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The T-rex Takes on 3D Printing

Innovation, Innovative Inventions

 

3D printed T-rex

3D-printed T-rex skull from 3Dprint.com

With all of the excitement surrounding the release of Jurrasic World, it only makes sense to tie dinosaurs in with the latest and greatest technology.

What we mean by this is the innovation of 3D printing is now being mixed with a new study of the intelligence of the 66.4 million-year old Tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex).

To this day, many people still wonder why dinosaurs became extinct and obviously the answer to that question isn’t an easy one.

That’s why a German research team wanted to take their pre-historic research to a new level and study the qualities, characteristics and habits of these beasts.

So, the research team started off with one question, “How smart was a Tyrannosaurus rex, anyway?”

In order to even try to answer that question, the team turned their efforts to an actual T-rex skull fossil, which they then scanned and 3D printed for a Better Way to learn about the T-rex’s intelligence.

The skull fossil was scanned using a machine called an XXL tomograph. This machine is the largest in the world and is located at Germany’s Fraunhofer-Institut. Thanks to its 1,500 separate exposures, the machine has created what is thought to be “the highest resolution scan ever conducted on a T-rex skull.”

Though the researchers have the skull, they do not have the T-rex brain. However, the inside of the skull’s shape reveals the highly-developed brain areas.

By studying these areas, researchers will be able to uncover information like whether the T-rex had poor eyesight, among other qualities.

Furthermore, the scan also helps in the efforts to restore the skull.

Thanks to the ability to conduct a complete scan of the skull, the research team has been able to uncover fractures and reconstruct the missing parts of the jaw.

The technology of 3D printing has enabled the team to customize replacement jaw parts in order to complete the skull.

As of right now, the jury is still out regarding the overall qualities and intelligence of the T-rex.

Copyright Davison, 2015

Sources:

http://3dprint.com/75016/t-rex-3d-print/

Media:

http://3dprint.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/t11.png

Kentucky Fried…Keyboard?

Innovation, Innovative Inventions

 

KFC Tray Typer

Image: The Verge

Perhaps you’ve been in a situation like this before, you’ve just sat down to a meal at KFC and as soon as you pick up your first piece of fried chicken, your phone lights up with a notification of some sort. At this point, your hands are covered in grease and you’re faced with the decision to keep eating or attempt to use your phone without getting too much grease on the screen.

Well, the fast food chain noticed this problem and, in turn, wanted to find a solution. So, KFC came up with Tray Typers, which were Bluetooth keyboards that were installed into food trays. The trays would sync with the customers’ smartphones and tablets, so KFC lovers could enjoy their meal without missing a text.

This advertising campaign only lasted a week in its locations in Germany; and, during that week, each order came with the tray for those patrons who decided to dine-in.

The paper-thin, wireless Tray Typer was resistant to liquids and grease, so if a person accidentally spilled their soda or dropped a piece of chicken on their tray, it didn’t pose any problems. In fact, the keyboards were disposable and could be reused and recharged via USB.

As intriguing as the Tray Typers were, we won’t be seeing them in the United States.

Sadly enough, KFC lovers in America will just have to find a Better Way to eat KFC and use their smartphone on their own! But, as The Verge described it, this invention was “finger clickin’ good!”

Copyright Davison, 2015

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2015/05/20/kfc-tray-typer-bluetooth-keyboard/

http://www.theverge.com/2015/5/19/8624295/kfc-tray-typer-wireless-bluetooth-keyboard

Media:

https://cdn3.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/quckpYH7wY9MZoHkeMgwrrZUfm8=/1020×0/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/3709142/KFC_TRAYTYPER_1.0.jpg

 

Get InspiRED by this Paperbridge

Innovation, Innovative Inventions

 

Image from Mashable

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. Since it’s National Inventors Month, which is a month-long celebration of invention and creativity, we wanted to celebrate by finding some out-of-the-box innovation- and that’s exactly what we did!

What do you get when you mix 20,000 sheets of bright red paper with innovation? The answer, you might ask, is a weight-bearing bridge.

Sure, paper has been and is still used to hold inventors’ ideas, from random thoughts to sketches of their dream inventions. But, a British artist by the name of Steve Messam took this idea to a whole new level when he used 20,000 bright red sheets of paper to invent a bridge across a stream in the United Kingdom’s Lake District.

The Paperbridge project was commissioned by the Lakes Culture tourism organization and is a weight-bearing arch that’s weighted on either side with steel gabions that are filled with local stone.

