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Top 100 Science Trends in 2015

From Self-Balancing Hoverboards to 3D-Printed Rats

— January 24, 2016 — Tech
3D printing, incredible robotics and amazing advancements in technology are just a few of the ideas that power some of the most notable 2015 science trends.

One of the most prevalent themes are superhuman add-ons that give humans abilities that go beyond the body's natural abilities. For instance, there are now ultra-thin skin patches that are able to collect and transmit health data with NFC technology, as well as industrial exoskeletons that provide aid in tasks that involve heavy lifting. There are also plenty of examples of devices that lend a hand with healing, strength or making people more adept at certain tasks.

Over the past year there's been a resurgence in the interest that surrounds aerospace industry, which is reflected in the design of 3D-printed habitation pod concepts for living on Mars, as well as underwater jet packs that may one day inspire future transportation in outer space. Beyond the science industry, this renewed interest in space is being seen in everything from pop culture to home decor and fashion.

More insights on the year ahead can be found our downloadable 2016 Trend Report.
6.1
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
100
Eco-Friendly Firestarting Fuels
Eco-Friendly Firestarting Fuels
Fire Dragon is a Solid Fuel That Lights Up Even When Wet
<
99
3D-Printed Genetic Glues
3D-Printed Genetic Glues
This Medical 3D Printing Innovation Aids the Creation of Organs
<
98
Unibody 3D Printers
Unibody 3D Printers
The Tiko 3D Printer Has Prealigned Beams That Reduce the Need For Maintenance
<
97
Virtual Reality Gaming Headsets
Virtual Reality Gaming Headsets
The HTC Vive Lets You Walk Around In Your Virtual Reality Space
<
96
Aquatic Jetpacks
Aquatic Jetpacks
The X2 Sport Underwater Jet Pack Provides Ample Power When Below the Surface
<
95
Smart Traffic Systems
Smart Traffic Systems
Cisco Edges into the Internet of Things with a Connected Traffic System
<
94
Beauty-Detecting Algorithms
Beauty-Detecting Algorithms
This Algorithm Can Accurately Predict the Success of Aspiring Models
<
93
Desktop Aeroponic Gardens
Desktop Aeroponic Gardens
This Soil-Free Farm is Small Enough to Fit on Top of a Desk
<
92
Flood-Preventing Streets
Flood-Preventing Streets
This Porous Concrete Pavement Can Absorb Up to 880 Gallons of Water
<
91
Eco Printing Materials
Eco Printing Materials
Agridust Reduces 3D Printing Waste by Using Food Scraps and Compost
<
90
Hybrid Flight Drones
Hybrid Flight Drones
The Vertex Hybrid Drone Can Hover and Speed Depending On the Need
<
89
Pain Management Patches
Pain Management Patches
Cur's Wearable Solution for Pain is an Alternative to Narcotic Treatment
<
88
Hearing-Assisting Mouthpieces
Hearing-Assisting Mouthpieces
This Mouth Hearing Aid Transmits Words By Buzzing Users' Tongues
<
87
3D-Printed Rats
3D-Printed Rats
These Artificial Rodents Help Make Dissection a Safer and More Humane Process
<
86
Recreational Electric Multicopters
Recreational Electric Multicopters
This Multicopter Was Created By Singaporean Students
<
85
Wave-Harnessing Generators
Wave-Harnessing Generators
The Corpower Ocean Buoys Generate Energy From Ocean Waves
<
84
Off-Grid Water Kiosks
Off-Grid Water Kiosks
Coca-Cola is Rolling Out Water Purification Booths in Rural Communities
<
83
Stunning Spacewalk Photography
Stunning Spacewalk Photography
These Breathtaking Photos Were Taken Over Decades of Space Activity
<
82
On-Body Medicine Injectors
On-Body Medicine Injectors
The Neulasta Delivery Kit Helps with Chemotherapy Treatment at Home
<
81
Cinema Projector Upgrades
Cinema Projector Upgrades
The AMC and Dolby Partnership Will See Mass Installation of the System
<
80
Futuristic Snowboard Bindings
Futuristic Snowboard Bindings
The XON Snow-1 Provides Feedback On Snowboarding Performance
<
79
Medical Scan Fashion
Medical Scan Fashion
Knits by Brooke Roberts Turn Medical Imagery into Chic Patterns
