5 Mind-Blowing Innovations That Are Changing The World For The Better

By:: 
Lesley Teoh

From edible water bottles to a wearable on-demand masseuse, check out these five cool social innovations that are not only helping make our lives easier but also tackling global issues in new and creative ways

1. Eco-friendly mosquito traps that combat Zika and Dengue fever

Image Courtesy: Biotrap

[Image Courtesy: Biotrap]

Biotraps are mosquito traps made of recycled cardboard that mimic the mosquito’s ideal breeding environment and kill female mosquitos when they lay their eggs in the vessel. The traps are cheap, biodegradable, easy to use (just add water!), and more importantly, they are also child and pet-safe as they contain low levels of natural insecticide. They’ve already been deployed successfully in Australia to tackle dengue fever.

2. Get a massage anywhere, anytime with the AiraWear jacket

Image Courtesy: AiraWear

 [Image Courtesy: AiraWear]

The AiraWear jacket is the brainchild of TWare, a company that harnesses wearables and deep pressure technology to improve the lives of people with special needs, including those with autism. They created the AiraWear jacket – a portable massage jacket that is discreet enough to be worn at the office.  Designed to relieve sore shoulders and aches caused by long hours of sitting at your desk, the jacket is controlled by an app and helps correct your posture by automatically inflating when poor posture is detected.

3. Stay safe with smart lux jewellery that sends you customised safety alerts and notifications

Image Courtesy: DAZL

[Image Courtesy: DAZL]

Initially designed to help empower women in India to travel safely, DAZL’s collection of intelligent wearable necklaces and bracelets can send customisable alerts to your friends and loved ones. You can track your fitness activity, send location-based safety alerts, find your lost phone and even take a selfie with your jewellery.

4. A water bottle you can eat? ‘Nuff said.

[Image Courtesy: Ooho!]

Finished drinking? Imagine if you could eat your water bottle instead of just recycling it. Ooho! is a revolutionary form of packaging made of seaweed that is a sustainable alternative to one-use plastic bottles. Better yet, it’s completely biodegradable, cheap, and hygienic. 

5. How about some edible cutlery to go along with that?

 [Image Courtesy: Bakeys]

Bakeys Edible Cutlery is an Indian company that produces vegan spoons and forms made of rice, sorghum and wheat that come in spicy, sweet, or garlic variations. These were created as part of an effort to reduce plastic waste. 

While you’re at it, check out two inclusive innovations that were part of the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia competition.

 

Gloves that convert sign language into words

Without a sign language translator, a piece of paper and a pen (while slow) are usually the only available means for the deaf or mute to communicate. “Talk-Now” is a glove-like device which converts sign language to sound and text. This cuts communication time in half and helps save on the cost of hiring a human translator. Since majority of people do not understand sign language, Talk-Now can help integrate the hearing impaired or mute into mainstream society.

An iPad for the blind

Of the 285 million blind and visually impaired people worldwide, 150 million read Braille. Enter Blitab Technologythe world’s first tactile tablet device for people with sight loss.  Also known as the “iPad for the blind”, it uses Braille and text-to-speech software to help the visually impaired to read (in real-time), write surf and connect with friends. 

Feeling inspired? Check out our full list of 120 Gamechanging Social Enterprises To Watch In Asia.

FEATURED SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

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