The year 2018 was marked by many inventions across a number of areas. If some of these innovations from large corporate groups have had a great amount of publicity throughout the world, as it was the case for Samsung with its foldable smartphone last November, start-ups are breaking new ground in order to improve everyday life. Such is the case, for instance, of Rool’in, that offers electric MTB, or Diabeloop with its artificial pancreas.
Here is a selection of the most remarkable innovations of 2018:
Towards a revolution in mobility
Among innovations in 2018 the Sun-E got our attention. It is an electric solar bike developed by Rool’in, a French start-up . This bike has the particularity of recharging automatically at all times (i.e. bike running or stopped). A test phase is scheduled to take place this year to a potential commercialization in 2020 .
Another novelty: German manufacturer BigRep recently presented NERA, an electric motorcycle completely made with 3D printing, except for electronic components .
At the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, the Dutch company Pal-V presented the first flying car . Other companies are following the trend, like Zephyr Airworks, which obtained the authorization to test “Cora”, a flying unmanned taxi, in New Zealand .
Expanding possibilities of artificial intelligence and new technologies
As expected, the very first smartphone with a foldable screen was introduced this November  by Rouyu Technology, a Chinese manufacturer. It thus precedes by a few days the Korean giant Samsung and its screen “Infinity Flex Display” . Other manufacturers as Huawei and Apple are also working on this technology. LD did even apply for a patent for a roller smartphone screen .
Even for smartphones that don’t have a flexible screen, performances continue to improve. Their battery life is becoming longer and longer, and screens are bigger and bigger. This is notably the case with iPhone XR released last December .
Also quite impressive: the demonstration of Google Duplex technology on 8 May 2018 , during the Google Annual Conference (Google I/O). This artificial intelligence-based system enables voice assistants to make phone calls in order to make an appointment or request information without the interlocutor noticing it is not a human voice.
Still with artificial intelligence, autonomous cars continue their development. While French government hopes France to become a world leader in artificial intelligence , car manufacturers and local authorities try to position themselves in this market. In October, the Rouen Normandy Autonomous Lab was authorized to try its electric car without a driver. It was the first time that such a car travelled on a classic traffic lane .
Health innovations to help us care for ourselves
The medical sector is also innovative. Among the latest innovations, the artificial pancreas from Diabeloop , a French start-up, which obtained its CE-marking in 2018. This device addresses type-1 diabetic persons. It is constituted by a pump and a sensor. Thanks to its algorithms, it analyses the blood sugar level and adjusts the insulin dose to give.
In 2018, the first 3D color radiography of a human body has been done . This technique should improve medical diagnosis thanks to the contrast between bones and tissues.
Regarding chronic wounds, a new connected dressing  from Tuft University (Mass., USA) enables to monitor the wounds with sensors. It then administers the appropriate treatments at the right time, depending on the collected data.
Lastly, Vaxinano received last December the 2018 innovation prize of the Innovation Contest (investments for the future programme) in the area of health . The company from Lille is specialized in the development of new vaccines. It exploits 3 international patents and has conducted the proof of concept of a toxoplasmosis vaccine on ewes. Using nanoparticles, its vaccines are adjuvant-free, 100% bio-eliminable and can be nasally delivered. They mainly target diseases for which vaccines do not exist and/or the improvement of existing vaccines (for instance: a spray flu nanovaccine).
Using innovation for ecological developments
In order to address the challenges of climate change, a large number of companies and start-ups are looking for alternatives for a more responsible consumption.
In that respect, a new type of bicycle parking has been installed in the Netherlands: the S-Park. The concept is to collect the energy produced by cyclists whilst travelling thanks to specific wheels able to store it. At the end of the journey, the cyclist drops his bicycle in the S-Park which will pick up the stored energy. Then, energy is used to power street lights and surrounding houses .
Finally, the French shop “Drive tout nu” initiated a new concept which is modifying the way products are selected and packaged .
In this shop, there is no plastic! All packages are reusable. It is up to each client to bring them back on their next visit so that they can be washed. Furthermore, the products offered are predominantly local.
Banks also are innovative!
Bank services become safer thanks to new technologies based on biometrics. In Japan, AEON Bank and Fujitsu, a company specialized in high-tech, have joined together in order to offer a secure payment system which works with venous recognition . Called PalmSecure, this system should enable to pay in shops with the palm of the hand .
The French bank Société Générale, for its part, presented for the first time in France an authentication system that works with facial recognition  for the management of its bank accounts.
Innovations to live a better life
Kerostin Mobility has created for persons with reduced mobility an innovative wheelchair that goes up and down the stairs . It works thanks to innovative wheels which can be transformed in star wheels. The invention will soon be tested in the famous staircase in Chambord castle.
In cosmetics, we have seen this year the Phyto Re30, a patented serum with an anti grey hair action. This operates with a molecule that revive the natural hair pigmentation without color or pigments, provided that you use it regularly .
Lastly, clothes manufacturers are too breaking new ground: a patent has been filled for an indestructible pantyhose, Sheertex Sheers. It withstands to anything thanks to a strong fiber which is based on Kevlar (used in bulletproof vests) .
See our article on innovations in the field of sport in 2018: Innovation to improve athletic performances