The Greatest Innovations Businesses Brought the World in 2015

The world is continuously being transformed by technology. Companies and individuals are working day and night to come up with solutions to different problems facing the world.

The year 2015 witnessed a lot of innovations that changed and continue to change many lives across the world. Most inventions and innovations are always influenced by the desire to solve existential problems.

Below are some of the greatest innovations businesses brought to the world in 2015:

1. An algorithm that’s able to prevent HIV infections among the homeless youth

Statistics reveal that homelessness affects approximately 2 million people between the ages of 13 to 24 in the United States. To make matters worse, 11 percent of that population is HIV positive. But this problem was largely addressed by scientists and engineers at the University of Southern California who created an algorithm referred to as PSINet.

With the help of artificial intelligence, the algorithm is able to tell the best individual in a particular homeless community to disseminate vital information about the prevention of HIV. Since the technology was deployed, the number of HIV infections in homeless communities has significantly reduced.

2. A machine that turns poop into clean water

Clean water is still a major problem in both developed and developing countries. It is estimated that about 2.4 million people across the world were not able to access basic and safe water in 2015. This is a reflection of a big problem that the world continues to grapple with.

The desire to solve this problem is what prompted the Gates Foundation to try and find a solution. The company tasked engineers to use technology to come up with the best solution. A few months later, the CEO OF Janicki Bioenergy, Peter Janicki developed a machine that is able to turn sewer sludge into clean drinking water within minutes. Perhaps the next time your dog has an accident in their crate, you might see this as an opportunity rather than a nuisance.

3. A medical device that can seal wounds in less than a minute

The life-saving device was developed by an Oregon startup, RevMedX. The device known as XSTAT 30 is a syringe containing very small biocompatible sponges that can be injected in to absorb or suck out blood and seal it under one minute.

Although the device has been used by the military since early 2014, it was recently approved by the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) for general public use. It has a lot of benefits compared to traditional sutures.

4. Lamps powered by plants

This is another great innovation that businesses and entrepreneurs brought to the world in 2015. There are many people, especially in developing economies that don’t access to electricity. For instance, 42 percent of rural dwellers in the Peruvian Jungle don’t have electricity.

In a bid to solve the problem, the University of Ingenieria Technologia (UTEC) developed plantalamparas – a type of lamp that uses plant power to run. During photosynthesis, the byproducts decompose in the soil – releasing electrons during the oxidation process. The team at UTEC captures the electrons using the electrodes found inside the soil and store them in batteries.

5. The durable flat-pack housing

The Better Shelter is a temporary shelter that was specifically created for refugees and has a lifespan of at least three years. It is in form of flat packs to allow non-governmental organizations to transport them around easily. The shelter doesn’t require any tools to be assembled.

The shelter pack is also designed with the needs of the family in mind. Each one of them has a lamp and solar panel for lighting.

Better Shelter was able to collaborate with the U.N refugee agency UNHCR alongside IKEA Foundation to deploy the shelters in countries with the highest number of refugees like Greece.

How NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Paved A New Path For Space Travel

Space travel has been advancing over the years. After Russia made its first trip to the moon, the USA has been trying all it can to do the same. After succeeding on that plan, there have been more voyages to the moon and back with various astronauts. There was a program by NASA to take humans to the International Space Station on the moon, which inspired the creation of Orion. Previously, NASA’s astronauts went to space using Russian space crafts. It is one of the main reasons Orion was created. Here are a couple of things about Orion that make it a pacesetter in space travel.

How the Orion Is Created

Named after the star constellation, Orion is an upgrade from the Apollo. It comprises three main components:

  • The launch abort system at the top
  • The crew module in the center 
  • The service module at the bottom

All these components have been made using the lightest material possible to reduce the spacecraft’s mass and ensure it can withstand the mass of the astronauts on board. The launch abort system (LAS) is made with material from rockets and will be used to launch the ship into orbit. Once the ship reaches orbit, it will detach itself. In case of an emergency during launch, the LAS will act as a lifeboat for the crew and take them to safety.

The crew module has enough space for four crew members. Its main task is to ensure the crew stays safe while in space. The service module’s role is to propel the spacecraft once it detaches from the SLS rocket. It has solar array wings that will generate electricity to power the module while in space. It is expected to generate electricity that can power up to two three-bedroom households. It will also contain oxygen and food for the crew on board.

The Test Flight

The first test flight was done in 2014, and it was a success. The space capsule flew for 4.5 hours at an altitude of 3600miles above the earth’s surface before reentering the earth. The parachutes and heat shield of the capsule worked well. The test flight did not include any crew on board and was monitored by some of the astronauts in the Apollo to help NASA determine the ship’s performance.

After the initial test launch, it was expected that the first launch with astronauts on board would happen in 2017, but there were delays. The launch was pushed to the early years of 2020 and is expected to be launched in 2021.

Reasons for Delays

The main reason there were delays was that the Obama presidency scraped down the budget. NASA was advised to focus on other things first. Other issues that caused the delay were weather issues and overoptimistic development designs. Even with these delays, the testing of the space capsule is still going on in preparation for the next launch.

What Orion Means for Space Travel

The biggest achievement Orion has is the ability to take humans farther than they have ever gone before. The other space crafts might go to the moon, but Orion is set to take humans further than Mars. It will help humans explore outer space better than we have ever done in the past. Space travel will never be the same after Orion is launched.

NASA hopes that Orion will be their Lunar Orbit Platform. It is for this reason that there is still advancement being made to the Orion. When it finally launches again, the plan is to increase space exploration beyond where it is at the moment.