10 Most Brilliant Inventions of 2007 - R&D Magazine

5. A Future With Cleaner Water

Functionalized Nanoporous Thin FilmFunctionalized Nanoporous Thin Film

Musically, you may be partial to heavy metal, but few of us care for it in our drinking water. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has developed a Functionalized Nanoporous Thin Film (FNTF) that behaves like fly paper in attracting the metals in a sample of water. When the FNTF is removed from water, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) can then be used to identify the metals on the film. The combination of these technologies makes identifying almost every heavy metal identifiable, even when present in minute quantities.

6. Let Pilots See Where They're Going!

Integrated Primary Flight DisplayIntegrated Primary Flight Display

It's a bit disconcerting to think that your airline pilot can't see where he's going. Now, it turns out that not being able to see what's ahead when taking off and landing may indeed be the cause of some airline accidents (ahem).

The Integrated Primary Flight Display, developed by Honeywell International, is anticipated to greatly improve a pilot's ability to avert other planes, as well as obstacles on the ground. Cool. "Honeywell's Enhanced Ground, Proximity Warning System database-a tool that uses a worldwide terrain and obstacle database along with GPS navigation or other input-which draws a computer-generated picture of the landscape outside the cockpit and alerts pilots if they are approaching an obstacle too closely. And in an effort to ensure the accuracy of the terrain data, Honeywell continuously updates the data using feedback from users who have flown more than 750 million flight hours on more than 35,000 commercial aircraft."

7. Signing Made Easy

Motorola Printed Active DisplayMotorola Printed Active Display

Motorola Inc. has developed a technique to make advertising grab you whether you want it to or not. While not subliminal, this technique is subtle, employing special inks and paper thin printed circuits to make words and objects stand out more than others. The Motorola Printed Active Display can be used on posters and packaging, on the surface of most commonly used media. It's not that I don't get enough advertising, but think of the various safety uses of this technology... perhaps medical alerts, driving lanes, print for vision-impaired persons. Here's hoping that this quickly becomes a technology transferred!

Oct 8, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

But what about..

While these all sound like fine examples, I think personal communications devices took an remarkable turn towards the future with Apple's iPhone. Its not the phone, its the UI that is so remarkable.

Oct 9, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

thank god! no lphone!

thank god! no lphone!

Oct 9, 2007
by Willie (not verified)

WTF ipod

you guys are  idiots these are legit inventions to improve the quality and safety of lives......ipod who cares about a damn ipod

Oct 9, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

i agree ...

i'd just like to post a comment to say that i agree with "WTF..." ... if you thing that the iPod/iPhone/iWTF is one of the most remarkable and important inventions you need an iBrain or maybe an iLife ... sad ...very sad ... (btw ... no I am not some anti-gadet-kind-of-person ... I LUVVV gadgets !!!)

Oct 9, 2007
by phenom (not verified)

Consider the microsoft surface

the technology for that was introduced this year and it drastically improves on the way touch technology is seen. microsoft has created technology that can make any surface, an interactive touch gui by using millions of tiny cameras underneath a surface that respond, and track finger movement along a surface. This technology can pretty much make any surface a touch computer without any risk of touch related damage.

Oct 9, 2007
by Myra Per-Lee

The inventions I chose to list...

I usually don't intervene in the comments section, unless a reader addresses a message to me. But I've been watching the comments here and those submitted to Digg and I see that several readers are defending other technologies that R&D Magazine did not choose, such as the IPhone or a computer technology.

I cannot disagree that those technologies are very important. But I do think that the substantive difference is that the 100 R&D Magazine winners, and particularly 9 of the 10 innovations I chose, are potentially life-saving technologies. They can profoundly impact a world greater than the microcosm of those comfortably able to spend their lives using high tech consumer communication technology. There is a larger universe.

Anyway, thanks to all of you for sharing your opinions. They are fun, and sometimes funny, to read.


Oct 9, 2007
by Jessie (not verified)

 I'm totally loving the

 I'm totally loving the Safe Clothing!

Oh, and nice job with the robot, Lego! But, c'mon... Alpha Rex?!? That is SO Johnny 5. Someone needs to add "Short Circuit" to their Netflix queue, I'm thinkin'.

Great list, thank you! Off to check out the other 90.


Oct 15, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)


Human inventiveness and ingenuity is truly amazing. Now if someone could invent a non-invasive way to heal dental pulp infections they would become billionaires overnight!

Oct 17, 2007
by Neece (not verified)

Fantastic Stuff!

What a great list! Such important inventions. I am going to have to check out the whole top 100. I like that you chose important inventions that will make a difference in the world.

Dec 29, 2007
by sweet princess (not verified)


The innovations in this year are way too cool!!!

Jan 14, 2008
by amber (not verified)

This is so cool

Although I wish you would not put cussing on here this is cool. I had to do a project and was looking for a invention and found just wut i was looking for!

Feb 23, 2008
by Jerry Gatlin (not verified)

Custom Towel Shirts

Hi, I Jerry Gatlin am a Innovator of Bath and Beach Towel's which are "Half Bath Beach Towel, Half Shirt. I think this is what makes our "World" go around is "Great New Inventions". this is why I Love the "Inventive Process" so "Much". May our "God" Bless all our up Comming New Inventor's. 2-23-08.

Feb 27, 2008
by Anonymous

Camileon Heels

I was a little surprised to not see Camileon Heels listed... Adjustable height heels were relevant enough for the top of 2007 in Time Magazine, and I would have thought they'd make a splash here, too.

Feb 28, 2008
by Anonymous

Let's Get 2 2008

Let's start thinking about 2008. 2007 is so a year ago! ^.^

Feb 29, 2008
by Anonymous


duUuuuh??????? music is important to some people!!! maybe, you just don't know how to use it........

Mar 12, 2008
by Anonymous


heloo ang gand ang mga inventions ninyo...im a future computer technician...hope nah maidetailed nyo ang history or ung discriptions ng inimbento nyo...we want to have more knowledge from your invention...thnx...hope my wish will command...

May 6, 2008
by Anonymous


ipods are cool

Jun 25, 2008
by Anonymous


he is so wierd

Aug 14, 2008
by Anonymous


This is so idiot! how can a human been live whithout ipods!

Aug 14, 2008
by Anonymous


how can you be so primate to write like a dead monkey, mannn!

Nov 13, 2008
by Anonymous

what is going on?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

WHAT IS GOING ON? what is wrong with people! they think that devices like the iphone and ipod are the gods and goddeses or like games and computers. what the hell is wrong with you? you cant make money by sitting on your ass and playing games and watching tv. GET A LIFE! get out there and do some thing you mite be able to make money inn computer tech but not e-mailing your friends and playing computer games! Their is so much more to life than that. Go outside and do something my go is it that hard?!?!?!? The only reason im even on this computer is to tell you this. if i wanted to i could be outside right now doing something but ive got to tell you to get your ass up and do some thing its not hard just do it dont be a lazy peice of shit do something in your life!

Feb 19, 2009
by Anonymous

very good

very good

Feb 19, 2009
by Anonymous

very good

very good