Hearing it here first

This article appears in the See for Yourself feature series. View the full series.

Recently I was perusing an article from a university colleague that focused on technology inventions for 2018. The creativity, imagination, and practicality of the inventors were impressive.

While I enjoyed reading about the inventions themselves, I thought, "What if two inventions had babies? What new invention would result?"

Consider these:

If the thermos that can double as a coffee maker united with the smartphone that can see around corners, then the baby could be a thermos/coffee maker that can see around corners to where the next coffee shop is for a real cup of joe.

If the beam of invisibility cloaking technology united with Disney's Magic Bench where you can sit next to animated characters, then the baby could be an invisible you on the bench playing pranks on unsuspecting others who sit on the bench.

If the atomic fingerprint device that stamps real goods to distinguish from fakes united with the spray-on touch screen that turns a flat surface into a touch pad, then the baby could be a way to discover where fake goods were made and how to prevent them from masquerading as the real thing.

If the artificial skin that gives robots a sense of touch united with the device that indicates whether or not fruit is ripe, then the baby could be robots in the grocery store produce section arraying fruits from most ripe to most green.

If the sweat detector as a means for noninvasive blood tests united with smart earbuds that were hearing aids plus earphones to make calls and listen to music, then the baby could be hearing aids that make calls, listen to music, and do blood tests noninvasively via sweat.

So if any of these inventions come to fruition, you heard it here first.

[Nancy Linenkugel is a Sylvania Franciscan sister and chair of the department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University, Cincinnati.]