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The Most Exciting Innovations Of The Year

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 02 Nov 2015

From the first-ever $9 computer to lab-grown rhino horns, this year has beenfilled with innovations that give us hope forthe future.The TI Innovation teamcompiled a list of our favorite world-changing products and ideas that made significant progress over the last year. We sawscientists makeprogress on some of the most intractable diseases, buildings get smarter, and gendertake center stage.Some of these innovations arestill nascent, while others have already had a big impact.All have the potential to change the way we live.Ikea makes a much better shelter.Ikea broughtits ethos of simple, well-designed products into a new genre: refugee shelters that have already been deployed across the planet, from Iraq to Ethiopia.Better Shelter, a collaboration between the Ikea foundation and the United Nations, is a modular, flat-pack, solar-powered shelter that just takes four hours to put together and can last up to three years.The 188-square-foot shelter accommodates five people.Its a lot nicer than the tarp-covered metal frames found in most refugee camps, and it scales up, too."The modular design enables the shelters to be linked together, creating larger structures, Better Shelter's Mrta Terne said in an email. In Nepal ... a number of shelters were linked together at the gable walls forming longer structures providing space for both a reception area, storage and an examination area at the back.Better Shelter will deliver 10,000 shelters this year.An algae-based gel stops bleeding in seconds.VetiGel, an algae-based gel that can stop bleeding just 12 seconds, is set to start shipping to veterinarians this fall. After further testing, humans may get it, too.Created bybiotech company Suneris, the gel quickly seals wounds and stops traumatic bleeding, the leading cause of preventable death in trauma victims.Joe Landolina, Suneris' CEO, was just 17 years old when he invented VetiGel. Five years later, Suneris is about to ship its first batch.VetiGel takes the fibers inside your everyday algae plant and injects them into a wound. The fibers link together like LEGO blocks within seconds, forming a leak-proof seal and stopping the bleeding process. VetiGel doesn't cause clots and it integrates over time into the damaged tissue, so it never needs to be removed."The ability to stop a bleed quickly with no applied pressure is a game-changer," says Landolina.This $9 computer is incredibly good.Hardware is expensive. Chip is not. The world's first $9 computer, which began shipping this fall, can be used for everything from editing spreadsheets to learning to code.All you have to do is connect it to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse with adaptors, and you're in business.Amateur inventorscan also create new gadgets, like mobile printers or media players that uses Chip as its processor, keeping the overall cost of parts down.Dave Rauchwerk, CEO of Next Thing Co., previously created a GIF-generating camera powered by the ever-popular Raspberry Pi, but the microcomputer's $35 price tag drove up the cost of the camera beyond what's reasonable for a toy.Rauchwerk decided in order to get the cost down, his team needed to create a new computer. Chip is a Linux-based mini-PC with a 1 gigahertz processor, 512 megabytes of ram, and four gigabytes of storage. All those specs add up roughly to a low-end smartphone with WiFi and Bluetooth.Ever since Next Thing Co. first started shipping units to its Kickstarter backers in October, tinkerers have been sharing their progress and ideas. "This will be my first ever foray into working with small devices," one backer writes. We suspect shes not alone.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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