When I think of “technology” my thoughts immediately jump to Smartphones, laptops, Smart TVs and drones, but working in tech PR has required me to keep up-to-date on the latest technology developments in various sectors. Over the past year or so, this has highlighted many technologies out there (or in development) that I never even knew existed.
Some of these technologies you may have already heard of due to their world-changing potential, while others are much more obscure – but still revolutionary in their own right.
Liftware – Liftware is made specifically for people with hand tremors who have trouble eating. There are two products: the Liftware Steady, which “helps to counteract hand tremors and stabilize movement to make it easier to enjoy a meal,” and the Liftware Level, which “controls the angle of a utensil, such as a spoon, for people with unintended muscular movements that make it difficult to enjoy a meal.”
Both products contain motion sensors that detect hand motion and a small onboard computer to identify unwanted hand tremors or other motions that could cause food to fall off the utensil. If you know someone in your life who could benefit from this, it might set you back a bit (the starter kit sells for around $195), but could also make a world of difference to their daily life. I hope to see these in every restaurant one day.
CoolSculpting (aka fat-freezing treatment) – CoolSculpting is based on the idea of Cryolipolysis, a medical treatment I first learned about from my dad who works for a company that creates heating and cooling devices. One of its customers is a company that makes machines that essentially freeze off your body fat by freezing the cells and killing them, almost like a non-invasive form of liposuction.
The most fascinating part of CoolSculpting isn’t the technology itself, but the story behind the science of Cryolipolysis. It was created after a couple of Harvard scientists noticed that children who ate lots of popsicles (or ice lollies as my British colleagues like to say) began to get dimples in their cheeks or even had thinner lips. The scientists eventually cconcluded that the popsicles were freezing and eliminating small pockets of fat cells.
XStat syringe – To set the scene, a soldier is bleeding out. Another soldier comes to their aide and realises a tourniquet cannot be used to compress the wound due to its location on the bleeding soldier’s body. Instead of spending crucial minutes trying to patch the wound and stop the bleeding, the soldier pulls out an XStat® syringe, which plugs the wound in under 20 seconds and saves his comrade’s life.
According to the maker RevMedX, “XStat® is a first-in-kind hemostatic device for the treatment of gunshot and shrapnel wounds” and “works by injecting a group of small, rapidly-expanding sponges into a wound cavity using a syringe-like applicator.”
This technology is most definitely deserving of being hailed as revolutionary due to its life-saving capability and was filmed helping save its first life in May 2015.
Solar Roof Tiles – In October 2016, Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s new solar roof tiles. Before seeing a picture of these, you may initially think: “OK, so what? Solar roof panels have been around for ages.” Not these. These are roof TILES. Not only do they blend in to the rest of the regular roofs on the street (and are arguably even better looking) but these glass tiles are also even more resilient to damage than traditional tiles, as demonstrated by Musk with the help of a kettlebell.
Stay tuned for ‘Technology you didn’t know existed: Part II,” where Kelly will highlight other obscure or emerging technologies, including one that harnesses the motion of the ocean.