is simply amazing

Posted by riyaz at 11:36 am at 13. October 2011

NICE WORK I WANT MORE INFORMATION.

Posted by JAI at 5:40 am at 25. October 2011

this is

Posted by justin at 12:37 pm at 27. October 2011

woah man woah totaly radical dude :)

Posted by jason at 9:30 pm at 3. November 2011

very amazing…..

Posted by anamika at 11:55 am at 4. November 2011

the most awesome site i visited…
gud collection…
and hats off for those who made all these invention

Posted by Laura at 3:23 pm at 9. November 2011

I think the JetPacks are awesome! :D

Posted by Ahmad Maaz at 8:34 am at 28. November 2011

It,s an good think for future.

Posted by Sanam at 5:23 am at 1. December 2011

This straddling bus concept seems great bt at the same tym there seems to b a few faults wit it!!! this escape method mentiond seems highly impractical…i mean if an accidnt occurs n the doors open up…isnt it possible other cars vl cum slamming into it??? n people cnt just jump pf a moving bus…dat wud b evn more dangerous!!!!

Posted by kash at 11:05 am at 1. December 2011

I am quite interested in the Bodywave scanner, does anyone have an idea when it will be coming out and the cost

Posted by andy stonehands at 12:28 am at 2. December 2011

are you all just trolls? when the bus crashes..it wont be moving anymore when people try to escape…why would there be a crane sitting in the middle of the road for a year…and furthermore buses don’t go on side-streets. if you bothered to watch the video…you would also notice that the buses only make sharp turns where there are red lights…and a giant bus is a pretty clear reason to hit the brakes even if your too drunk to notice a red light. the bus is also durable…the side isn’t going to fall of when a car hits it…you would have to be speeding in a 18 wheeler to do any serious damage.

Posted by CiViC at 4:04 pm at 13. December 2011

The Straddeling Bus is a good idea but you know how there is always bad drivers that dont stay in there respective lane and are in the middle of the road, well that could cause a huge problem for the bus its self.

Posted by 33rd Square at 12:22 pm at 23. December 2011

Nice list. The Straddle bus is very intriguing. Synthetic cells were announced in May 2010, but they are still a hot topic.
Check our our list for the Top 10 Innovations for 2011:
http://www.33rdsquare.com/2011/12/top-ten-innovations-of-2011.html

Posted by lilly at 11:07 am at 3. January 2012

some stuff iw dume but the others are cool

Posted by sistaaaaa at 11:21 am at 23. January 2012

for real why would they put virtual therapy

Posted by jessica at 3:30 pm at 27. January 2012

wow come on u can do better!

Posted by ding dong at 8:24 pm at 6. February 2012

Yo. ppl look wat yur seeeing…. the future of ur parent! LMFAO bye

Posted by ding dong at 8:24 pm at 6. February 2012

r u a ding dong b/c u cant invent this stuff its mines

Posted by hafizh at 7:16 am at 7. February 2012

virtual shop very cool because simple and can in home….

Posted by Ramya sasi kumar at 8:19 am at 9. February 2012

iI Love this, so beautiful

Posted by fsaerf at 4:34 pm at 9. February 2012

hi

Posted by fsaerf at 4:37 pm at 9. February 2012

we r boss like jhon

Posted by Alex at 9:57 am at 23. March 2012

We should be vary thankful to every scientist in the world. Without them, we couldn’t enjoy our lives as we do at this very moment. These tech inventions of 2011 will definitely help us in the future. What I am most enthusiastic about is Straddling Bus and the jetpack.
For those who enjoyed this article, here is another great post with inventions of 2011 http://10awesome.com/10-awesome-inventions-of-2011/ :)

Posted by ME at 9:22 am at 10. January 2014

3D experience without glasses!!!!!that’s sumthng….given i already wear specs..LOL.

Posted by JP Mercier at 10:18 am at 10. January 2014

I hear you! Nothing worse than going to a 3D movie presentation and getting those glasses over your specs…

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