I am IMMORTAL:
Three Dimensional Photo Form (3DPF) by REAL-f
Photos are sooo mainstream. For a mere $4,000, this Japanese start up will create a freakishly realistic mask of your face that even replicates the size of your pores and the blood vessels in your eyes. A mold is modeled from images taken at various angles, then vinyl chloride reslin is stretched over the mold and voolah! You have the potential to be infinitely more creepy than the average Joe. What I found to be even more entertaining than the product itself was REAL-f’s noticeable language barrier. Judging by the Web site’s austere layout and the rough Japanese to English translation, REAL-f could benefit from a international marketing team. Then again, who doesn’t love a humorous communication fail?My favorite of the 3DPF’s 4 product features is its “good enough durability.” REAL-F boasts that, “We got little degradation in quality and durability in outdoor tests. It is possible to install outside if to prevent direct sunlight or rain.” I don’t exactly know what that means, but I like it.
The Cutest Spy Drone You Ever Did See:
The Hummingbird by AeroVironment
Next time you feel compelled to assert your intelligence, throw around the term biomimicry. “What? You don’t know what that is?” you’ll say, “allow me to explain.”Inventions using biomimetrics draw inspiration from nature’s models and systems in order to create innovative technologies (now, go home and use it in a sentence). Last year DARPA commissioned AeroVironment to produce a Nano Air Vehicle that simulates the wing patterns of birds and has the ability to relay real-time video from an attached camera back to its operator. After multiple production obstacles, AeroVironmentsuccessfully constructed a prototypethat can hover up to 8 minutes and maneuver with surprising flexibility, making reconnaissance ridiculously discreet and cute. But I have bad news for those who think they’ve found a way to inconspicuously spy on their hot neighbor. DARPA plans to utilize the NAV forfuture government operationsand it’s highly unlikely these robo hummingbirds will end up on the mass market.
The Coolest Girl in School: Siri by Apple
One could argue that Siri should not make this list because it did, in fact, exist prior to 2011. It was developed by Nuance, the same company that created the popular app Dragon Dictation (which I have but never use) and was made available through the app store. Then Apple bought Siri and ultimately made it irretrievable for the non-iPhone 4S users who had previously downloaded it. Dick! I’m slightly bitter toward Apple for making it exclusive to the 4S market because I live in a greedy culture that thrives on covetousness for industry (Oh, my first world problems). And in case you happen to eavesdrop on a group of pretentious iPhone hipsters, the “s” does not stand for Siri. It stands for “sucker” – oh wait… I see what you did there Reddit! I guess this is the sort of thing that fuels the animosity of Android users who swear allegiance to anything that isn’t made by Apple, but come on…who cares about those dorks? 2011 freaking loved Siri. There’s a blog dedicated to its dark humor called Shit that Siri Says, causing all apps to wonder what they did wrong and why they aren’t special enough to to be the subject of a blog. And that’s the only real crime here…
Oil Drum Computers, Say Whaaaa?: Digital Drum by UNICEF
When it comes to technology and rapid innovation, it’s pretty easy to lose perspective and forget that there are about one billion people who live in slums and have never even been exposed to the Internet. Say what you want about the Internet and its plethora of cat pictures (no, actually don’t. I will end you.), but it’s not hard to accept that the accessibility of information helps to facilitate development, knowledge, and self-expression. If you don’t agree with that, feel free to GTFO. But seriously, we should all be pretty damn content with last year’s gadgets and treat them as luxuries (translation: I should stop complaining about my Siri-less iPhone 4). In Uganda, UNICEF is building and testing “solar powered computer kiosks” made from readily-available materials, such as welded oil drums, solar panels, and low-power laptops. The goal is to provide rural communities with information about education, health, and other related topics. I don’t know about you guys, but the simplicity of these digital drums and the possibilities they yield make this one of my (as well as TIME Magazine’s) favorite inventions of the year.
The Stupid Celebrity Shutter Upper by _______.