December 12, 2012 / IST / Tech News.

2012 was big on technology and ideas, which made the world a much better place to live. The ideas were simple in their design, yet huge in their utility. Here are the top 8 ideas that deserve appreciation.

Robotic Hand That Detects Breast Cancer

breast canserCurrent screening tests for breast cancer may miss 1 in 50 women. Add to the fact that breast cancer has no symptoms, but only visible signs, it becomes clear as to why awareness about it is crucial. With this in mind, a bunch of innovators from Singularity University have designed an ultrasonic robotic hand that detects breast lumps. This device is a life saver in cases where access to a doctor is unavailable.

Mobile App To Make Roads Safer

Teenagers, driving and cell phones are a recipe for a disaster waiting to happen. Texting while driving is a major cause for road accidents. A new map aims to curb this menace. One Protect, with GPS, locks your phone when it detects motion above 15 miles per hour. This renders the phone useless to the driver in a moving vehicle.




Disposable Paper USB
Words on a paper communicate and give it meaning. But here’s a piece of

paper that is literally communicative. A project at Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform, titled Intellipaper, has managed to insert a silicon chip and turn it into a paper USB drive. It can be used to share files, pictures and documents.





Project Aims To Lighten People’s Lives, Literally

Electricity is crucial to our everyday survival in the modern world. But more than 1.5 billion people around the world do not even have access to it. Enlightening their world is the Portable Light Project. Kits are provided, at $16 a piece, which contain a rechargeable battery, a USB port, a flexible reflective panel and a high brightness LED. It is designed based on the concept of the solar panel. It provides light which is enough to carry out basic tasks such as reading or cooking.

Colour Changing Contact Lenses To Aid Diabetic Patients

For diabetic patients, drawing blood to check their glucose level is a must do activity on a daily basis. Not all of them like to do it. However, using nanoparticles, contact lenses have been created which can detect the amount of glucose in tears. These hydrogel lenses undergo a chemical reaction which causes them to change colour, based on the amount of glucose present in their body. It was developed by Professor Jin Zhang at the University of Western Ontario. But you will still need that painful prick to produce tears.

App To Help The Homeless

A direct result of the U.S. Economic recession was its impact on housing. Unable to pay their mortgages, many people became homeless. To help them, the 100,000 Homes Campaign devised an app, Homeless Connector. Citizens can download the app, which is survey based, and question their community members on their current situation. It aims to find permanent housing for individuals and groups and ultimately decrease homelessness in the country.

SMS Makes Rural Doctors Accountable

India is touted as the next big destination for medical tourism. This is in stark contrast to the reality in villages, where doctors prefer to be absent.

To make the officials and the doctors accountable, the Indo-Deutch Project Management society, an NGO, came up with an SMS system. All healthcare workers with a mobile phone come under this system, and it provides the higher officials with data on the regions having more doctor absenteeism.

Accesses To Clean Water Using A Portable Faucet

On visits to your favorite roadside stall, you would have observed the cleaners using a common tub to soak and clean the plates. This would have made you cringe, given the fact that it is unhygienic and a source for pathogens.

Kim Chow and his classmates from the Art Centre College of Design came up with ‘Balde a Balde’, which roughly translates into Bucket to Bucket. It is basically a portable faucet  which pumps water via an adjustable nozzle. Rubbermaid, which currently manufactures Chow’s faucet, aims to provide 780 million people around the world with clean water.