As the year 2013 is about to end, the world-famous Time Magazine recently published a press release highlighting some 25 best innovations of the year 2013. We narrowed them down more for you and sharing here in our blog post.
Sony’s Smart Lens
With its large sensor, high-quality glass and 3.6x optical zoom, the Sony DSC-QX100 has all the fixings of a high-quality digital camera—but it clips to your iPhone or Android phone. With Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app, your phone acts as the viewfinder. Unattached, it’s the remote control. The DSC-QX100 is a bit too big to fit in a jeans pocket but plenty small enough for a bag.
The Driverless (Toy) Car
San Francisco–based Anki wants to bring robotics to the people. The company’s first offering is Anki Drive, a $200 racing game in which toy cars can drive themselves. The cars carry sensors that feed data to an iPhone or iPad, which players can use to control speed and position for their cars. Meanwhile, the Anki app computes actions for the enemy cars so they can compete as craftily as the humans.
Nest Protect Smoke Alarm
The Nest Protect is a highly evolved makeover of a dinosaur of an appliance, the humble smoke and carbon monoxide detector. It’s self-aware: if the “emergency” is just a little burning toast, you can silence the alarm simply by waving at it. It’s also sleekly designed and networked: all the Nest Protect units in your house talk to one another and to your smartphone, so they can text you when their batteries are running low.
A New Atomic Clock
To measure time very precisely, scientists use the frequency of radiation as a stopwatch. But the current standard for atomic clocks, based on excited cesium atoms, is off by one second every 100 million years—an intolerable amount of sloppiness. In August, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology debuted a new type of atomic clock that measures ytterbium atoms trapped in cages of light known as optical lattices. It’s more than 100 times as accurate, off by about one second over the lifetime of the universe—so precise that it redefines the second as a unit of time.
The Mission R
As motorcycles go, the Mission R is a beast of a machine, with a 160-horsepower engine that will rocket you from zero to 60 in three seconds. It has a top speed of 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h) and a range of up to 140 miles (225 km) without refueling. But unlike most beastly machines, this one has zero tailpipe emissions, no growling combustion engine and a digital touchscreen control panel. With none of the inertial forces produced by clunking pistons, a crankshaft, a clutch or any of the other mechanical parts in a traditional motorcycle, the Mission R has the kind of handling possible only in a vehicle powered by an austere electric motor. You can fuel it up pretty much anywhere that has an electrical outlet—at home or at a public electric-vehicle-charging station.
The 3Doodler is a new kind of pen that doodles in three dimensions instead of two. Essentially it works like a 3-D printer, melting and cooling colored plastic to create rigid, freestanding structures in any shape imaginable (sort of like a hot-glue gun but better). Invented by Maxwell Bogue, Peter Dilworth and Daniel Cowen at the Boston-based toy company WobbleWorks, the 3Doodler raised over $2 million on Kickstarter (they were shooting for $30,000) and can be preordered online for $99.