2012: A Review of the Year’s Best Innovations

January 3rd, 2013

2012 was a fantastic year for many reasons – from the undoubted success of the Olympic Games in London, to the celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, through to Felix Baumgartner completing the highest ever skydive, jumping from an estimated height of 23.4 miles! However, here at Innovate, we thought that we would focus more on a review of the innovations of the year instead!

The subject of innovation and intellectual property has been in the public eye more frequently in the last year than perhaps at any point. The profligacy of litigation between the technology companies such as Apple, Samsung and HTC dominated the headlines, but at the same time, innovators around the world were developing inventions with potentially world-changing benefits.

The Eliodomestico Solar Water Distiller (http://www.gabrielediamanti.com/projects/eliodomestico—how-does-it-work/) offered renewed hope for those living in coastal areas in the third world. The device is half as expensive and 67% more efficient than current models. The next stage for the project is that the design can be mass-produced for local populations (Time Magazine, 2012).

The future of footwear was seen as Nike revealed their Flyknit Racer shoe (http://www.nike.com/us/en_us/c/running/nike-flyknit) which consisted of a single-layer upper weighing in total just 160g, whilst providing a precision fit and showing consideration to the environment by reducing material wastage.

An innovation that we were particularly excited about and have mentioned previously was the development of the Google Glass project which meant that 2012 could be the year that laid the foundations for the mainstreaming of augmented reality to for the consumer market. The glasses can provide the wearer with information about their surrounding area, potentially making the likes of Google Maps a think of the past.

We just don’t have the time to list every invention that we feel could be world-changing, but no review would be complete without discussing what many forecasters see to be the next big consumer technology – the 3D printer. It is no understatement to say that the potential impact of the 3D printer is world-changing. Imagine having the ability to print off replacement parts for your washing machine, or vehicle without needing to leave the comfort of your home, or to be able create your own bespoke parts for anything and everything. The likes of the Makerbot (http://www.makerbot.com/) are doing all they can to make this vision a reality. As owners of a 3D printer in our Salisbury studio, we would be the first to say that the technology is by no means fully developed, but 2013 could be the year that we start to see affordable solutions for both businesses and in the home.

What will be the next big technologies of 2013? What new innovations will we all be talking about in a year’s time? It could even be over to you to maybe even impact this! Innovate are always excited to hear from creative minds and innovators who want to change the world that we live in for the better. If you have a new idea, then why not get in touch and see how Innovate can potentially help.

In the meantime, we wish you all a prosperous and happy 2013!