Nav

Inventors Gift Guide 2016

‘Tis the season to deck the halls and be jolly – why not splurge on a gift for the innovation enthusiasts in your life? From the aspiring inventor, to the seasoned chef or tech lover, our 2016 holiday gift guide is sure to impress. So go ahead, give your loved ones a gift that will have them geeking out all year round. 

Inventors Gift Guide 2016

For the inventor on the move:


Give the cyclists in your life the gift of eyes in the back of their heads with this augmented-reality helmet. The Optic helmet features front and rear cameras and a drop-down visor that can overlay live-streaming footage from the rear camera onto a rider’s field of view. The helmet can also show GPS navigation information and tracking statistics. 

For the ‘gotta have it now’ inventor:

At IV, we’re big fans of 3D printing and its vast potential to revolutionize nearly every industry – not to mention your holiday shopping list. Operating 25 to 100 times faster than conventional printing, the fastest 3-D printer will make for the perfect gift for the more impatient giftees on your list. Watch it in action here.

For the foodie and the chef:


Give the health conscious food lover in your life the power to see the nutritional make-up of their food right from the palm of their hand. This cutting-edge food scanner can instantly measure how many calories are in food. Or, if your giftee is a seasoned chef, consider this smart pan with a temperature sensor that connects to a smartphone app and brings a whole new level of precision into the kitchen.

For the aspiring coders:

At IV, we work to foster a passion for STEM and encourage the next generation of impact inventors. So naturally, we’re loving these high-tech toys that teach kids the A, B, C’s of coding. With Jewelbots friendship bracelets and the Hackaball, choosing a gift for the pre-teen in your life might not be as challenging as you thought.

For the bookworm:

For those avid readers out there, consider a subscription to Inventors Digest – a crucial source of invention news that brings stories of inventors and inventions to life every month. Or, if your giftee is more of a novelist, “Hidden Figures is the must-read story of female mathematicians that conquered the space race. And if you want to win extra brownie points, take your invention-loving novelist to the big screens on December 25 to see the movie adaptation.

Want more gift ideas? Check out our favorites from last year as well.


Related Posts

Thirteen Must-Read Stories Featuring Inventions that Propel Us Forward

“It’s ingenuity that will make the difference between a bleak future and a bright one.” – Bill Gates

Thirteen Must-Read Stories Featuring Inventions that Propel Us Forward

This quote hangs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center along with a display of inventions making a worldwide impact, including Global Good’s Arktek™. But beyond its role as a backdrop, the quote embodies the ambition at the heart of invention – to create ideas that move society forward and improve lives. This month, the links we’re loving tell tales of inventors fostering big change through big ideas.

IV in the News

Global Good won the USPTO Patents for Humanity Award for its invention of Arktek™ – a device which can keep vaccines cool for more than a month with no power and is helping to save lives in countries with the lowest immunization rates in the world.  

IV metamaterials spinout Echodyne announced the successful test results of its new detect-and-avoid radar technology, which can “see” both moving and stationary objects.

Global Good recently worked with Worthington Industries and the Indian Oil Corporation to launch its AI Shield in Tanzania and India, respectively. The technology can help Tanzanian cattle and dairy farmers by improving the process of livestock breeding.

Along with top thought leaders in Seattle, Senior Vice President of Global Good, Maurizio Vecchione spoke with Reuters on his view for the best approach to eradicating malaria.

IV President and Chief Operating Officer Adriane Brown was appointed to both the Washington Research Foundation’s (WRF) and Allergan, Plc’s board of directors.

Global Good announced a new partnership with the Feinstein Institute and Sanguistat to find a solution to the leading cause of maternal deaths worldwide.

Young Minds, Big Ideas

Scientific American provided insight into how to solve America’s STEM education gap with perspectives from educators, entrepreneurs and government employees. Want to learn more? Explore IV’s own approach through its partnership with Expanding Your Horizons Network.

This teen’s invention helped give his friend a voice and has the potential to help those with disabilities to communicate.

