The 100 greatest innovations of the year

The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, which made the list, allows people to check what's in the fridge before they get home. Photo / Samsung
The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator, which made the list, allows people to check what's in the fridge before they get home. Photo / Samsung

Robot mall cops, a vaccine for dengue and 98 more of the greatest innovations of the year are highlighted in the November/December issue of Popular Science.

The magazine's annual roundup of "The Best of What's New" provides a snapshot of the latest, coolest, most-cutting-edge products and concepts - or, what the next generation of teens will likely think of as "Oh, that boring stuff?"

Thanks to the tech of 2016, today's kids can experience gee-whiz features from birth. It all starts on the ride home from the maternity ward in a 4moms Self-Installing Car Seat, which "contains 20 sensors, including accelerometers and gyros, that work with motors to level the seat and tighten the straps."

When fever strikes, a concerned dad can check his child's temperature with the no-touch Withings Thermo. It takes "more than 4,000 readings from the temporal artery" with just a simple pass across the forehead. And when boys and girls get that first cavity? Dentists can anesthetize them with a couple of squirts of Kovanaze nasal spray instead of a painful shot.

To unwind, they can rock out with Ossic's X headphones, which "adapt to a listener's anatomy" to create ultrarealistic audio effects. They can fly to Belgium and take a seat on the Mack Rides Pulsar, a roller coaster that splashes into a lake at 60 mph. They can run around on ice without slipping because they're wearing shoes with Vibram Arctic Grip soles, designed to mimic the clawed paws of polar bears.

And they can complain that there's nothing to eat in the fridge even if they're not at home: The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator boasts three internal cameras.

That's when parents can turn to another innovation circa 2016.

Intelligentx Brewing calls itself the first artificial-intelligence brewmaster. Using a "machine-learning algorithm," it crafts beers using online feedback from drinkers. Cheers to the future.

- Washington Post

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