The eye-catching red bridge was made from a series of “blocks.” These “blocks” were made of two reams of paper, which translates to 1,000 sheets.

In order to get the arch look, arched plywood form was used and placed between the two supports. By doing so, this allowed the blocks to be stacked in position over the water. Between each block were 1.5 degree wedges and the final wedge was hammered into the apex to create the right compression before the wood frame was removed.

You might be shocked to know that the Paperbridge was held together only by compression – not glue!

Just like any invention, there are some roadblocks and for the Paperbridge, this was ensuring that it could withstand weather, curious people and wandering animals.

In fact, the Paperbridge could withstand its own weight- or the equivalent of 60 sheep.

Why the peculiar color? Messam chose the intense red color to highlight and bring out the green of the surrounding hills to make them look even greener.

So how do these 20,000 papers stack up environmentally? Messam was careful to ensure that the total footprint was close to zero. Once the project’s 10-day lifespan ended on May 18, the paper was then taken to a recycling facility.

Are you inspiRED by the Paperbridge?

Copyright Davison, 2015

Sources:

http://www.dezeen.com/2015/05/17/steve-messam-red-paperbridge-20000-sheets-paper-bridge-lake-district-uk/

http://www.designboom.com/art/steve-messam-paper-bridge-cumbria-uk-05-13-2015/

Images:

http://rack.1.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE1LzA1LzExL2M2L0RTQzU2NzkuNWIwZWQuanBnCnAJdGh1bWIJOTUweDUzNCMKZQlqcGc/7b0a7a1b/3d7/DSC5679.jpg

Adidas is Kicking up their Innovation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off today in Brazil and the next few weeks will be filled with heart-pounding games that are played by some of the world’s best soccer players.

Although all of the players are integral pieces of the puzzle towards the quest for the coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy, none of these games could be played without the most important piece, the actual soccer ball.

To begin, a standard soccer ball is a sphere that is made of 32 smooth panels, 12 black pentagons and 20 white hexagons. However, this conventional soccer ball design is a thing of the past.

Over the years, Adidas has designed the soccer balls that are used in the World Cup. During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Adidas designed the Jabulani ball, which was intended to be aerodynamic in comparison to other soccer balls. However, the players in the tournament begged to differ, saying that the ball was actually “terrible” and that it changed directions mid-flight.

So, for this year’s World Cup, Adidas tweaked their soccer ball invention and created the Brazuca, the official ball of the 2014 World Cup. This soccer ball consists of six textured panels that are shaped like stylized Xs.

In order to perfect this invention, Sungchan Hong and Takeshi Asai, a pair of researchers from the Institute of Health and Sports Science at the University of Tsukuba in Japan, analyzed the aerodynamic properties of the Brazuca ball. Through their research, they put five soccer balls through a series of tests in order to observe their performance.

Their analysis compared the results of wind tunnel tests with actual trajectories through the air. The wind tunnel test results revealed that the Brazuca was the front-runner when it came to the stability of the drag forces, otherwise known as air resistance acting on the ball.

Another set of tests were conducted and each soccer ball was struck 40 times (20 times in each of two orientations) by an “impact-type kick robot” that carried the ball to a goal net 25 meters away. In this test, the Brazuca and a conventional ball were most likely to wind up in the same part of the net after each kick.

Through this battery of tests, the Brazuca soccer ball came out on top.

As previously mentioned, the invention design of the Brazuca includes six panels which distribute the seams differently, creating a smooth flight path. However, the key innovation on this soccer ball is the intentional roughing of the ball’s surface.  On the surface, the Brazuca is covered with small polyurethane nubs that imitate the effect that stitches create on a traditional 32-panel ball. These nubs are used to even out turbulence and cut down on what some experts refer to as knuckleballing.

Through all of these design innovations and with the 2014 FIFA World Cup kicking off today, we are anxious to see if the Brazuca soccer ball will score with the players!

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/why-this-years-world-cup-soccer-ball-may-fly-more-predictably-than-the-2010-dud/2014/06/09/37468bee-ea6f-11e3-93d2-edd4be1f5d9e_story.html

http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-world-cup-soccer-ball-brazuca-20140603-story.html

Media:

http://c.fastcompany.net/multisite_files/fastcompany/imagecache/inline-large/inline/2013/12/3022879-inline-s-6-2013-fifa-world-cup-brasil-ball.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_FIFA_World_Cup#mediaviewer/File:WC-2014-Brasil.svg

Get into Shape with these Health Inventions

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

The official start of summer is right around the corner and for those of you who might have waited until the last minute to get into swimsuit-ready shape, these new inventions might help boost your efforts!

