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Inventors


— Good Thinking

The oddest inventions of 2015

Television, the telephone and many other great inventions throughout history were initially scoffed at before they went on to take the world by storm. That's not a likely scenario when it comes to the following list of oddball contraptions ... but you never know. In a nod to free-spirited thinking that's not beholden to suffocating notions of common sense or commercial success, here's our pick of the quirkiest inventions to hit Gizmag's pages throughout the year.

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— Inventors and Remarkable People

2014 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to inventors of blue LEDs

Thomas Edison may have invented the lightbulb, but he never received the Nobel Prize for it. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano at the University of Nagoya, and Shuji Nakamura working at Nichia Chemicals in Tokushima, Japan have proven more successful, being awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention of the blue LED, which is the key to modern energy-efficient lighting. Read More
— Good Thinking

2013 James Dyson Award winners announced

A US team from the University of Pennsylvania has taken out the 2013 James Dyson Award with the Titan Arm, an upper body exoskeleton that augments human strength. The team will receive the £30,000 (US$48,260) first prize, with an additional £10,000 (US$16,100) going to the University Of Pennsylvania Engineering department. Competing against 650 international entries, which were whittled down to 20 finalists, the Titan Arm shared the limelight with two runners up, who will each take home £10,000. Read More
— Good Thinking

James Dyson Award 2013 finalists

James Dyson will announce the winner of the international student design award that carries his name in a little over a week, so it's an opportune time to take a closer look at the finalists. This year, Dyson has 20 finalists from which to make his selection, and like previous years, it looks like being no easy task. Here are the entries still in the running for the first place prize that has been upped to £30,000 (US$48,500) for 2013. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People

Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the mouse, dies aged 88

Douglas Engelbart, the man who made point and click possible with his invention of the mouse, has died aged 88. When he first demonstrated his invention to a computer conference in San Francisco, California in 1968, it was basically a wooden shell with two metal wheels for registering movement along the X- and Y-axes. Ahead of its time, the mouse wasn’t popularized until the release of the Apple Macintosh in 1984. Read More
— Inventors and Remarkable People Feature

Dambusters 70 years on: Barnes Wallis – an engineer ahead of his time

It's seventy years to the day since No. 617 Squadron of the Royal Air Force returned from Operation Chastise, in which specially designed bouncing bombs were dropped in an attack on the Möhne, Sorpe and Eder Dams in Germany during World War II. Though the bouncing bomb is without doubt the invention for which Barnes Wallis is most renowned (thanks in no small part to its depiction in the film Dambusters) Wallis' other work before, during, and after World War II was of great importance, and in some cases, far ahead of its time. Gizmag spoke to Dr. Andrew Nahum, Principal Curator of Technology at the Science Museum where many of Wallis' papers are archived, about swing-wing aircraft, earthquake bombs, improbable mathematics lessons, and the geodetic Wellington Bomber. Read More
— Good Thinking

2012 James Dyson Award winner announced

For the past month, the judges have been casting a discerning eye over the 15 finalists of the 2012 James Dyson Award and they’ve now made what no doubt was a difficult decision. Taking out the major prize is Dan Watson, who will receive £10,000 (US$16,000) for his SafetyNet system that tackles the problem of overfishing by providing escape exits for juvenile and non-target fish caught up in commercial fishing nets. Read More
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