In these TED talks, seven young inventors tell stories of how they are finding innovative approaches to world health problems like Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and asthma.

The new innovation hub at the University of Washington is fostering the next generation of inventors, scientists and entrepreneurs and making an impact in the Seattle community.

An Enduring Legacy

Computing pioneer and electrical engineer Jay W. Forrester died this month at 98 and will be remembered for “creating an entirely new way of thinking.”

This month, President Obama awarded 21 Americans who have “helped push America forward” with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Of the 21 recipients, five have made contributions in tech and three of those are women.

Want more News You Can Use? Follow us on Twitter and get the good stuff in real-time. 

News You Can Use

Intellectual Ventures regularly shares roundups of invention and intellectual property news. To read the other posts in this series, see below:


Related Posts

Here’s One Way We’re Celebrating Inventors This Thanksgiving

The time to gather around the table with food, family and friends to share what we’re thankful for is almost upon us. At IV, we’re taking our turn at the table to share a little early this year, as we express our gratitude for Inventors Digest – a publication committed to educating and inspiring inventors from all walks of life. The latest edition features wheelchairs transformed into dragons, Star Trek and an enduring champion for the small inventor. So this Thanksgiving – after the pumpkin pie – spend some time with these powerful stories of inventors and inventions that are transforming lives.  

Here’s One Way We’re Celebrating Inventors This Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks to Those that Give Back

This month’s issue highlights organizations that use the spirit of invention to help others. Among them is Magic Wheelchair, a nonprofit that builds Halloween costumes for children in wheelchairs. We should add that these “costumes” – far from your average Spiderman suit – are elaborate designs that incorporate each wheelchair in a big way. Past costumes include a mermaid riding a sea turtle, a Mickey Mouse train and a chef with a stovetop.  

Check out the full story to learn more about the “magic” wheelchairs putting a smile on the faces of kids throughout the nation, a UK organization fostering innovation to help people with sensory impairments, and even our own commitment at Intellectual Ventures to spark interest in science and STEM education. [PAGE 26]            

The Woman Who Started a Movement

In this month’s edition, you’ll also meet Joanne Hayes-Rines, a trailblazer who was one of the first editors of Inventors Digest and a passionate advocate for the American inventor. Her tenacious efforts to reform the U.S. patent system have made a lasting impact on the world of invention and it’s a story you don’t want to miss. [PAGE 22]

Invention Shows to Enjoy During Your Post-Thanksgiving Food Coma

Finally, when the inevitable time comes to hit the couch and veg out after your Turkey Day feast, Inventors Digest has you covered with a list of classic invention TV shows throughout history. Whether you go where no man has gone before with a Star Trek marathon, or take a ride on the Gadget-Mobile with Inspector Gadget, the Inventors Digest list will get you through the evening and ready for Thanksgiving leftovers. [PAGE 8]

Want more Thanksgiving invention news? Check out how we’ve given thanks to inventors in the past


Related Posts

Patents for Humanity: Global Good’s Passive Vaccine Storage Device, Arktek, wins USPTO Award

Through its Patents for Humanity Award, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) illuminates stories of technologies that are making real change in the world for those most in need. This year, one of those stories is ours to tell. 

In the developing world, more than 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year from vaccine-preventable diseases. Seven years ago, the Global Good team set out to change this. The team had a vision to help deliver vaccines to rural areas where vaccines are often critical, and power is scarce or nonexistent. 

Through the invention of Arktek™ – a device which can keep vaccines cool for more than a month with no power – inventors, rocket scientists, industrial engineers and health experts worked together to turn this vision into a reality. The technology has been transformative for countries with the lowest immunization rates in the world including Ghana, Ethiopia, Senegal and Nigeria.
 

Since the first U.S. patent was issued in 1790, patents have provided the momentum driving the developed world into each era of technological progress. In the modern invention landscape, the Global Good team draws on resources, such as patents, that are often reserved for commercial pursuits in the developed world to lift up those living in our world’s most impoverished countries.  

