Marty McFly would be proud. Over the past few weeks, the inventors of the world have been patenting and exhibiting crazy new machines and gadgets that are bringing the world of The Jetsons a little bit closer. But some of these can be unnecessary and some are even a little creepy. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites.
Nokia’s Vibrating Tattoos
The next time you get inked at Eight of Swords you might ask to get one of these. Nokia has patented a way of magnetic tattooing that will send a tingle through the wearer’s body whenever they receive a call or text. You can assign different vibrations for different callers and the company is even developing a similar patent for temporary tattoos. Why this is any better than a vibrating phone is beyond me, but just imagine what it would feel like if you were this guy.
Microsoft’s Virtual Reality Headset
While it’s definitely not a new idea, there is a race on to get the first virtual reality headset on the market. Google has their own sparse design for glasses-cum-smartphone, but I prefer Microsoft’s virtual reality headset. Planned as a new component of the XBox gaming system, there are even detachable glasses from the headset which can display an image 21 inches long about an arm’s length from the wearer.
IBM’s Multitouch Floor
Now this one could save us from any future When a Stranger Calls situations. Using a multitouch system, the floor senses the foot size and weight of the things standing on it. If a visitor is not authorized, the floor will sound an alarm or call the police.
LG’s Flexible Display
If you’re one of those people whose iPod has been dropped at the bar one too many times, you might invest in the new flexible display screen from LG. With a six-inch display and weighing about the same as paper, the invention will hit Europe this month.
Here’s one for all you outdoorsy types. Much more badass than solar power is fire power. A not-very-badass use of that fire power? The PowerPot. Using the power from any heating source (fire, a camping stove, a hot spring) the pot comes with a cable sticking out of it which you can use to charge your phone as you make some couscous on your rooftop garden.
AIRE Mask Phone Charger
If you want to charge your phone without cooking up some mac-n-cheese, this device may be the one for you. The AIRE Mask Phone Charger captures the air you breathe out in tiny wind turbines and uses it to send an electronic impulse down the cable to your phone. Sure the gas mask style is a little creepy, but imagine the kind of power you’ll harness from your morning run.
PAL-V’s Flying Car
Apparently, we could be flying our commutes by 2014 thanks to the PAL-V, or Personal Air and Land Vehicle. Sure the car looks like the Batmobile’s dweeby cousin, but imagine all the Bridge-and-Tunnelers commuting in on these.
Just so Marty McFly doesn’t feel too left out of this list, one of his favorite inventions is our closer. In February, French researchers demonstrated the new Magsurf hoverboard design that uses the Meissner effect to levitate a few inches off of a magnetic track while moving. Totally rad, if you ask me.