We took space exploration two steps further with Bill Nye’s LightSail2 and Musk’s Starhopper, while Joe Rogan is probably not all that impressed with Boston Dynamics’ advancement. Let’s take a look at some of 2019’s tech hits.
Top tech inventions in 2019
Apple Airpods Pro
It comes as no surprise that Apple Airpods is leading the pack this year. While earbuds and airpods are not entirely a new intenvion, Apple sure as heck raised the bar when it comes to these nifty little things.
Not to mention, Caviar made a pair of 18-karar gold-plated Apple Airpods Pro which sold for more than R1m. Earlier this month, Caviar also released a limited edition iPhone 11 Pro worth R1 million.
The AirPods Pro’s active noise cancelling is the most significant upgrade to be found in the Pro. Apple is claiming that its noise-cancelling hardware will be able to “continuously adapt the sound signal 200 times per second.”
Back in July, Bill Nye the Sciene Guy joined forces with SpaceX to launch the crowdfunded LightSail2 into orbit. We can keep track of the LightSail 2 Mission Control from through, through the planetary.org website.
LightSail 2 will manoeuvre through space and even use the power of the sun to boost itself through different orbits. The Kickstarter campaign was supported by 23 331 people and raised $12 441 615 toward the mission.
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Foldable Laptop
While all the attention was shifted towards Samsung and Huawei’s race to get the first foldable phone to market, Lenovo was quitely working on the world’s first foldable laptop, the ThinkPad X1.
Even though Lenovo first hinted at the design back in 2017, the concept finally unveiled in May 2019. The device can be folded into a book, a clamshell, or docked into a multi-monitor setup. Or, it can be used unfurled as well.
Puma Fi wearable tech
Puma once again pushed bounderaies by merging sportswear with technology and released a wirelessly-connected self-lacing sneaker called the Puma Fi, which is short for Fit Intelligence.
The shoe comes complete with a micromotor. It allows the wearer to dail in the perfect fit for their sporting needs.
Researches and engineers have developed an integrated skin virtual reality (VR) system which can receive commands wirelessly, and simulate the “touch” with vibration. Allow us to introduce US Army veteran Garrett Anderson.
The team installed pressure sensors on the fingertips of Anderson’s prosthetic hand. Furthermore, they placed an epidermal VR patch on the residual arm stump, enabling him to grasp objects.
Spot the robotic dog
Much to Joe Rogen’s dismay, Boston Dynamics went ahead and launched their robotic dog, aptly named Spot. The lifelike robot is both delightful and terrifying; we can’t help but worry about the uprising of our robotic overlords one day.
Spot can run for 90 minutes on one battery charger and can carry up to 14 kilograms while doing so. The robotic dog can also work in conditions ranging between -20 and 45 degrees Celcius, and is dust and water resistant.
You can see Spot’s official launch ad below, but for some frightening fun, why not head over to this clip and see how Spot dances to Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk. No jokes. Just look at him go.
Elon Musk wants to get humanity to Mars before 2024, and the Starship programme is how he intends to do that. Furthermore, the first Starship prototype, known as Starhopper, successfully completing all the the required tests.
SpaceX is currently working on the next prototype, the Starship Mk4. It is being assembled at the company’s facility in Boca Chica, Florida. A former commercial pilot, John Winkopp, captured the drone footage below.