Teachers: A look at the 10 best inventions of 2015
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding a P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
By Amber Woods
Educators know that technology changes learning environments significantly. Even technology that is not directly related to classroom activities impacts them because as technology changes, so do the people who use it. We’ve come a long way when it comes to personal electronics in the past decade and there is a whole world of possibilities still on the horizon. Take a look at some emerging and recently-available products that make the most of contemporary technology and will impact educators, students and our culture as a whole.
Imagine walking into your house and being greeted by “Grace,” a disembodied voice named after computer pioneer Grace Hopper. Grace runs on hundreds of tiny sensors located throughout the home and will be able to learn your families’ routine, letting you know when you’ve left the doors unlocked, suggest recipes for what you have in your pantry, tell you when someone came home outside of their regular schedule and much more. It’s currently not for sale but it will be one of the most revolutionizing home technologies when it does hit the open market. See more of Microsoft’s Home of the Future here.
The Hemingwrite – $369
We live in the Information Age. Digital products abound and grow daily. What’s at the crux of it all? Text. For today’s writers, the prevalence of text is outstanding and isn’t going out of style. With a rise in people who make money at home, it’s a wonder this invention was never around until now. The essence of the Hemingwrite is to help writers of today’s age write without distraction. It’s e-ink screen allows for visibility in all conditions and it offers wireless capabilities so that you can sync your work when you’ve finished your product. This seems the perfect tool for teachers who want to take work on the go, or college professors working on their next piece of published work. You can find this product on Kickstarter for $369.
Are you having trouble fixing your horrible posture? Maybe this will be the one thing that helps you straighten out that hunch. The console coupled with its Smartphone app is designed to train you to sit and stand better, vibrating when your posture needs correction to help train your muscles for optimal posture. You can get yours from Indiegogo for $69.
Bike technology is about to get better a lot better. COBI which looks like a dock fitted for both your smartphone and bike can actually pick up when you’re in the vicinity of your bike, give you the weather forecast in detail, give you directions specifically designed for bikes and much more. COBI can be purchased on Kickstarter by pledging $179.
Smart Unit $59
Travelers aid for keeping up with your luggage that couldn’t keep up with you. It features patented software that gives the Smart Unit the ability to power off at check-in and turn itself back on when the plane lands allowing you to locate it again from your phone if it so happens to have taken the wrong flight. Watch mode notifies you when someone attempts to open your luggage. Purchase yours for $59 from Kickstarter.
The most popular electric skateboard now is upgraded to be lighter, faster, and look a lot sexier. With the battery indicator built into the nose of the board you’ll know when you need to give the 500-watt motor that can get you around town at speeds up to 20 mph a break for recharging. The costs for these start at $1099 for Blue Edition and $1299 for Pearl if you pre-order them now to save $100 on either board.
Talk about wearable technology. The Apple Watch can’t fly off your wrist, capture the moment and fly back to you, only Nixie can, a Selfie-Drone with different modes for different uses and functions such as follow mode or boomerang. It not only takes pictures but can capture 1080p HD video as well.
The FlashBattery is really what all of us Smartphone addicts want. It charges your phone in a minute virtually eliminating any charging downtime during the day, gives your Smartphone battery more life — up to 3 years, and it is all made out of environmentally-friendly organic compounds to help protect the planet.
Zero Emission Hyper Sonic Transport (ZEHST) by EAD is looking toward bringing back mainstream supersonic flight after the Concorde stopped flying in 2003. Although ZEHST isn’t expected to be flying until 2050, if their plan succeeds they will have be the first ever to break the sound barrier using biodegradable fuel.
Last but not least we have a different take on a piece of technology called the Zen Egg. It’s made from a “age-old tradition of woodcraft” produced by Slovenia experts who use walnut combined with pear or maple wood. It was designed to feel good in the palm of your hand and was created with emphasis on tactile sensations to help you distress in this digital world. After all, what good is technology if it cannot help you “to take care of a very special person: you.” Zen Eggs are now selling for $24 each.
There you have it, the top inventions that are available now, getting ready to ship, still in development or left to be in a future you may not get to see.
Amber Woods is a blogger from Chicago who currently lives in Canada. She’s creative, passionate about learning new things, loves creating infographics, and enjoys writing about education in an easy-to-understand manner.