At Intellectual Ventures, we celebrate Global Good’s Arktek, along with all inventions developed with the common goal of finding answers to the world’s most pressing questions. Patents have propelled society forward for 226 years and counting and today we celebrate the impact they have on making sure no facet of society is left behind.

Many congratulations to the Arktek team and everyone at Global Good for winning this esteemed award. 


Related Posts

Inspiring the Next Generation of Women in STEM with the Expanding Your Horizons Network

As IV President and COO Adriane Brown once said, “it is important to recognize that we as a company, a country, and as a world community must do better to encourage women to pursue educations and careers in STEM fields.” Intellectual Ventures is committed to adding more women voices to the world of invention. That’s why we have partnered with Expanding your Horizons Network (EYHN), a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing gateway STEM experiences to middle and high school girls that spark interest in STEM careers. 

Inspiring the Next Generation of Women in STEM with the Expanding Your Horizons Network

Photo courtesy of Expanding Your Horizons Network

Through its worldwide network of 100 STEM conferences, EYHN opens the minds of young women to the possibility of careers in math and science. At these conferences, girls meet and interact with female adult STEM role models and participate with their peers in hands-on STEM activities. The conferences consist of customizable workshops based on each girl’s specific area of interest.

Every year, EYHN conferences helps 24,000 girls in 33 states and three countries to recognize their potential as powerful thought leaders and innovators in the field of STEM.

IV has worked with EYHN for 3 years, supporting several local chapters in and around the Seattle area. Most recently, IV employees led hands-on workshops for middle school and high school students at Bellevue College and Seattle University, giving girls the opportunity to learn how STEM has enriched the lives of innovators on the IV team. Past IV sponsored workshops have included Invent This! Learn how great ideas are developed and patented hosted by volunteers from the Invention Science Fund and Epidemics! How diseases spread and what we can do to stop them hosted by volunteers from the Institute for Disease Modeling.

According to a study done by the Girl Scout Research Institute, more than half of all girls say that girls their own age don’t typically consider a career in STEM. Further, 57% of all girls say that if they went into a STEM career, they’d have to work harder than a man just to be taken seriously. These negative stereotypes often prevent young girls from exploring STEM careers. IV has teamed up with EHYN to break down these barriers because we recognize that in invention, more brainpower and more voices cultivate stronger ideas.   


Related Posts

The Heartbeat of Invention: How Pacemaker Creator Wilson Greatbatch Saved Countless Lives

“Failure is a learning experience, and the guy who has never failed has never done anything” – Wilson Greatbatch 

The Heartbeat of Invention: How Pacemaker Creator Wilson Greatbatch Saved Countless Lives

A lot can happen in a minute. In the world of scientific invention, a minute can be pivotal. A spark can trigger a life-changing idea for an inventor in a minute, and 60 seconds is all it takes for an inventor to make a huge mistake.

In some extraordinary cases, perhaps both phenomena can occur in that same moment in time. This was the case for Dr. Wilson Greatbatch, an inventor who in just a minute, made an error that led to a life-saving invention and forever changed cardiovascular healthcare.

The Mistake that Sparked It All

In 1956, Greatbatch attempted to create a heart rhythm recorder. However, after mistakenly adding an incorrect electronic component, the device produced electronic pulses instead of simply recording the sound of the heartbeat as he had intended. Listening to the pulse of the device, a sound similar to that made by a healthy heart, Greatbatch had his critical “a ha” moment. In that moment, he realized that this device could help an unhealthy heart stay in rhythm by delivering shocks to help the heart muscles to pump and contract blood.

In the barn behind his home, the electrical engineering professor worked to use his inadvertent discovery to create the world’s first implantable pacemaker. The first Greatbatch pacemaker was implanted in a human patient in 1960, and Greatbatch was awarded a patent for the device two years later.

Indeed, a minute can be transformative. A healthy human heart beats an average of 50 to 70 times per minute. But for an ailing heart, a minute can mean the difference between life and death. Ultimately, Greatbatch’s invention of the implantable pacemaker has extended and saved millions of lives worldwide. “I seriously doubt if anything I ever do will ever give me the elation I felt that day when my own two-cubic-inch piece of electronic design controlled a living heart,” remarked Greatbatch.

