Inventions
Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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An e-water tap for Africa, a flat-pack disaster home, sunglasses to monitor epilepsy and a guitar with never-ending strings were just some of the winning innovations showcased by talented teenagers at the 2015 TeenTech Awards. Every year the finalist projects get more and more impressive. Some teams built full working prototypes, others shared exciting new concepts and our industry judges were bowled over by the creativity and skills shown by young people across the UK.

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A group of students taking part in the TeenTech awards has come up with a clever way to combat soaring sexually transmitted disease (STD) infection rates. The teens have come up with a 'smart' condom that changes color when it detects an STD.  Named the S.T.EYE, the condom is outfitted with a layer of impregnated with molecules that attach to the bacteria and viruses associated with the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs), causing the molecules incorporated in the condom rubber to fluoresce a certain colour in low light, according to the infection detected.

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When Google started designing the world's first fully self-driving vehicle, their goal was a vehicle that could shoulder the entire burden of driving. Vehicles that can take anyone from A to B at the push of a button could transform mobility for millions of people, whether by reducing the 94 percent of accidents caused by human error, reclaiming the billions of hours wasted in traffic, or bringing everyday destinations and new opportunities within reach of those who might otherwise be excluded by their inability to drive a car. 

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Now they are announcing the next step for our project: this summer, a few of the prototype vehicles we've created will leave the test track and hit the familiar roads of Mountain View, Calif., with our safety drivers aboard.

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In the sleek warehouse of Tesla's Design Studio in Howthorne, California CEO and co-founder Elon Musk announced the company's latest products—a line of stationary batteries for households and utilities meant to store energy so that it can be used when energy is scarce and/or expensive.

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The home stationary battery will be called the Powerwall, and it will cost $3,500 for a 10kWh unit. That unit is optimized to deal with serving a house if the traditional power grid goes down. A cheaper, $3,000 version will have a 7kWh capacity, and it will be able to help a house with solar panels deal with the daily fluctuations in energy supply.

 

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A thumping bass may do more than light up a party—it could flat out extinguish it, thanks to a new sound-blasting fire extinguisher by George Mason University undergrads.  The fire extinguisher uses low-frequency sound waves to douse a blaze. Engineering seniors Viet Tran and Seth Robertson now hold a preliminary patent application for their potentially revolutionizing device.

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Sound-blasting fire extinguisher prototypes have been developed by George Mason University Electrical and Computer Engineering students Viet Tran and Seth Robertson in Seattle, Washington. 

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Turn up the music, dim the lights, bump up the thermostat and scare off intruders — and do it all from a single easy-to-use interface. Do it from halfway across the country if you need to. Smart homes have turned that fantasy into a reality, and the wireless revolution has made installation affordable for many homeowners.

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Smart-home components communicate with a central interface, whether it's a smartphone, a dedicated controller or a computer screen. They allow you to automate home functions and control them remotely. Many, such as smart thermostats, learn about your preferences from repeated use and adjust without your having to formally program them. Most systems are modular, meaning you can add functions down the road after you install the central brain.