A Review of TIME’s “Best Inventions of 2019”

2020 is finally here and, while many people were ready for the conclusion of the year (and maybe even the decade), it is worth noting some of the incredible inventions that came to fruition in 2019. Given that OpenEyes Technologies is a champion of innovation and problem-solving, it only made sense to have our inaugural blog post be centered on the past year’s technological strides. 

TIME Magazine recently published a list of their 100 “Best Inventions of 2019” and separated the new technology into sub-categories, including “Education,” “Health Care,” and even “Parenting.” 

With creativity, originality, and other factors in mind, we have pulled five inventions from the list that especially caught our eye. In particular, we looked for technology that aligned with the values that OpenEyes champions, including sustainability and inclusivity.

While it was difficult to limit our selection to only a few inventions, our short list spans a variety of categories and interests: 

  1. Healthcare: For residents of rural communities, healthcare providers are often few and far between. Now, for under $300, you may be able to avoid a trip to the doctor’s office. Tytohome is aiming to bring healthcare into the home with its special adapters to examine the lungs, skin, throat, and ears. In addition to measuring vitals, the device is also capable of connecting a patient to a doctor through live video-conferences. 
  2. Education: Music may be a universal language, but learning to play an instrument is a different — and sometimes daunting — topic of discussion. The LUMI keyboard, however, is altering the playing field when it comes to helping people overcome their fear of creating music themselves. The keyboard and app pair together to assist aspiring musicians in learning their favorite songs and will hopefully be introduced in schools in 2020.
  3. Sustainability: Guilty of buying pounds of fruits and veggies but never finding the time (or the appetite) to eat them before going bad? You’re not alone. In fact, around 40% of all produce goes to waste. That’s why Apeel Sciences created an artificial peel to triple the shelf life of produce. The company’s treated avocados have been sold in more than 1,000 Kroger locations and they hope to expand to more products, such as bananas and asparagus. 
  4. Inclusivity: As we wave goodbye to the 2010s, we can also bid adieu to traditional gender norms. In September 2019, Mattel launched its Creatable World doll. Each kit is complete with various hair wigs and accessories so that children of all gender and racial identities can create a doll that looks like them. The product is now sold at retailers such as Target and Amazon for under $30. 
  5. Futuristic Vision: If you thought a foldable screen would be impossible prior to 3020, think again. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Foldable can be held as either a laptop or tablet, with a screen spanning its entire surface. A virtual keyboard can be used for typing or, if users prefer a traditional mouse, the device can sit in a dock. While this new technology won’t be on the market until 2020, it is sure to bend the standards of portable electronics. 

These are only five of the hundreds, if not thousands, of practical inventions that have transformed daily activities in 2019. As OpenEyes looks forward to the new year — with 20/20 vision of course — we are excited to witness and take part in developing technology that continues to push the boundaries of innovation. 

Do you have your own innovative idea that could help solve a problem in the greater Washington, DC community? Check out the 2020 OpenEyes Innovation Lab competition, which will be held on April 18, 2020 at the annual TEDxFoggyBottom conference. For more information, please visit: http://theopeneyes.com/TEDxFBInnovationLab2020

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