10 More Amazing Inventions You Didn’t Know Existed



5. Smell-o-Vision

In 1965, BBC TV played an April Fool’s Day joke on their viewers. The network aired an “interview” with a man who had invented a new technology called “Smellovision” that allowed viewers at home to experience aromas produced in the television studio. To demonstrate, the man chopped some onions and brewed a pot of coffee. Viewers called in to confirm that they had smelled the aromas that were “transmitted” through their television sets. But now its no joke, watching Nigella will never be the same again. Scientists are developing an astonishing gadget that releases evocative aromas to match the images on a television or computer screen. The Smell-O-Vision style device will send out a waft of delicious cooking smells when a television chef serves up a dish. It will release the smell of candy floss when someone watches a home video of a fairground. The technique uses printers to spray small amounts of scent rather than ink. Dr Kenichi Okada, of Keio University, Tokyo, told New Scientist: “We are using the ink-jet printer’s ability to eject tiny pulses of material to achieve precise control.” Ink jet printers work when a pulse of current heats up a coil of wire and creates a bubble that forces a small amount of ink down a tube an onto the page at high speed. And it will even emit the scent of the seaside when someone looks at their holiday snaps on a computer. The gadget is the brainchild of Japanese researchers who have adapted an ordinary ink jet printer to release precise doses of scent. Although the invention is still at the early stages, its creators believe it could revolutionize the way we watch television or enjoy old pictures. (Link)


4. Artificial Brain (Artificial  Intelligence)

Artificial Intelligence is a staple of science fiction thrillers–from HAL 9000 to Wargames. The second we established the concept of AI, we pretty much knew that it would hate us with an undying passion. Perhaps we just have collective self-esteem issues; no sci-fi masterpiece depicts an AI that, upon coming online and searching its database in an effort to better understand mankind, responds by shouting, “You guys are awesome! We should get nachos!” It’s not that far-fetched: Henry Markram, director of the Blue Brain Project, claims that scientists will most likely perfect the artificial human brain in the next decade. They’ve already simulated an artificial rat brain which, incidentally, might explain why the Internet keeps hissing at us and scurrying into the corner. He told the TED Global conference in Oxford that a synthetic human brain would be of particular use finding treatments for mental illnesses. (Link)


3. Energy Shield (Force Deflector Shield)

Typically, energy shields are some form of force field designed to protect against weapons or elements by deflecting or absorbing their impact. The field is projected along the surface of, or into the space around an object. They usually work by absorbing or dissipating the energy of the incoming attack; prolonged exposure to such attacks weakens the shield and eventually results in the shield’s collapse, making the protected area vulnerable to attack. A number of efforts to design defensive energy fields are occurring in real life. Deflector shield to protect spacecraft that leave the natural defense of the earth’s magnetic field has been invented and is undergoing lab tests. This involves creating a cloud of charged plasma around the ship, which would stop highly charged particles, from the sun or distant supernova, from reaching the ship. The engineering details of how to use this technology on a spaceship must still be worked out. (Link)


2. Love Anti-love Pills

After the passion of Valentine’s Day, here is some sobering news for lovers. Pop a love pill, and you are on. And pop an anti-love pill, you are done – without any lingering emotions. Scientists say it will soon be possible to fall in and out of love at whim – just like hopping into a bus and then getting off two stops later. They say that since falling in love is merely a chemical reaction in the human brain, a love pill may be invented soon to trigger this chemical reaction to make people in love. And then there could be an anti-love pill to make people fall out of love. According to an American neuro-scientist, researchers may soon find the right kind of chemical mixture to help people fall in and out of love. Larry Young of Atlanta ’s Emory University School of Medicine told a television network at the weekend that researchers may soon be able to show that emotions such as love are directly triggered by biochemical events in the human brain. By injecting various levels of oxytocin into a female prairie vole’s brain, Young was able to get the animal–a notoriously, fiercely monogamous creature–to immediately drop her current lifelong mate and bond, just as permanently, to the nearest male instead. In addition to officially using science for the saddest thing ever (crushing the hearts of adorable rodents), Young has also stumbled onto something potentially world-changing, because oxytocin has already shown similar effects in human patients. (Link)


1. Computer Assisted Memory

Computer assisted memory is a recent goal, in that the very idea itself didn’t crop up until we started pretty much practicing it anyway. We started uploading family photos to Flickr and burning our home movies to DVD and now that we’ve pretty much started doing it already, we want to go farther. From the still far-off goal of silicon enhanced artificial neurons, to the shaky present-day experiments already underway that simply photograph your days and archive them in searchable databases – computer assisted memory, in one shape or another, is going to happen. What if you could remember everything? No foreign language would ever get rusty, no keys would ever be lost, no anniversary would ever be forgotten and hastily covered for by purchasing last minute gifts at the gas station. That could all happen with the complete archival of actual memories on an external system. Just imagine it: Terrabytes of storage, and nothing ever forgotten. Wisdom, after all, is little more than the possession of a larger database of memories from which to draw, so picture a world where simply purchasing a new hard drive puts you on par with the Dalai Llama. With an archival memory system, even death wouldn’t be the end; your every thought and memory could be accessed by anybody, anywhere, forever. You could have Einstein on a thumb drive to browse through when bored. No genius, artist or visionary would ever be truly lost again.

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