What has been invented since 1999?

Recent Inventions

1999 * Scientists measure the fastest wind speed ever recorded on earth, 509 km/h(318 mph).

* Tekno Bubbles patented.

Modern Inventions of 2000

* Environmentally friendly transformer fluid from vegetable oils invented by T.V. Oommen.

* FluidSense infusion pump invented (automatic and standardized intravenous applicator).

* Time Magazine Modern Inventions of the Year 2000:

INVENTION: LASERCOMB

INVENTOR: LEXINGTON INTERNATIONAL

Marketing a hair product to bald men makes shooting fish in a barrel look challenging. O.K., the HairMax LaserComb makes the same claims as turn-of-the-century hair tonics--thicker hair, faster follicle regeneration, etc., but it uses a low-level cold-beam laser arrayed like the teeth of a comb to stimulate follicles and increase scalp blood flow. Under FDA guidelines, the LaserComb has been approved for cosmetic use, meaning the company has proved such benefits as shinier, stronger and fuller hair. A submission for FDA medical approval of the LaserComb as a hair-growth product (i.e., the marketing mother lode) is pending.

INVENTION: ALLURION

INVENTOR: FLEX-FOOT INC.

11.42 is a good time in the 100-m dash, especially for an athlete missing one leg below the knee. The accomplishments of disabled athletes at this year's Paralympics helped shine a light on some impressive advances in prosthetics. Allurion, the newest prosthetic foot from Flex-Foot Inc. (maker of many Paralympian limbs), is 100% carbon fiber--strong enough to support 350-lb. amputees. It's outfitted with a unique heel design that not only provides shock absorption but channels heel-strike energy back into the foot to make walking easier, faster and more natural looking.

INVENTION: THE RAPTOR

INVENTOR: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY/BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY

The jackhammer is to urban streets what the leaf blower is to the suburbs--a sonic nightmare. The Raptor (rapid cutter of concrete) is a gas-powered gun that slices through concrete with ease. But unlike its diesel-fired cousin, it does the job without waking up the neighborhood. Technicians are still working on the Raptor's silencer, but they hope to make it operational at 82 decibels, cutting jackhammer noise pollution in half.

INVENTION: ACTIVA TREMOR CONTROL THERAPY (DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION)

INVENTOR: MEDTRONIC

The standard treatment for Parkinson's disease--in which the brain's synapses sputter and misfire, causing victims to shudder involuntarily, literally losing control of themselves--is drugs. But they are usually riddled with side effects. Deep brain stimulation, an experimental surgery in which the brain is actually massaged by tiny electrical pulses, shows tremendous promise. Two holes are drilled into a patient's skull, and a pair of hair-thin wires is carefully applied to bundles of nerve cells. Surgery can take 12 hours, and patients must be conscious for portions of it. But the trade-off could be a significant reduction of involuntary shaking. Researchers hope that DBS may one day calm the effects of epilepsy and other neurological illnesses, including brain injuries from accident or stroke.

INVENTION: BUTTKICKER

INVENTOR: GUITAMMER CO. INC.

Of all the inventions on this list, the ButtKicker--a machine designed to isolate low sound frequency and translate it into tactile vibration (a.k.a. oomph)--is the most precisely named. ButtKicker uses a magnetically suspended linear motor piston that also has applications in wave pools and shock absorbers. It's got more than enough power to give high-end home movie theaters a physical jolt.

INVENTION: NOMAD RETINAL SCANNING DISPLAY

INVENTOR: MICROVISION

Beaming 18 million pixels per second directly onto the retina sounds scary. But in this case it's safe--and revolutionary. Using a microminiature projector mounted on a tiny chip, Nomad transforms the human eye into a TV set, eliminating any interference between eye and image. Worn like a visor, a version of Nomad is already being used in various surgical procedures, including orthopedic and urological surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The retinal scanning display can be hooked up to any video input, so that doctors can superimpose magnetic resonance imaging scans and patient vital signs onto their field of vision.

