by Kata SZABÓ, Journalist
- 3D Printed Homes
When has it become a luxury to have a home? Although the right to housing is a human right, yet there are 1+ billion people without safe shelter in the world. The Texas-based start-up ICON makes cheaper and faster housing possible. The founders of the start-up partnered with a non-profit organization and are aiming to find a solution to the pressing issue of homelessness worldwide. “It’s our mission at ICON to re-imagine the approach to homebuilding and construction and make affordable, dignified housing available to everyone throughout the world. We’re in the middle of a global housing crisis and making old approaches a little better is not solving the problem. The homebuilding industry needs a complete paradigm shift.” - Jason Ballard, co-founder and CEO of ICON. Using 3D-printing the company is able to create a home in less than 24 hours, thus reducing construction costs significantly. The ICON Vulcan 3D printer erects the basic structure of a home, layer by layer, from concrete. The company unveiled the first permitted 3D-printed house in the US in March 2018 in Austin, Texas.
- LynQ – A Gadget to Stay Together
The founders of LnyQ raised 1,6 million USD in a crowdfunding campaign to make their idea reality. Lynq is a little gadget that you can clip on your clothes or bag that tells you how far and in what direction other people are without any data connection needed. The palm-sized device is as simple as can be: there’s only one button, and the sole purpose of Lynq is to show the distance and direction of other people in your group via a tiny circular screen. It uses long-range, low-power frequencies to connect to other Lynq devices and GPS for location, so no phones or Wi-Fi are needed. Lynq says it uses a custom antenna and users will have a closed, private network dedicated to the group. The retail price of a LynQ is 149 USD.
- Gravity Blanket
Today’s world may be advancing with unprecedented pace but there are also downsides of this huge advancement. We are living out lives amidst constant notifications, tight schedules and the feeling of never doing enough. This speed has the consequence that many fellow humans experience sleeping disorder on a daily basis. Gravity Blanket is a weighted blanket that helps reduce anxiety and stress for a better sleep. Gravity is a health technology company dedicated to improving physical and mental well-being using natural solutions backed by science. This blanket puts a tiny pressure on the body to simulate the feeling of being held or hugged. This increases serotonin and melatonin, the hormones responsible for calming relaxation, while decreasing cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress. One blanket costs 249 USD.
- Sonos Beam – The Intelligent Remote
Sonos Beam is the smart speaker for your living room. Experience incredible sound while streaming music, watching TV and movies, enjoying podcasts and audiobooks, or playing video games. As part of Sonos' home sound system, Sonos Beam supports a wide variety of streaming services and also includes built-in voice control. Instead of pushing a button to raise the volume or shut off a TV, users can simply ask their Beam—which works with a multitude of TVs, as well as smart-home platforms like Alexa and Siri—to make it happen. The Sonos Beam soundbar costs 399 USD.
- Gravity Jet Suit
It’s not hard to imagine Elon Musk going to work in this suit. But this equipment is not only available for breakthrough innovators like Musk but also for everyday heroes who can afford to pay 440,000 USD for it. The 1,050-horsepower system relies on five mini-jet engines - two each built into units attached to the hands and one built into a backpack. It can achieve speeds of 50 m.p.h. And for people with the right physical gifts, it’s easy to fly. “A gymnast we worked with was able to master it in three tries,” says inventor and company founder Richard Browning - though for others, he notes, the learning curve is steeper.