<
78
Human Colonization Expeditions
Human Colonization Expeditions
The Mars One Settlement is a Step Closer with 100 People Signed Up
<
77
Cancer-Fighting WiFi Towers
Cancer-Fighting WiFi Towers
Shadow WiFi Offers WiFi Access In the Shade Only
<
76
Housing-Constructed 3D Printers
Housing-Constructed 3D Printers
The Big Delta 3D Printer Can Create Inexpensive Low-Cost Housing
<
75
Wave Power-Harnessing Trawlers
Wave Power-Harnessing Trawlers
This Old Fishing Trawler Now Harvests Wave Power
<
74
Programmable Educational Balls
Programmable Educational Balls
The Hackaball Teaches Children How to Code
<
73
Earplug-Firing Rifles
Earplug-Firing Rifles
Patrick Priebe's Latest Invention Fires Rounds From Earplugs
<
72
Rapid 3D Printing Devices
Rapid 3D Printing Devices
Carbon3D's New Device Drastically Speeds Up 3D Manufacturing
<
71
Brain Specimen Coasters
Brain Specimen Coasters
This Glass Coaster Set Creates a 3D 'Scan' of the Human Brain
<
70
Pothole-Repairing Drones
Pothole-Repairing Drones
These Autonomous Repair Drones are Designed to Fix City Roads
<
69
Thermal Night Vision Goggles
Thermal Night Vision Goggles
These Military Goggles Combine Thermal Imaging & Night Vision Systems
<
68
Smart Parking Solutions
Smart Parking Solutions
ParkSmart Helps Make Metropolitan Life Easier
<
67
Telescopic Contact Lenses
Telescopic Contact Lenses
These Telescopic Contact Lenses Can Be Zoomed At the Blink of an Eye
<
66
Autonomous Hospital Robots
Autonomous Hospital Robots
Aethon Developed Smart Tech to Enhance UCSF Medical Centers
<
65
Livable Planet Infographics
Livable Planet Infographics
This Chart Explains How the Human Race Could Potentially Live on Mars
<
64
Hypersonic Military Jets
Hypersonic Military Jets
The Air Force X-51 WaveRider Can Travel Five Times the Speed of Sound
<
63
Electronics-Building 3D Printers
Electronics-Building 3D Printers
The Voxel8 3D Printer Can Blend Electronics and Plastics
<
62
DNA Spiral Sculptures
DNA Spiral Sculptures
Cancer Research UK's Installation Raises Money for Francis Crick Institute
<
61
Girl-Targeted Science Kits
Girl-Targeted Science Kits
Yellow Scope Produces Creative and Rigorous Science Kits for Girls
<
60
Augmented Snowboarding Goggles
Augmented Snowboarding Goggles
The RideOn Goggles Helps Navigate the Slopes with Smart Projections
<
59
Silent Bladeless Wind Turbines
Silent Bladeless Wind Turbines
The Vortex Bladeless is a Revolutionary New Bird-Safe Wind Turbine
<
58
All-Natural Algae Biofuels
All-Natural Algae Biofuels
Fukushima Has Created a Green Energy Source Made from Seaweed
<
57
NFC Skin Patches
NFC Skin Patches
Researchers are Developing NFC Tech to Collect and Send Bio-Medical Information
<
56
Augmented Reality Bike Helmets
Augmented Reality Bike Helmets
This AR Cycling Helmet Prototype Boasts Blind-Spot Visualization
<
55
Smart Whiskey Bottles
Smart Whiskey Bottles
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Smart Whiskey Bottle Talks To Your Smartphone
<
54
Ferromagnetic Fluid Typefaces
Ferromagnetic Fluid Typefaces
These Alien Language-Like Moving Symbols Use NASA-Invented Ink
<
53
Window-Monitoring Chips
Window-Monitoring Chips
This Radio Sensor Chip Reminds You To Shut Your Window
<
52
Mini Origami Robots
Mini Origami Robots
These Self-Folding Robots are Multi-Talented Machines
<
51
Augmented Reality Contact Lenses
Augmented Reality Contact Lenses
Magic Leap Patented a Design for VR Smart Contact Lenses
<
50
Plant-Cleaned Fish Tanks
Plant-Cleaned Fish Tanks
The EcoQube C Uses a Plant to Clean its Water
<
49
Printed Solar Cells
Printed Solar Cells
This Inexpensive and Ultra-Thin Technology is Great for Developing Countries
<
48
Origami-Engineered Structures
Origami-Engineered Structures
The Zippered Tube Design Doubles the Magnitude of Strength of Paper
<
47
Strength-Giving Vests
Strength-Giving Vests
The CareJack Vest Helps Wearers Lift Heavy Loads Using Stored Kinetic Energy
<
46
Petri Dish Art
Petri Dish Art
These Bacterial Art Pieces Were Created Using Living Microorganisms
