In the words of John Lasseter, “The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.” The diverse intricacies of Nature not only intrigue mankind but also inspire in him an urge to invent and re-invent his environment and the components therein. Consequently, the magnitude of transformation the things around us have taken is the evidence that the unimaginable is not impossible. Let us take a sneak-peak at some of the latest technological inventions.

Extracting out fresh drinkable water from air saturated with water vapour is something that attracted the attention of Jonathan Ritchey, who has invented Watermill. It produces fresh water at a rate of three cents a litre. Designed for places which suffer a shortage of drinkable water, Watermill is also being adopted by people who prefer a cost-effective and efficient substitute for bottled water.

The biometric technology has received another feather in its cap in the form of PalmSecure- a security device which authenticates identity on the basis of the vein pattern unique to every individual. More accurate and reliable than the conventional techniques, it is also less expensive and manageable.

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Developed by researchers at ETH Zurich’s department of Power Electronics is the world’s fastest motor which can spin in excess of a million revolutions per minute. It is marketed by the Swiss company, Celeroton. It is a small electronic gadget with smaller holes lending it super-fast drilling speed.

A colossal, life-sized walking insect (seemingly) is what a new prototype house, developed collaboratively by MIT and the Danish design collective, N55, passes for. Powered up by solar cells, it flaunts of a miniature windmill, a kitchen, a composting toilet, a bed, a utility for amassing rainwater, a wood stove for carbon dioxide neutral heating, a back opening leading to a stairway entrance, and six legs. This six-legged wonder is capable of walking about five kilometres an hour similar to the average walking speed of a human being. The legs employ a software algorithm to calculate the movement and position of the legs over uneven terrain. The house can turn, move forwards and backwards and also change its height as and when required, and can even be controlled by GPS (Global Positioning System) points to travel to specific destinations.

An amazing pen that can literally draw in the air! Max Bogue and Peter Dilworth have invented the so-called 3Doodler that oozes out heated plastic and prototype injection molding as it is put to work on any surface or even thin air along the swishes and strokes of the handler, and creates three- dimensional structures as and how we want them. It weighs approximately one hundred and ninety- eight ounces and measures about 17.7 cm in length. It is truly an ingenious invention that demands neither software nor sophisticated mechanics to work, but simply an electrical outlet to be plugged into.

The story and evolution of the technology are as complex as they are awe-inspiring. A lot could be said and done regarding what has emerged, what is still in the cradle and what all the future has yet not revealed. Inspiration is what drives the inventor’s mind and it would be no wonder if humanity could literally live H.G. Well’s fantasy of “The Invisible Man” someday. We have to wait and watch!