Nav

IV Insights Blog

Featured

Latest Articles

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.

Read the full story »

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

Read the full story »

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]

Read the full story »

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.  

Read the full story »

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.

Read the full story »

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.

Read the full story »

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.

Read the full story »

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.

Read the full story »

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

Read the full story »

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.

Read the full story »

Categories

Archives

Twitter Follow us on Twiter!

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