Some wacky and some awesome inventions that came out of the pandemic5 min readReading Time: 4 minutes
2020 will go down in history as the year of the pandemic and 2021 as the year of the vaccine. Through the course of this time, people all over the world have redefined what is normal through amazing innovations!
Did you know that more than 74 million people have recovered from COVID-19!
When the world was busy dealing with the strangeness of the virus, some inventors came forth to help, and bring smiles to faces hidden behind masks.
Here’s a few that caught Owliver’s eye:
A Shikara Ambulance
Shikara is a wooden boat that is found in the Dal Lake in Srinagar, and other spaces in Jammu and Kashmir. The shikaras not only ferry people across shores but may also host miniature shops with souvenirs and eatables.
Tariq Patloo, a resident of Dal Lake, created this unique ambulance after recovering from the virus. He faced immense difficulty when he had to be moved to the hospital from his residence, partly out of his neighbour’s fear of contracting the virus and partly out of a lack of resources. On his return, he decided to create the first shikara ambulance to ensure that nobody on his side of town ever feels stranded in times of medical emergency. The shikara can accommodate 12 people and all necessary medical equipment. He completed this project in 1 month!
Ear guards for masks
If you have been wearing a mask on a regular basis (which you should be doing if you ever step outside), you know how difficult it can be, especially for those who spend the whole day wearing tight-fitted surgical masks. Ouch for the ears!
Quinn Callander, a 13-year-old boy scout from Canada heard this not-so-obvious problem, and offered an amazing solution. Quinn uses his 3-D printer to create ear guards that can be attached to the straps of a mask behind the head. This takes some pressure off the wearer’s ears. He donates them to local hospitals.
Social distancing hats
A cafe in Germany handed out hats with pool noodles to their clients to ensure that they maintain a safe distance of six-feet amongst them at all time. If they don’t, they automatically end up hitting each other pool noodles!
A Don’t-Touch-Your-Face Watch
Immutouch is a wearable device that buzzes every time its wearers brings their hands closer to their faces. Initially, the Seattle Start Up, Slightly Robot, made it for customers who wanted to overcome impulses of nail-biting and hair pulling. With the pandemic, the wristband became Immutouch when the creators repurposed it to include face touching.
It measures hand movements 10 times per second and buzzes when it detects the hand’s closeness to the wearer’s nose, mouth, or eyes.
A Don’t-Touch-The-Door Hook
Coronavirus can survive on surfaces for a while and as such can be transmitted by touching objects touched by those who have contracted the virus (click here to know how this happens). And doors are scary business! It is practically impossible to open a door (that does not use movement sensors) without any contact. This is what a London-based designer experienced too. And this is how the Hygiene Hook was brought into the world. It is a compact, easy-to-clean device that allows the user to open and close a door without touching the handle.
Face ID with Masks
Apple is coming up with a corona special feature in its latest operating system, IOS 14.5. Apple users will now be able to enable Face ID that will work even if they are wearing masks. However, the facial recognition will work only with an accompanying unlocked Apple watch. Now, Apple users can unlock their phones in busy areas without taking their masks off! Isn’t that a subtle but important addition?!
And just when you think you have seen it all in the new normal, there’s more! Have you seen the coronavirus car yet?
This car was created by Sudhakar Yadav from Hyderabad to spread awareness about COVID-19. He is a Guinness World Record holder for creating the world’s largest tricycle (37 feet long)! The coronavirus car can host one person and can run 40 kilometers.
This year has been a year of change, acceptance, and innovation.
What’s your favourite story of innovation?
Let Owliver know in the comments below!