Phone-in Checkups

Distance patient monitoring, which allows caretakers, sometimes patients themselves, to keep track of health information without having to visit a hospital or a doctor's office, is big this year. Four new inventions herald the dawn of a new age of outpatient care:

The DIGITAL ANGEL, a tiny transmitter bonded or implanted under the skin, sends a patient's medical information and precise location to a monitoring system via global-positioning satellites (GPS). In addition to giving at-risk patients greater mobility, Digital Angel may also be used for less dire concerns, like locating lost household pets. ANGELCARE is a sensor parents can place under a baby's mattress to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). If an infant stops breathing for more than 20 seconds, a portable receiver sets off an alarm. The LIFESHIRT is a regular old shirt embedded with receptors that track 40 possible health indicators. Initially, LifeShirt will be available to pharmaceutical companies to gauge the effectiveness of drug dosages, but eventually manufacturers hope to hit the fitness market, which is already occupied by SPORTBRAIN, a beeper-size device perfect for exercise freaks. SportBrain attaches to your belt buckle and measures every step you take. At the end of the day, you can log on to the company's website to compare your level of activity with that of other users in your age profile.

Modern Inventions of 2001

* AbioCor artificial heart invented by Abiomed - the Abiocor represents groundbreaking medical miniaturization technology.

* Nuvaring birth control invented by Organon.

* Artificial liver invented by Dr. Kenneth Matsumura and Alin Foundation.

* Fuel cell bike invented by Aprilia.

* Self-cleaning windows invented by PPG Industries.

* Time Magazine Modern Inventions of the Year 2001:

AbioCor artificial heart

Modern Inventions of 2002

* Braille Glove invented by Ryan Patterson.

* Phone tooth invented by James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau.

* Nano-tex - nanotechnology wearable fabrics invented by Nano-tex LLC.

* Birth control patch invented by Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical.

* Foveon Camera Chip invented by Richard Merrill.

* Date Rape Drug Spotter invented by Francisco Guerra.

* Solar Tower invented by Jorg Schlaich.

* Virtual keyboard invented by Canesta and VKB.

* ICOPOD invented by Sanford Ponder.

Modern Inventions of 2003

* Optical Camouflage System invented by Susumu Tachi, Masahiko Inami, and Naoki Kawakami

* Toyota's Hybrid Car

* Ice Bike invented by Dan Hanebrink

* New Toy Robots: Max the robotic cat invented by Omron, LUCKY, THE ROVING ROBO-RAPTOR invented by Walt Disney Imagineering, and Sony builds Aibo a companion called Orio

* New Fabrics, Salmon Skin Leather invented by Claudia Escobar and Skini, Luminex a glowing fabric invented by Luminex. * Java Log - (log for your fireplace made from used coffee grinds) invented by Rod Sprules

* Infrared Fever Screening System used in public buildings to scan for people with a high temperature from a fever or sars invented by Singapore Technologies Electronics and the Singapore Defense Science and Technology Agency

* The No-Contact Jacket invented by Adam Whiton and Yolita Nugent, protects the wearer by electric shocking any attackers.

Modern Inventions of 2004

* Adidas 1 the thinking shoes with a built in microprocessor that decides how soft or firm support the wearer needs. Chosen by Popular Science magazine as the best recreation invention of 2004.

* Translucent Concrete developed by Hungarian architect Aron Losonczi and called LitraCon and is based on a matrix of parallel optical glass fibers embedded into the concrete that can transmit light and color from the outside. However, this is not the only translucent concrete out there. Inventor Bill Price has been developing another variety.

* Ka-on or Flower Sound are plants that play music invented by the Japanese based Let's Corporation. Flowers bouquets will act as loudspeakers when placed in a special vase that has electronics hidden in the base.

* Intel Express Chipsets - Grantsdale and Alderwood are the code names of Intel's newest chips that will provide superior and inexpensive built-in sound and video capacities for the PC including the ability to do high definition video editing without additional computer cards.

* SonoPrep invented by bioengineer Robert Langer, is a device that will deliver medication by sound waves rather than injection. According to the Sontra Medical Corporation, SonoPrep's manufacturer: The small, battery-powered device applies low-frequency ultrasonic energy to the skin for 15 seconds. The ultrasound temporarily rearranges lipids in the skin, opening channels that let fluids be delivered or extracted. After about 24 hours, the skin returns to normal.