Every day, people are inventing new and unexpected products that might seem bizarre at first, but they eventually find a way into our homes. Well, some do and some don’t, but in any case, there are devices, gadgets and innovations that, at first glance, don’t seem to make much sense that become part of our daily lives, and they’re being created every day.
What we’ve collected below is a by-no-means comprehensive list of some of the most startling, most unexpected products invented in the 21st century. In some cases, they’ve become so normal that it’s hard to remember how odd they might have seemed at the time. And others are just plain odd, still.
The Virtual Keyboard
The idea of a PC keyboard that doesn’t actually exist is still a bit mind-blowing, but it’s now possible to simply project a keyboard onto a hard surface and tap the keys as if they were a real, functioning keyboard.
It’s not the cheapest technology, and it doesn’t really offer features that a regular keyboard wouldn’t, but it certainly looks pretty cool.
Invented in 2004, this Japanese technology was debuted by the Let’s Corporation. Using a magnet and coil system on a plant’s vase, you can wire a CD player, TV or other equipment through a flower so that sound emanates through the plant stem out through the petals. Talk about making beautiful music.
The Invisible Skyscraper
Built in South Korea, the Tower Infinity building allows, for a few hours every day, an unobstructed view of the sky behind the building. It was completed in 2016 using materials that allow a view right through the glass and steel.
Admit it, you thought it seemed like a silly idea when it first came out, and yes, they’ve stopped manufacturing it, but people used Google Glass to document their lives in dazzling and commonplace ways, allowing users all over the world to connect with each other in ways they never thought possible.
The Plus Pool
This fascinating technology acts as a layered filtration system in lakes and rivers, purifying the water so people can swim in it. There are no chemicals involved, just pure filtered water. It’s an environmentally sound system that has already been used in New York City rivers.
Remember back when non-gasoline powered vehicles were a distant dream, seemingly decades away? That seems like it was just a few years ago. But now, almost every parking garage has a hookup to charge electric cars, and hybrids are almost as common as regular gas-powered cars.
Who would’ve imagined that the book, something that had been around in essentially the same form for centuries, would someday suddenly become obsolete? But with the development of the Kindle, turning a page somehow became even simpler, and a whole new world of literature, from beach reads to revered classics, was available at people’s fingertips.
The Kindle is one of those inventions that you can imagine a time traveler marveling over when they stepped out of their time machine.
Bionic Contact Lenses
In 2013, scientists were able to successfully test a bionic contact lens prototype that used a wireless antenna and a pixel display. After extensive testing, these vision-enhancing lenses are expected to be on the market soon.
The Camera Pill
Rather than using internal cameras the, um, traditional way, this new technology allows a tiny camera to be encased in a dissolving capsule that can be swallowed like a pain reliever. Patients with ulcers and similar illnesses will be able to get analysis and treatment from a miniscule new innovation.
The Regenerative Eye
Similar in theory to the bionic contact lens but far more advanced, these implants are meant to restore sight to those who have partially lost theirs due to degenerative eye conditions. The first implants were approved in the US and Europe a few years ago, and they’ll be in use soon.
Need a helping hand when it comes to designing and producing your crazy – or not-so-crazy – invention? If so, then we’d love to help you bring your idea to life. Contact us today to learn more about how Pivot helps inventors.