New, innovative health inventions are constantly being brought to the market; and, now, we want to take a look at a few inventions that might point you in the right direction towards healthy weight loss.

Prep Pad- Portion control is an integral step in the weight loss process. That’s why an invention like the Prep Pad can help a person easily measure and portion their foods. This kitchen scale invention is made from recycled composite paper and actually, does more than just weigh your food. In fact, this health invention connects directly to your iPod via Bluetooth, which gives you the breakdown of your food’s nutritional value. Additionally, a user can enter whatever type of food it may be that they need to weigh and the pad will compare its nutritional value to the USDA recommendations and personal diet plan settings. All of these features can allow a person to accurately weigh their food and record their caloric intake.

Misfit Shine- Wearable fitness technology is the latest trend. People all over the world are wearing their fitness trackers day in and day out to count their steps and track their progress. The Misfit Shine is more than just a rubber fitness band. In fact, the MisFit Shine is a fitness tracker that is designed to record biometric data while looking like a desirable piece of jewelry. This invention allows the user to choose between different wearable options like a necklace or a clip-on accessory. But, if you still like the rubber bracelet idea, this invention can be worn that way, too. This “space age” contraption, as some call it, is more or less a pedometer that will measure your motion while walking, running, swimming, and cycling. The app that accompanies this invention allows the user to set their own specific goals that pertain to their activities. The Misfit Shine invention helps a user not only track their activities, but also track their sleeping habits and their progress toward their current goals.

Soccket- In addition to the nutrition portion of weight loss, physical exercise also is an essential piece to the healthy lifestyle puzzle. Furthermore, in this day and age, innovative technology and the fitness industry go hand-in-hand. The Soccket is a prime example. This invention generates and stores energy as a player kicks it, which then provides energy at home. At least 15 minutes on the field creates enough energy to power a small light for at least three hours. The inventors of the Soccket, Harvard students, Jessica Lin, Julia Silverman, Jessica Matthews and Hemali Thakkar, use the principle of flashlights that charge when shaken to ‘power’ their invention idea. In addition to encouraging physical activity, this invention could even help those in developing nations replace kerosene, which is a leading cause of respiratory illnesses and fires.

Health and wellness continue to be a focal point in today’s society. That is why new, innovative inventions continue to hit the market to help people start and maintain a healthy lifestyle by making eating healthy and being active easy and enjoyable.

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/4-smart-kitchen-gadgets-that-help-make-healthy-eating-83517324144.html

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-fitness-trackers-devices-gadgets/#!VvKBE

http://www.rd.com/slideshows/10-health-inventions-that-will-improve-your-life/#slideshow=slide2

Images:

http://latitudenews.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Uncharted-Play_Soccket-by-Seth-Olenick.jpg

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0154/4583/products/Prep-Pad-and-Countertop-Hero_grande_grande.jpg?v=1400870638

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQX2lBoFnJbl1FokCcW8DcEwn4f_KHVwtZq-rgL1v2gitRmqdc-

Let the Creativity Begin: Happy National Inventors Month!

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

At Davison, we thrive on creativity and the inventive spirit every day. But, the month of May in particular is a time when we can celebrate our love of inventing with the rest of the invention world during National Inventors Month.

This month-long celebration of inventions and creativity began in 1998 by the United Inventors Association of the USA (UIA-USA), the Academy of Applied Science and Inventors’ Digest magazine.

The purpose of National Inventors Month is to help promote the positive image of inventors and the contributions that they make to the world we live in today, and for the future.

Right now, almost everything around you started with an idea. From that idea, an invention was born. National Inventors Month looks to celebrate those innovators, tinkerers and the creative thinkers whose ideas have enriched our lives day in and day out.

Let’s take Thomas Edison for instance. He was a famous inventor who invented the innovations that we utilize every day, like the electric light bulb and the phonograph that laid the foundation for inventions like the CD player and iPod to name a few. In his lifetime, Edison held more than 1,000 patents for his inventions!

Perhaps you are reading this blog by the assistance of glasses; you can thank Benjamin Franklin for his invention of the bifocals. Or maybe you are planning your summer vacation to a destination that is too far for you to drive. Thanks to the Wright Brothers, who successfully designed, built and flew the first powered aircraft, you can now get to your location faster, because of the invention of the airplane.

Just like these famous inventors, the inventive spirit lives within everyone. National Inventors Month is the perfect time to take the opportunity to further explore your invention ideas. Who knows, one day we might be writing a blog about how YOUR invention changed the world. But, you’ll never know if you don’t dare to invent with Davison!

