7 Tech Projects That Could Revolutionize Your Daily Life
Smartphones, Wi-Fi and wearables can only go so far. Sometimes the problems of day-to-day life don’t have a tech solution.
Well, until now. Many entrepreneurs are quietly challenging everything from falling asleep while driving to staying warm outside during bitter winters.
Most of these projects are still in development, but they can have a major impact on your daily routine if they hit the market and deliver on their promises. Here are seven we’re watching.
What it does: Uses brainwaves to sense when you’re drowsy and wakes you up
Drowsy driving causes at least 100,000 car crashes and 1,550 deaths each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If you have an early commute to work every day, it’s an almost unavoidable risk you take.
But 13-year-old Katherine Wu wants to change that. She developed a headset that measures the balance of brain waves you’re emitting to detect when you’re falling asleep. If you are, the headset alerts you with lights and audio to snap you back into concentration and out of danger.
What it does: Alerts drivers when ERVs are coming, before you hear the sirens
Whether it’s a fire, medical emergency or crime, every second matters for those who need to respond to it. If an emergency response vehicle is caught in traffic, those precious moments are squandered.
However, Viney Kumar had an idea: Instead of having drivers scramble out of the way of an emergency response vehicle when they hear sirens, create an app that will warn them before the vehicle gets too close.
What it does: Turns any wall into a touchscreen
The iPhone 6 Plus may have a massive screen, but how does it compare to your living room wall? The TouchPico projector from TouchJet can run any Android app, and uses a infrared camera to track the movement of its stylus against the wall.
TouchJet launched an Indiegogo campaign to soup up some of the hardware, and the projector is slated to ship on Oct. 15.
What it does: Actively keeps food cold with solar energy
Your days of wrangling with a messy, watery cooler might be over. The Anywhere Fridge is a portable, metal-framed fridge that charges with solar panels or with a car lighter. You can even fold it up and carry it like a briefcase when you’re not using it.
The fridge comes in two sizes and a variety of colors, and it’s raised 20 times its stated goal through an Indiegogo campaign. The patent for the fridge is still pending, but you can reserve one for $599 once it’s ready to ship.
What it does: Tracks your vital signs and metrics
Wearable fitness trackers are inundating the tech market, but this one stands out from the rest. The Infravitals smartwatch claims to be able to track blood glucose, blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygenation, body temperature, calories burned (and the rate at which it’s happening), your electrocardiogram waveform, stress level, sleep quality and kidney function.
The most impressive part? The creators say it can do it all without drawing a drop of blood. The device hasn’t been approved by the FDA yet, so it’s not advised to use it to diagnose an illness when it comes out. That said, it can still be a useful tool to keep track of your body.
What it does: Keeps you warm and shuts off with smart temperature control
If your coat doesn’t keep you warm enough in winter, the FuelWear heated base layer might be what you need. Developed through the University of Toronto’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery, the base layer is an undershirt with three heat elements powered by a lithium ion battery — the same kind of battery used in most cellphones.
A smart heating control makes sure you don’t get overheated, and the base layer can be washed and hang-dried if it gets grimy.
What it does: Plugs into your Android phone so you check your BAC
When you’re not sure if one more beer was one too many, the DrinkMate can tell you. The breathalyzer plugs into your Android phone and tells you your BAC, so you can avoid a serious car accident (and, of course, a DUI or DWI).
The creators are still working on the app to go with the breathalyzer, but they’re aiming for a Dec. 1 launch. And one more thing: If you need an app to tell you whether you’re OK to drive, it’s safer to be careful and call a cab instead.
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