The Later Years

Greatbatch patented more than 325 inventions in his lifetime. Beyond his pacemaker, he conducted important research in the areas of HIV treatments and renewable energy. Greatbatch boldly challenged modern scientists to end the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, working on a solution that would use helium-based fusion reaction for power generation.

Greatbatch received many awards throughout his lifetime. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and received the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also presented with the National Medal of Technology by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Greatbatch created one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century from a blatant miscalculation. What began as a failure became a groundbreaking idea that led to success. Greatbatch was a tenacious inventor who reminds us that failure itself is often the heartbeat of discovery – keeping invention alive by forcing us to continue searching for answers to the world’s most difficult questions. 


Related Posts

A Woman of Many Firsts, Marie Curie Embraced the Unknown

By any measure, Marie Curie was one of the most revolutionary scientists in history. In 1903, she became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She was also the first person to be honored with two Nobel Prizes, and she remains both the only woman to win twice and the only person to win in multiple sciences. 

A Woman of Many Firsts, Marie Curie Embraced the Unknown

By Fotograv. - Generalstabens Litografiska Anstalt Stockholm [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

At IV, we are focused on the road ahead – how to make the future better than the present through new inventions. But as we generate ideas to propel our world forward, it is important to remember those brave pioneers who paved the road that we continue to travel on. Just ahead of what would be her 149th birthday, we honor one of these early trailblazers whose work led to the development of cancer treatments, advanced x-rays and the redefining of established ideas in physics and chemistry.

Widely considered the most important piece of research she conducted, Curie was able to show that the radiation was not the outcome of the interaction of molecules, but came from the atom itself. She used the electrometer, a device for measuring electrical charge, to determine that the activity of uranium compounds only depends on the quantity of the uranium.

In partnership with her husband, Pierre, Curie discovered two elements, polonium and radium. After almost a decade of research, Curie developed methods for the separation of radium from radioactive residues in order to characterize and study its properties, particularly therapeutic properties.  

During World War I, Curie recognized the need for field radiological centers near the front and developed mobile x-ray and radiography units. She helped to equip ambulances with x-ray equipment, which she herself drove to the front lines. It is estimated that over one million wounded soldiers were treated between the mobile units and the 200 radiological units at field hospitals.

Curie’s work helped overturn established ideas in physics and chemistry. The radioactivity of radium contradicted the principle of conservation of energy and forced a reconsideration of the foundation of physics. In addition, her research showed that the radioactivity of radium appeared to successfully attack cancer.

Curie devoted her life to advancing science, dying in 1934 from her long-term exposure to radiation. After her death, Curie became the first woman to be honored with interment in the Pantheon on her own merits. At IV, we look at where we are today in the world of science with overwhelming admiration for Marie Curie and her enduring legacy.

Explore more transformative Nobel Prize winners and the inventing legacy of Alfred Nobel.


Related Posts

Inventions to Satisfy Your Halloween Sweet Tooth

’Tis the season for haunted houses, spooky masks, ghost stories, goblins and ghouls. But this year, we’re focusing on the sweeter side of the season’s festivities – the Halloween candy on the minds of trick-or-treaters everywhere. And, like most great ideas, early inventions for candy making have evolved over time, constantly inspiring new and complex tasty treats. 

Inventions to Satisfy Your Halloween Sweet Tooth

The Rich Road Forward

We recently marveled over the vast number of industries that 3D printing promises to revolutionize, and as it turns out, the candy industry is among them. 3D printing technology has given chocolatiers and confectioners alike the ability to transform chocolate and candy into works of edible art. In 2014, Xerox patented a method for 3D printing chocolate that controls the chocolate temperature as each layer is gradually added. In collaboration with Hershey’s, 3D Systems has also developed a 3D printer that creates any shape of white, milk or dark chocolate. Watch it in action here.