Happy National Inventors Month!

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://inventors.about.com/od/eventsconventions/a/inventors_month.htm

http://www.dogonews.com/2013/5/6/may-is-national-inventors-month

http://www.biography.com/people/thomas-edison-9284349#awesm=~oCQoUZmBbasbOX

http://www.biographyonline.net/scientists/top-10-inventors.html

Images:

http://accurateled.com/led-news/

http://degreed.com/blog/top-10-things-didnt-know-benjamin-franklin/

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9d/Thomas_Edison2.jpg

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQoREm5HJXTfRXLrJ59fYYJPhq8lB0p0ZepFncu1uTc8qWn2d3Lqw

Get the ‘Skinny’ on the Latest iPhone Rumor

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

Rumors have been swirling around the idea that Apple is currently working on a new app called “Healthbook.”

It all began in February when Apple posted a job listing for a physiologist that intimated the tech giant might be exploring health apps or gadgets.

This leads us to the most current news about Apple’s latest invention, which might be bringing fitness and health tracking capabilities to the forefront on future versions of the iPad and iPhone. It’s speculated that the latest update will debut with iOS 8 sometime later this year.

Much like the Passbook app that was developed by Apple, which offers a centralized location for your plane tickets, coupons, gift certificates and other passes, the Healthbook will offer a unified location for the user’s health and fitness information.

How will this new app track your wellness? For certain areas, it will utilize the new M7 chip. This technology was introduced with the iPhone 5s last year for the motion-detecting processor capabilities that are embedded inside the device. For the new app, the M7 chip will help track things such as the number of steps that you take during the course of your day, or the speed as you run.

New inventions go through a slew of changes as the process gets more involved. For instance, in the case of the Healthbook, for categories like “Respiratory Rate” and “Blood Sugar” as shown in the mock-up, these info-gathering processes would require separate devices. Does this mean that, in addition, Apple also is working on a device(s) that could perform these additional tasks?

If this isn’t the case, it’s likely that Healthbook will sync with many existing third-party devices.

You know what they say, an Apple a day keeps the doctor away and we think that Apple’s latest health invention might offer the help that consumers need!

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/the-shape-of-things-to-come-apples-next-big-ios-79881408967.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/03/17/apple-healthbook-report/6525183/

Images:

http://9to5mac.com/2014/03/17/this-is-healthbook-apples-first-major-step-into-health-fitness-tracking/

A Clearer Look at the History of the Contact Lens

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

It may seem like a fairly new idea. But, the invention of the contact lens spans back much farther than you would think. In fact, contact lenses have been helping people see more clearly since the inception of this invention in 1887.

As you all may know, the contact lens is an artificial lens that is worn on the surface of the eye in order to correct refractive defects of vision.

The invention of contact lenses came to be in 1887 when Adolf Fick developed the first pair, which were made of glass, to correct irregular astigmatism.

The early invention of the lenses was, as you could have guessed, uncomfortable and could not be worn for extended periods of time.

The earliest form of the contact lens invention was made by taking an impression of the eye and fashioning a lens on a mold. This practice was done before the development of optical instruments that could measure the curvature of the cornea, which is the transparent surface of the eye that covers the iris and the pupil.

Then, in 1889, a German glassblower by the name of F.A. Muller had an idea for the invention and found a better way to make a glass lens thinner and lighter.

In the mid-1900s, plastic-based contact lenses were introduced into the mix and were designed so that the lenses were more wearable. However, the lens continued to sit flat on the cornea that made it uncomfortable and did not provide the best vision correction.

Inventions go through countless changes in order to iron out the kinks and, in 1948, California optician Kevin Tuohy began making contact lenses entirely out of plastic. These new, fully-plastic lenses were bigger than the cornea, yet smaller than the previous pair of lenses, which was a step in the right direction.

By the 1950s and 1960s, the invention got another boost when the lens was shaped more like the cornea and they became smaller and thinner. And, for the first time ever, the lenses could be worn all day, albeit, still they were an uncomfortable fit.

The new, soft lens became commercially available by 1971 in the United States and during the 1980s, the color-tinted contact lens was introduced as along with the disposable lens and the extended-wear lens.

What once started out as a glass lens that covered the entire eyeball turned into an invention that went through a myriad of changes. Since the invention idea hit the ground running, contact lenses have continued to help people correct refractive defects of vision. In fact, more than 100 million people around the world are getting a clearer look at life because of this invention.

