We often take technology for granted. Learn about some of the incredible technologies that you're using every day. BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images Ion thrusters. Scanning tunneling microscopes. The Large Hadron Collider. At first glance, it seems like the coolest inventions are all things you’ll never get your hands on. But it would be a shame to overlook the coolness of everyday tech like the handheld fabric steamer. No, no -- just stick with us here for a second: Imagine how magical this thing would be to someone from the ancient world. You plug a little plastic canister into the wall, and it harnesses invisible currents of electrons to flash liquid water into gas and blast the vapors over the topography of a garment in distress. This thing is a Martian death ray for creases and wrinkles -- they vanish right before your eyes. The most abused piles of wadded linen look upon this weapon with trembling and despair. In short -- we shouldn’t take stuff like this for … [Read more...] about Everyday Tech Pictures
Start the Countdown A low-cost water pump is just one of the things that made our list. Mark Mainz/Getty Images for HELP Malawi Foundation/Getty Images In the United States, where most people have access to safe shelter, clean drinking water and sanitation services, it's easy to think poverty doesn't exist. Statistics tell a different story. More than 1 billion of the world's almost 7 billion people live on less than $1 a day [source: The Earth Institute]. In hard-hit areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, Haiti and South Asia, children are particularly vulnerable. Millions die each year from starvation and diseases such as malaria and AIDS. Few receive a formal education, and even fewer have access to health care. One solution, of course, is to encourage affluent nations to contribute dollars toward international poverty assistance. Another is to donate products and services to countries in need. For example, the nonprofit One Laptop per Child delivers low-cost, Linux-based … [Read more...] about 10 Homebuilt Tech Tools for the Developing World
Researchers have developed a new technology called Fertilex, which may provide an inexpensive, easy way to test male fertility at home using a smartphone. WIN-Initiative/Getty Images Are you a man interested in being able to cheaply test the sperm concentration and motility of your semen at a moment's notice? Yes? Well, you should definitely keep reading then. (Same goes for those women interested in fertility, or those who just love cool tech and have zero interest in passing on their genes in the near future.) About 45 million couples worldwide struggle with infertility, and male infertility is responsible for about 40 percent of these cases. And although routine semen analysis would probably help a lot of these couples, testing semen these days is a pretty expensive and involved procedure that involves visiting a special lab with trained technicians, and then waiting as long as a week for the results. To top it off, there's a certain amount of cultural and social stigma that … [Read more...] about New Tech Uses Smartphone to Test for Male Fertility
The research out of Georgia Tech is promising for converting waste into nutrient-rich water for growing urban hydroponic veggies such as these. Georgia Institute of Technology On the one hand, flushing our waste down the toilet makes a lot of sense — it's a hygienic way of quickly getting the smelly stuff and all its pathogens, heavy metals and pharmaceuticals out of our living spaces. On the other hand, it's crazy. Our feces and urine are nutrient-dense materials packed full of environmentally friendly energy. Every day we use shocking quantities of perfectly good water to get rid of this valuable resource and then we use shocking amounts of energy to clean that water up. There must be a better way to manage all this. At Georgia Tech, Yongsheng Chen, an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, has an innovative and ingenious plan to flip the script on wastewater. Put simply, his pilot project will deploy next-gen nanotechnology to … [Read more...] about Georgia Tech Using Campus Wastewater to Grow Veggies
NASA has invented or improved on many products that we use every day. See more space exploration pictures. Hemera/Thinkstock In order to send men to the moon or land a research vehicle on Mars, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had to invent and develop many high-tech equipment and materials. By law, the agency is required to disseminate that technology for private use [source: NASA Scientific Spinoff]. Hundreds of NASA innovations have been incorporated into commercial products. It's likely that you've used one or more of these high-tech NASA spinoffs yourself. NASA makes it easy for companies to use its scientific and technical information. It encourages spinoffs through its Commercial Technology Transfer Network. Ten Commercial Technology offices around the country help get the word out about what technology is available [source: O'Rangers]. Since 1976, more than 1,300 NASA technology spinoffs have reached the market [source: Beith]. NASA boosters … [Read more...] about What high-tech products came from NASA technology?