Not only can candy lovers customize the size and shape of their chocolate, now they can also expose it to high temperatures without it melting. In the past few years, most of the world’s major candy companies have invented and patented methods for making melt-proof chocolate that can remain solid at temperatures as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Nestlé’s filed a 2013 patent for making chocolate heat-tolerant by adding a dietary fiber from citrus, wheat or even peas to stabilize the chocolate at high temperatures.

A Sugary Start

But before 3D printing could change the candy industry, creative inventors needed to develop a host of other candy manufacturing inventions. One significant Industrial Revolution-era development was the revolving steam pan for boiling sugar, which used a combination of steam power and steam heat to free the candy maker from continuously stirring his or her confections. The pan also regulated the temperature with more precision, making it less likely that the sugar would burn.

During this time, Oliver Chase also invented the candy press. No seasoned Willy Wonka to the candy industry, Chase was a pharmacist who originally invented the machine to speed up the process of making of medical lozenges. With the new machine, manufacturers could produce multiple shapes and sizes of hard candy simultaneously.

These inventions forever changed the candy making process and allowed for production on a much larger scale – making for very happy Halloweens all around.

For more Halloween inventions, check out our spooky archive, complete with technology progress in fog machines, high-tech vampire teeth, pumpkin carving kits and more. 


Related Posts

Cuba, Metamaterials, Silkworms and More: Twelve Must-Read Stories From October

At the GeekWire Summit 2016, Nathan Myhrvold said, “Every great idea starts off as a spark. We live in a society that has been completely technologically transformed by ideas that worked out.” Our favorite links this month tell stories of inventors and inventions that embody that kind of transformation. 

Cuba, Metamaterials, Silkworms and More: Twelve Must-Read Stories From October

Nathan Myhrvold speaks with Alan Boyle and Todd Bishop of Geekwire earlier this month

IV in the News

If you click on the video above, you’ll get a first-hand look at Nathan Myhrvold’s fireside chat with Todd Bishop and Alan Boyle of Geekwire earlier this month. Nathan spoke about the importance of metamaterials, investing in invention and the vast potential for technological innovation to improve the lives of those in need. Bonus – check out these photos from the event.

The Military Times shows how Global Good’s Photonic Fence beats bed nets and bug spray when it comes to keeping troops safe from vector-borne illnesses.

What if you could cordlessly connect your cell phones, TVs and computers to power without interruption? Duke University, the University of Washington and Intellectual Ventures are collaborating on technology that could make it possible.

Seattle Photonics Association announced that it will build on the work of our own Invention Science Fund on retinal imaging technology that can monitor changes in astronauts’ eyes during missions.

GeekWire highlights IV spinout Kymeta as it showcases its flat-panel antenna at the Monaco Yacht Show, delivering internet to 80 yachts at once.

Developing life-saving technology

MIT Technology Review features a new flexible mesh that may make open new doors for novel treatments for neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Scientific American profiles the work of Yingying Zhang and her colleagues at Tsinghua University who are developing reinforced silk that could transform technology for wearable electronics and medical implants.

The magazine also highlighted the work of Thubi Kolobe, a physical therapist and researcher at the University of Oklahoma, who developed a high-tech onesie and three-legged, wheeled robot to help babies with cerebral palsy learn to crawl.

Finally, you won’t want to miss the story of this 13-year-old from Oregon who invented a bandage that can tell doctors when it needs to be changed.

Envisioning the future

President Obama sat down with MIT’s Joe Ito and Wired’s Scott Dadich to discuss artificial intelligence, neural nets, self-driving cars and the future of the world.

With a more open U.S.-Cuba relationship, steps are being taken to break down economic barriers and give way to more scientific collaboration, unlocking new opportunities for innovation. Check out this USPTO blog on protecting the rights of American innovators in Cuba.

Don’t forget to check out these photos from the World Maker Faire of robots, 3-D printers and dozens of other DIY technologies.

Want more News You Can Use? Follow us on Twitter and get the good stuff in real-time. 

