Plastic That “Bleeds” And Other Weird And Wonderful Gizmos And Gadgets

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Plastic That “Bleeds” And Other Weird And Wonderful Gizmos And Gadgets

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Recently I read a riveting article about cuts. It said that plastics ‘bleed’ when cut or scratched and then heal like human skin. Can you believe that?!

I was jaw-droppingly amazed. But it’s true. In San Diego, at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the team’s lead researcher described plastics that mimic human skin’s ability to heal. This could mean that eventually my kitchen plastic containers will have self-repairing ability. Mother Nature has blessed biological organisms to repair themselves. And soon, using this fascinating new technology, mobiles, laptops, cars or any other similar items will be able to change colour to display scratches and cuts, then heal themselves when exposed to light. 

When I mentioned this exciting new invention to a Gen Z, the individual looked at me as if I was from the dinosaur era, and rolled their eyes claiming it was old news.

I admit that I am a ‘digital immigrant’, as in I was not born into this techno-era, and am trying my best to adapt. The young ‘uns take to technology like it is second skin and for them a tablet is not a pill. As far as the new generation is concerned, the fax machine has reached its sell-by-date, and should be placed in a museum. 

Speaking of museums there’s a place called ‘This Museum is (Not) Obsolete’ located in a town in England, which is a home to old obsolete scientific and musical technology. They have some amazing collectors’ items from the pre-digital days, I scrolled through the images and recalled my childhood days. The museum is funded by a group called ‘Look Mum No Computer’. I am not kidding. I was deeply touched when I saw the word Mum.

What worries me is the future of technology. There are self-driving cars, chatbots, smart household appliances, I don’t want to communicate with Artificial Intelligence. But, that’s where we are headed. Calling out to audio-powered devices, I can easily switch on/off lights, talk to the fridge, virtually communicate with the caller at the front door, and save supermarket lists. Adapting to machine intelligence can get a little disconcerting. 

Sometimes, I avoid technology altogether, sit in a park and read a book (the tree version). I know a time will come when the new inventions in the digital world will be as natural a part of our lives as the mobile phones. We will have a better quality of life. And we will be able to do more in less time, with less energy. I look wistfully at my landline phone, soon to be replaced by a smart gadget that will respond to my instruction. Time to change with the times.

Here some scientific gizmos that seem weird yet fascinating:

  • Metal detecting sandals: footwear with wires connected to a small box which you will have to attach to your leg. It will buzz if one steps close to a metal object. I intend to use this on a treasure hunt trip to ancient sites in India.
  • A security door chain: It’s a puzzle attached to the door, and if you want to unhinge the chain you have to push it through a maze. This will cause much irritation to the person waiting outside your home. It will discourage unwelcome guests, and add pleasure to your day as you complete a maze each time you open the door.
  • The anti-gravity platform:  This is one of the more impressive gizmos around. All you need to do is put an object that does not exceed 85 grams on the platform. Imagine the fun you could have with your pet turtle, watch it levitate and rotate.
  • The Armstar Bodyguard: It looks like a severed robotic limb, but it’s actually a version of Batman’s weapon arm. It will come in handy for simulating action scenes. Especially since it comes with a stun gun, video camera, and a flashlight. Oh, and did I mention the stun gun? It’s the real deal, with a power jolt of 300,000 volts. 
  • The 3-D copy machine: bury a small stool inside a box of sand — few minutes later you pull out a full-size chair. The copy machine consists of self-sculpting smart pebbles made of magnets, which communicate with each other.  Maybe I should bury a tiny diamond and see what will happen… hmm, treasure hunting begins!
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