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/134628/contact-lens#ref937603

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/cosmetic-treatments/contact-lens6.htm

Media:

http://www.andrewgasson.co.uk/images/opioneers_fick.JPG

http://www.college-optometrists.org/filemanager/root/site_assets/museum/contactlens/tuohy.jpg

Siri Takes the Wheel with Apple’s Latest Invention

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

With the latest announcement from Apple, Siri may soon be riding shotgun in your car .

Apple recently announced its latest product, CarPlay. This slick, Siri-enabled device will interact with your iPhone in the car. The latest invention isn’t a standalone in-car operating system; rather, it’s a “second screen” iOS interface that is optimized for the car.

CarPlay will allow for a deeper integration with iOS devices than any in-car system to date.

The system will make its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show and cars like Ferrari, Mercedes, and Volvo will be shown with CarPlay built in.

Now, in order for CarPlay to work, the system operates with a Lightning-connector that connects to the iPhone. Users are limited to using the system with the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c, which all need to be connected to the car in order for the features to work.

But, nonetheless, you can think of this system as a car-infotainment system by substitution, because everything still runs through the iPhone.

CarPlay uses a system based on streaming H.264 video in order for the screen mirroring and car-touchscreen interaction with the phone to work.

The physical connection of the iPhone to the device will be tethered via a Lightning cable, which is a proprietary computer and power connector that was invented by Apple in order to find a better way to connect Apple mobile devices like iPads, iPhones and iPods to host computers, cameras, external monitors, USB battery chargers and other devices.

The new system was designed with the idea of providing ease for users to gain access and use their iPhone’s services and software via Siri. CarPlay offers access to hands-free calling functions, in addition to Siri search, messages and maps. The latter of the features means that Apple will have the opportunity to push its own maps app over those of its competitors (cough, cough, Google).

Finally, CarPlay will work in conjunction with other apps like Podcasts and some music services from third-parties like Beats Radio, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Stitcher. Based off of what we have seen so far, many believe that the evolution of this new Apple invention will be a gradual, hand-selected roll-out, which is similar to how Apple handled adding Apple TV software partners.

Check out a demo of the Apple CarPlay in action!

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2014/03/apple-carplay-system/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lightning_cable

http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/03/apples-new-carplay-system-will-turn-tens-of-millions-of-cars-into-iphone-accessories/

Media:

http://cdn1.appleinsider.com/14.03.03-CarPlay-2.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESPyq6P9CdY

A ‘Sound’ Piece of Technology

Innovation, Innovative Inventions, Inventions

On Tuesday, we wrote a blog about the ReWalk Exoskeleton that is giving paralyzed individuals a second chance at walking again. Today, we want to talk about the Resound Linx. This invention is aimed at giving the hearing impaired a better chance at hearing the sounds that make the world go round.

This new rare piece of wearable technology is a practical and immediately-usable invention that can be utilized by anyone with a hearing impairment. On Monday, this new Bluetooth device was officially launched by the Denmark-based GN ReSound company that developed it.

The hearing aid uses ReSound’s Surround Sound integrated sound processing and the company touts that it is powerful enough to aid in 90 percent of hearing loss cases.

Furthermore, this invention was created in order to work seamlessly with the iPhone and iPad. The ReSound Linx will allow the person wearing the apparatus to adjust the sound settings directly from their smartphone. This is an important feature that allows anyone who is wearing the hearing aid to be less conspicuous while adjusting their device in public.

So, what sets this device apart from the others? The hearing aids are directly connected between Apple devices. Additionally, the hearing aid also can exchange data with the iPhone, using the ReSound smart app that will give the user new ways to personalize their hearing experience.

The functionality of the device’s ability is the fact that the invention has the capability to remember specific sound experience settings from a particular location. The device can do this by tagging GPS locations, so users then have the option to use that location-specific setting whenever they return to the location.

That’s not all for the GPS function. It also serves as a locator. Let’s say that you’ve lost one of the devices; you can search for it using the ReSound Linx app, which raises the volume level on the app’s display as you get closer to the lost device.

The only apparent downside of this new invention is that it isn’t cheap. In fact, the general price ranges anywhere from $2,900-$3,500.

Although it may have a hefty price tag, this “sound” piece of technology is sparking the interest of consumers everywhere.

Take a look at the promo for the ReSound Linx:

Copyright Davison 2014

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2014/02/25/apple-iphone-ready-device-is-worlds-smartest-hearing-aid/

http://www.gizmag.com/resound-linx-hearing-aid-iphone/30963/

Media:

http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2014/02/resoundapp.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWIGAensIpA#t=1

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