4 Unforgettable Inventions From 2016

4 Unforgettable Inventions From 2016

This year's historic leaps in technology include: Pokémon​ Go​, the Galaxy Note 7, fingerprint-sensor guns and virtual reality headsets!
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Though 2016 has been a rocky year, it's ushered in a lot of new technology that is quickly paving the roadway to new inventions. Tech booms from the past have since assimilated into our daily lives, and the developments taken underway in 2016 are expected to do the same as we inch closer to the new year — some being explosively good while others, not so much.

1. Pokémon Go — 3/5

With about a 100 million downloads with the first month of its debut, Pokémon Go quickly became a sensation all around the globe. It fulfilled the childhood dreams of young adults and fueled the long lasting succession of its brand through the younger generations. Although the game has crossed bounds by crossing virtual reality with actual reality, it has a number of limitations that drain the hype as quickly as the game drains the battery life of your phone. Bugs result in wiped progress and system crashes that have frustrated players who are glued to it over a long period of time, but this craze in itself has lead to car crashes, accidents and other safety hazards. And according to Forbes, there are also "mixed feelings about In-App Purchases in games."

Needless to say, overall, Pokémon Go is a major success, and its release has been met with an enthusiasm unparalleled by other games.

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 — Flop

Things took an explosive turn in August with the release of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 which was recalled almost immediately after when several of them caught on fire with a few detonating — all because of the flammable lithium ion batteries (which, fun fact, also caught fire in hover-boards). The U.S. authorities announced a second recall in October, banning all Galaxy Note 7 phones from being taken inside airplanes after another close call with the triggered smartphone that began to emit smoke from within a passenger's laptop bag. Now, it is officially illegal to sell a Galaxy Note 7.

Samsung is hoping to rebuild consumer trust with the Galaxy 8 which may be introduced in 2017.

3. Fingerprint Sensor Guns — Prototype, 4/5

Although this isn't exactly a new concept, it's the first to actually work. A Utah company tried out the idea by manufacturing a fingerprint trigger lock, but this weighed the gun down and other issues soon made the weapon an unpopular pick for most gun owners. Then in comes 19-year old Kai Kloepfer, the first to design a fingerprint reader handgun with the fingerprint sensor built into the grip. After winning a grant from Smart Tech Challenges Foundation in 2014 for his design, Kloepfer has dedicated his time and efforts to perfecting his prototype, Biofire.

“Congratulations,” said Ron Conway, founder of Smart Tech Challenges Foundation, to Kloepfer. “You are going to save America. You are going to save lives. The gun companies won’t tell you, but the tech industry will.”

To support the finalization of the Biofire gun, check out Kai Kloepfer's website to help fund the project!

4. Virtual Reality Headsets — 5/5

March and April of 2016, respectively, marked the release of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) headsets. Both were sold out in a matter of 20 minutes once the first batch was released, and they are still at the top of the holiday gift list this season. There have been very few technical problems found in both VR sets, besides complaints of motion sickness when the sensor is too slow to match human reflexes. Besides that, the headsets have opened the doorway to VR simulator experience in educational training, such as learning how to drive a car or test surgical equipment without endangering others' lives in the process. It also expands the realm of gaming and entertainment to new (almost frightening) bounds, like the option to watch a horror movie with a VR headset, which sounds like a thrilling idea to horror fans but may send others into cardiac arrest. As with every other technology that's come before it, VR headsets raise ethical questions, like:

Could this desensitize people to certain feelings and/or sensations, like violence?

Can it negatively impact health treatments and/or disrupt our perception of reality?

Should anything be done about the people who choose a sedentary life of virtual reality over actual reality?

Despite these reservations, VR headsets, Biofire guns, the Galaxy Note 7, Pokémon Go and an array of other technologies have all made 2016 a year of experimentation.

Who knows what we'll see next year — maybe the whole flying cars concept will finally take off!

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Sorry Not Sorry, My Parents Paid For My Coachella Trip

No haters are going to bring me down.
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With Coachella officially over, lives can go back to normal and we can all relive Beyonce’s performance online for years to come. Or, if you were like me and actually there, you can replay the experience in your mind for the rest of your life, holding dear to the memories of an epic weekend and a cultural experience like no other on the planet.

And I want to be clear about the Beyonce show: it really was that good.

But with any big event beloved by many, there will always be the haters on the other side. The #nochella’s, the haters of all things ‘Chella fashion. And let me just say this, the flower headbands aren’t cultural appropriation, they’re simply items of clothing used to express the stylistic tendency of a fashion-forward event.

Because yes, the music, and sure, the art, but so much of what Coachella is, really, is about the fashion and what you and your friends are wearing. It's supposed to be fun, not political! Anyway, back to the main point of this.

One of the biggest things people love to hate on about Coachella is the fact that many of the attendees have their tickets bought for them by their parents.

Sorry? It’s not my fault that my parents have enough money to buy their daughter and her friends the gift of going to one of the most amazing melting pots of all things weird and beautiful. It’s not my fault about your life, and it’s none of your business about mine.

All my life, I’ve dealt with people commenting on me, mostly liking, but there are always a few that seem upset about the way I live my life.

One time, I was riding my dolphin out in Turks and Cacaos, (“riding” is the act of holding onto their fin as they swim and you sort of glide next to them. It’s a beautiful, transformative experience between human and animal and I really think, when I looked in my dolphin’s eye, that we made a connection that will last forever) and someone I knew threw shade my way for getting to do it.

Don’t make me be the bad guy.

I felt shame for years after my 16th birthday, where my parents got me an Escalade. People at school made fun of me (especially after I drove into a ditch...oops!) and said I didn’t deserve the things I got in life.

I can think of a lot of people who probably don't deserve the things in life that they get, but you don't hear me hating on them (that's why we vote, people). Well, I’m sick of being made to feel guilty about the luxuries I’m given, because they’ve made me who I am, and I love me.

I’m a good person.

I’m not going to let the Coachella haters bring me down anymore. Did my parents buy my ticket and VIP housing? Yes. Am I sorry about that? Absolutely not.

Sorry, not sorry!

Cover Image Credit: Kaycie Allen

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College Life Without A Computer

What it's like to go without a computer.
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Hello readers! It has been awhile since I have written an article. The reason? I haven’t had a computer! I know, I know, poor excuse, but hear me out; not having a working computer as a college student and writer is awful.

First off, I couldn’t submit any of my online homework assignments for my various classes. I would then have to explain that to my professors, who never seemed to really believe me, and then I would have to stay late on campus to redo and resubmit my assignments. Worse than that? Walking back to my car in the dark that’s located in a sketchy looking parking deck.

Is it really that bad to not have a computer? I thought about what other students experience without access to internet or a computer at home. Being a college student, you have access to free computer labs, but the downside is, they aren’t open 24hrs. That means, if you have a last-minute paper due and you just got off work at 1A.M. you are screwed. This forces students to stay longer on campus and they must prioritize their time.

The good side of this dilemma? It gives students a more school-oriented mind frame since they must focus on being in the computer labs rather than procrastinating their assignments to do at home. It also gives students more time to be face-to-face with other students instead of spending their free time on their laptops.

So what’s the bottom line? It sucks not having your own laptop. You’re forced to change your schedule to fit with the campus lab times but you’re no longer doing your assignments last minute. Remember, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have a computer.

Cover Image Credit: no internet connection

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