The year 2022 has once again been prolific in terms of innovation. Despite the difficulties encountered by many companies after two years of crisis that were marked by COVID and the rising cost of raw materials, patent application filings are on the rise again in France (+3.1% between 2020 and 2021 according to INPI), which demonstrates entrepreneurs strongly desire to find solutions.
Today, we would like to present you some innovations we heard about in 2022 and considered particularly outstanding. Not all of them are patented but they illustrate the inventive capacities of their creators.
Discover the innovations below:
The bra that detects breast cancer
Breast cancer affects one in nine women and kills more than 12,000 people each year in France only. To fight against this scourge, the best solution remains screening, but mammographies are not always pleasant. In order to make the screening step more comfortable, a 22-year-old Mexican, Julián Ríos Cantú, whose mother suffered from this pathology, imagined a new device: the detection bra. Working with no less than 200 thermal sensors placed inside, this bra uses artificial intelligence to check the temperature of the skin, which slightly changes in case of a tumor. Worn every week for 1 hour, it monitors, records data and alerts the woman in the event of suspected cancer.
A hydrophobic blanket to warm the homeless
As part of a final year project, four students invented a blanket for the homeless made from cellulose wadding and beeswax. Called “Move on EcoBlanket”, this is a heated and insulating blanket, specially dedicated to people living on the streets.
The different layers of cellulose wadding, cotton and wool allow it to be warmer than the usual plaids. The outer part, made from beeswax and hydrophobic, allows the user to stay dry.
This altruistic project does not aim to generate profit since the blankets are intended to be distributed free of charge, but we wish good luck to this solidarity invention. Bravo!
Ocean Grazer, the ocean battery
Presented at CES 2022, the ocean battery is a solution for storing electrical energy produced by offshore wind turbines and solar parks. The invention works thanks to giant bladders placed on the seabed which are filled with seawater under high pressure. When electricity is needed, the bladders discharge their content into underground low-pressure reservoirs, thus turning turbines to produce electricity. When electricity is abundant, the turbine works backwards, bringing water back in the bladders.
Presentation video: Ocean Grazer – Ocean Battery – Utility-scale offshore energy storage
Shellmet, a helmet made from shells
In Japan, the TBWA/Hakuhodo advertising agency, in partnership with Koushi Chemical Industry Co., has designed protective helmets made from scallop shells.
Scallops are indeed the most consumed shellfish by the Japanese and produce a lot of waste. The manufacture of this helmet therefore gives a new life to these shells, while emitting less CO2 than the manufacture of new plastic helmets. In addition, its particular structure would give it more resistance than its competitors.
It is scheduled to go on sale in the spring of 2023.
Ameca, the “most advanced” robot in the world
Have you ever heard of Ameca? It is one of the most realistic humanoids in the world.
Developed by the British company Engineered Arts, Ameca is not a robot like the others. Indeed, thanks to its artificial intelligence, it is able to have a conversation and recognize the emotions of its interlocutors thanks to their facial expressions. Ameca is doing even more since it is able to move its arms and fingers and show very realistic facial expressions itself. It’s impressive!
Today, Ameca only needs a pair of legs to be able to move around. The company is working on the subject and could offer it in 2023. To be continued…
See the video “Ameca Facial Expressions” on the Engineered Arts Youtube channel:
Primary, the flexible LCD screen
Here is an invention coming from Taiwan that was introduced at CES in Las Vegas in 2022: the first LCD-TFT screen with flexible Mini-Led backlighting from PanelSemi. The flexible dimension of the screen allows it to take different curved forms, while keeping all of its optical qualities. As a result, it rolls up like a poster! In addition, the company indicates that the screen of less than 1mm thick is very light and consumes little energy.
PanelSemi aims ultimately the market for very large format screens, for control rooms, meeting rooms and billboards.
Health: a dressing that reduces healing time
In the field of health, researchers in Singapore are currently working on the development of a new bandage to reduce the healing time of chronic wounds (wounds that are not healed after 4 to 6 weeks). This patch uses frog skin, rich in collagen, to accelerate the healing process by forming a porous layer that favors coagulation. Frogs are widely consumed in this country, but the skin is currently not used and increases the amount of waste in the country. This dressing could therefore have a double function.
Rooftop wind turbines from Wind my Roof
We end our article with an innovation from the French start-up Winf my Roof, imagined after the observation of the wind in town, which goes up along the building facades and runs over the edge of the roof while accelerating. The founders, two engineers, have therefore developed a very special wind turbine like a metal box, without mast or blades, which contains a turbine and photovoltaic panels, to be placed facing the wind.
They are made in France at 90% and claim a lifespan of 20 years.
A first commercial installation took place on a 10-story building with 84 apartments, in association with Rouen habitat. It should allow a reduction of the charges for the inhabitants of the building.
In the context of the current energy crisis, there is no doubt that this project should interest the greatest number.