News You Can Use

Intellectual Ventures regularly shares roundups of invention and intellectual property news. To read the other posts in this series, see below:


Related Posts

How a Seattle Doctor is Taking the Fight Against Breast Cancer Global

Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, with approximately 1.7 million new cases diagnosed each year. It is a disease that does not discriminate based on racial and ethnic groups, experiences or age. With 58 percent of deaths from breast cancer occurring in developing countries, it is also a disease that crosses international lines. In fact, breast cancer is increasing rapidly in the developing world, where cases are often diagnosed in late stages and treatment options are severely limited. 

How a Seattle Doctor is Taking the Fight Against Breast Cancer Global

Photo courtesy of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Last week, we introduced you to our Innovating for a Cure series in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Today, we spotlight a pioneering medical oncologist and women’s health advocate with a powerful vision that knows no boundaries.

Dr. Julie Gralow is the director of Breast Medical Oncology at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and a professor in the oncology division of the University of Washington School of Medicine. She has earned numerous awards for her research, chairing several committees, and participating in expert panels for breast cancer treatment and research as a member of the Southwest Oncology Group.

But Dr. Gralow is perhaps most truly defined not by the awards she earned within labs and clinics, but by her compassion for her patients and her tireless work to empower and educate women around the world on breast cancer detection and treatment. 

Taking the Fight Global

Dr. Gralow has launched an international movement of dedicated experts and volunteers arming women with the resources they need to take control of their health. She recognizes that, for far too many women around the world, fear, or the simple access to knowledge, stands in the way of early detection, treatment and ultimately, a happy ending.

Fighting to change this reality and bring action and early detection strategies to all women, Dr. Gralow works with the Global Task Force for Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries and founded the Women’s Empowerment Cancer Advocacy Network (WE CAN).

Dr. Gralow’s WE CAN initiative is saving lives through breast cancer education, outreach and advocacy summits in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa where the need is great. In Ukraine, for example, Dr. Gralow discovered that often, doctors were not revealing to breast cancer patients their actual diagnosis. From 1991-2001, she worked to change this through the creation of 15 breast cancer support groups.  

And Dr. Gralow’s legacy continues, as the first WE CAN summit in Africa was held in Uganda in 2013 patient advocates from 10 countries participated and it was so popular, the cancer survivors asked for a yearly conference. With Dr. Gralow’s support, WE CAN Summits have now been held in Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia.

The Battle on the Homefront

Beyond the movement Dr. Gralow has launched abroad, she is also dedicated to improving the lives of her patients at home. She is steadfast in the belief that a breast cancer diagnosis does not have to define and constrain the lives of her patients.

After helping cancer survivors train for a triathlon in 1995, Dr. Gralow co-founded Team Survivor Northwest, an exercise and fitness program for women cancer survivors. Dr. Gralow – quite literally –embarks on the long journey of a breast cancer diagnosis with her patients, joining survivors as they climb mountains, snowshoe, run in marathons and complete triathlons.

Dr. Gralow is a trailblazer who was able to bring a new perspective to one of the world’s most challenging health problems. Through advocacy and mobilization, she has created a global support system with the goal of creating the support for and getting the resources needed, to assist women in the fight against breast cancer everywhere.

At IV, we admire the tenacity shared by those working to find a cure. Innovation requires the ability to envision a better world, and the creativity and courage to find a way to make it happen. Through the determination of innovators like Dr. Gralow, and the strength of patients fighting breast cancer every single day, we are one step closer to finding a cure and turning this vision into a reality. 


Related Posts

Share

Subscribe

Categories

Archives

Twitter | Follow Us »

Scientists share how to stay up to date on the latest #scientific literature via @sciencemagazine ow.ly/HCme306RKrf #ScienceCareers

Dec 06

This #invention uses solar energy to pull drinking water from the air. #impactinventing bit.ly/2gQp2zu

Dec 03

Read the latest @CommerceGov #blog on this year's #Patents4Humanity award recipients: twitter.com/CommerceGov/st…

Dec 05