2022 has been a year of trying to get a sense of what must change as we move forward to a new equilibrium from the pandemic. Here are five innovations from the year so far to keep an eye on.
Top Technology Innovation: Occupancy Tracking
Remote and hybrid work are the focuses of innovation strategies for companies of all sizes. One technology that’s provided valuable data has been occupancy tracking. Using data like keycard swipes, companies like Kastle Systems can provide a sense of how full offices are, regional data, and what days are most popular to be in the office, helping to drive new work strategies.
Top Automotive Innovation: The Genesis GV60
We often hear about “cars of the future,” but many of them are concepts and not actual products. Genesis has built one you can drive. The GV60 is an SUV that combines a range of advanced features like biometrics and backseat radar detection with an electric vehicle drive train. It can see your face in the dark, ensure you don’t forget your pets, and cut your emissions profile.
Top Beauty Innovation: ZitSticka Killa Patches
While patches are common approaches to acne, the Killa patch uses new technology to stop nascent pimples from appearing. It deploys microdarts with self-dissolving tips that provide skin care directly to the spots that need it most.
This is good to keep skin clear and for people who need to be careful with how they treat their skin. Avoiding overusing harsh treatments leads to better results and less medication. The microdart technology could have further applications down the road.
Top Environmental Innovation: The “Plastic-Eating” Enzyme
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is everywhere and makes up 12% of the waste sitting on Earth’s surface. It’s difficult to break down for recycling, yet scientists at the University of Texas in Austin may have cracked the code using machine learning.
There have been enzymes that break down PET in the past, but it’s a slow process. The team used AI to study these enzymes, then design and test new ones until it found a custom design that breaks down PET in just 24 hours, making it relatively easy to recycle and possibly creating a circular plastics economy.
Top Health Innovation: A Postpartum Depression Infusion
Postpartum depression is one of the most common forms of depression. It may be twice as common as previously believed due to low levels of self-reporting and talk therapy, and antidepressants don’t necessarily work.
This infusion, given for 60 hours, deploys a neurosteroid that targets the specific signals thought to be driven down by postpartum depression. Over time, this can help women deal with post-pregnancy and may open the door to other treatments for depression and new ways to treat people who don’t respond to or can’t take antidepressants.