25 December 2013

Top 10 Weird Inventions Of 2013

In the fourth part of our ‘Year In Review’ series, we take a look at the weirdest inventions of 2013. Many of them, like the anti-rape underpants, are creative solutions in response to the issues that were discussed in the media this year. What do you think—do these innovations address these dilemmas?


10. Mobile Phones May Be Powered By Urine In The Future

The British researchers from the University of Bristol and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory are working on a way make urine charge our phones. They have cultivated bacteria to break down the chemicals in the urine, using them to power a microbial fuel cell that will activate our phone. Although strange and disgusting, using waste to help us stay connected with the world is another step towards sustainable living.

9. Turn Everyday Objects Into Sex Toys With The ‘Dildo Maker’

Francesco Morackini’s product looks like a pencil sharpener, but turns everyday objects that to make them look like penises. This concept has not been realized yet, but we figure that it is only a matter of time before someone turns this idea into reality.

8. Want A Beard? Mustache Implants Are Now Possible

Clinics in Turkey now have the technology to help you grow facial hair—this is especially important for the men there, as it is a symbol of power and virility in the country. The scientists use a method called “follicular unit extraction”, transplanting hair from a one part of the body to a face. As mustaches are now all the rage, we wonder if people will go to other extreme measures just to sport one.

7. A Robot That Draws Penises With The Push Of A Button

David Neevel’s robot was created to draw phalluses and write the word “penis”. The inventor will even send a drawing to you—provided you give him your address. We have no idea why anyone would want to make a robot draw the male appendage, but those who have an inner child may see the funny side of this.

6. Push-Up Bra For Men, Makes Man Boobs Look Like Toned Muscles

It looks like men also compare their bodies to the toned and chiseled ones in the media, so the UK retailer Funkybod has come up with a male push up bra to make those “man boobs” look like pecs. It may be a cheeky way to pretend that you have muscles, and it shows that men are becoming more and more conscious of their appearance.

5. Anti-Rape Lingerie That Emits 3,800kV Shockwaves, Alerts Police

Rape has been discussed frequently ever since the Delhi rape case hit the news. To combat this problem, Indian inventors Niladri Basu, Rimpi Tripathy and Manisha Mohan have invented a pair of anti-rape underwear that shocks the rapist and calls the police. This piece of lingerie may not look like much, but it certainly makes women feel a lot safer when they are out. Another close contender is AR Wear, with a pair of underpants that has a mechanism that only the wearer can remove, but many people have stated that these devices only blame the victim when more should be done to prevent rape instead.

4. An App That Allows You To Control A Cockroach With Your Smartphone

Instead of crushing them to death, this controversial project by
Backyard Brains enables us to control the movement of cockroaches. This idea was marketed to children to get them interested in neuroscience, but it is definitely not for the squeamish as it involves cutting up a cockroach’s antenna, connecting it to an app with your cellphone, and attaching an electronic backpack to the roach. The insect would then move according to your commands. Many have called it unethical, but this invention may allow us to understand how the brains of these tiny creatures are similar to ours.

3. iPhone 5S’ Fingerprint Scanner Can Recognize Your Cat’s Paw And Your Nipples

When the iPhone 5S was released, there was much furor over the fingerprint scanner—people debated how effective and secure it was, to the point of absurdity. With video proof, we realize that we can make the iPhone scanner recognize a man’s nipples and a cat’s paw. We do not know why people would want to unlock their phones this way—isn’t it incredibly inefficient?

2. You Can Now Grow A New Nose On Your Forehead

22-year-old Xiaolian from Fujian, China, had to have a new nose grown after the one he was born with was plagued with nasal trauma. The man chose to grow one on his forehead, with scientists adding skin tissue expander and cutting it into shape. The cartilage was taken from the man’s ribs to give it structure. If this can be done, who knows what else we can grow on our bodies? The bizarre choices in the future may be endless.

1. In China, Hairy Stockings For Young Girls To Fend Off Perverts

Spotted on China’s microblogging site Weibo, this pair of hairy stockings is one odd solution to the sexual harassment women face when out in the streets. This disgusting accessory does make women look unattractive, and tops the list for its bizarre ingenuity.