<
45
Athletic Denim Campaigns
Athletic Denim Campaigns
The Sweat-Resistant Jeans by dish and DU/ER Offer Lifestyle Functionality
<
44
Lightweight Scuba Gear
Lightweight Scuba Gear
The Express Dive System Allows for Easy Underwater Exploration
<
43
Home-Heating Computers
Home-Heating Computers
Project Exergy Aims to Heat Your Home with Your Computer
<
42
Water-Reacting Architectural Surfaces
Water-Reacting Architectural Surfaces
Student Chao Chen Designs a Shapeshifting Laminate
<
41
Pee-Powered Socks
Pee-Powered Socks
These Pee-Powered Socks Can Convert Urine Into Electricity
<
40
Muscle-Enhancing Exoskeletons
Muscle-Enhancing Exoskeletons
This Soft Exoskeleton Suit Reduces Muscle Load
<
39
Futuristic Laser Weapons
Futuristic Laser Weapons
This Lockheed Martin Laser Weapon Took Out a Truck
<
38
Futuristic Electronic Skateboards
Futuristic Electronic Skateboards
This Single-Wheel Skateboard Zips Around Like a Hoverboard
<
37
Nanotech Toothbrushes
Nanotech Toothbrushes
The New Misoka Toothbrush Uses Ions to Clean Teeth Instead of Toothpaste
<
36
Wind-Powered Freight Ships
Wind-Powered Freight Ships
The Vindskip's Hull Harnesses the Power of the Wind
<
35
Sickness-Detecting Bandaids
Sickness-Detecting Bandaids
This Liquid Bandaid Design Checks Wounds for Diseases Using Colors
<
34
Virtual Reality Hospitals
Virtual Reality Hospitals
The Miami Children's Hospital is Experimenting with Virtual Reality
<
33
Tunable Smart Windows
Tunable Smart Windows
These Windows' Tints Can Be Adjusted to Control Brightness and Opacity
<
32
Calf Muscle-Relieving Exoskeletons
Calf Muscle-Relieving Exoskeletons
This Unpowered Ankle Exoskeleton Improves Walking Efficiency
<
31
Insect-Examining Toys
Insect-Examining Toys
Hi-Tech Bug Viewer Encourages Curiosity and Education with Handheld Device
<
30
Replica 3D-Printed Faces
Replica 3D-Printed Faces
MirrorMe3D Introduces 3D Printing to the Cosmetic Surgery Industry
<
29
Temperature-Regulating Beer Coolers
Temperature-Regulating Beer Coolers
This Instant Beer Chiller Can Hold Up to Six Drinks at a Time
<
28
Frozen Metal Furniture
Frozen Metal Furniture
This Liquid Nitrogen Welding Technique Shrinks Metals to Mold Them Together
<
27
Responsive 3D Holograms
Responsive 3D Holograms
The 'Fairy Lights' 3D Holograms' Behavior is Influenced By Human Touch
<
26
Connected Home Farms
Connected Home Farms
This Grove Labs Contraption Lets You Easily Grow Veggies At Home
<
25
Self-Balancing Hoverboards
Self-Balancing Hoverboards
This Hoverboard Uses Sonar Technology to Maintain Balance
<
24
Vanguard Spaceship Concepts
Vanguard Spaceship Concepts
NASA's IXS Enterprise Model is Conceived by Artist Mark Rademaker
<
23
Water-Soluble Dresses
Water-Soluble Dresses
These Couture Gowns Seamlessly Blend Clothing and Technology
<
22
Microfarming Juice Bars
Microfarming Juice Bars
The 'Living Produce Aisle' Grows All Ingredients Inside Its Shop
<
21
Moldable Plastic Cards
Moldable Plastic Cards
FORMcard is a Sheet of Bioplastic That Can Be Molded When Dipped in Water
<
20
Wrist-Worn Weapons
Wrist-Worn Weapons
This Electrothermal Cannon Watch Was Inspired By James Bond Video Games
<
19
Imagined Supersonic Planes
Imagined Supersonic Planes
These Jet Designs Could Spark Advancements in Aviation Technology
<
18
Electric Aircraft Engines
Electric Aircraft Engines
Siemens' Prototype Electric Aircraft Motor is Surprisingly Powerful
<
17
Wristworn Ant Farms
Wristworn Ant Farms
The Ant Watch Creates a Small Ecosystem for You to Flaunt on Your Arm
<
16
Room-Cooling Dining Tables
Room-Cooling Dining Tables
This Versatile Table Helps Diffuse Heat and Keep Rooms Cool
<
15
Self-Lifting Shipping Containers
Self-Lifting Shipping Containers
The SL-Tainer Container Can Be Loaded and Unloaded Without Cranes
<
14
Futuristic 3D Printed Vehicles
Futuristic 3D Printed Vehicles
The EDAG Genesis is Inspired By a Turtle's Skeleton
<
13
Floral 3D-Printed Jewelry
Floral 3D-Printed Jewelry
This Gorgeous Jewelry Line is Inspired by the Growth of Flowers
<
12
Hedgehog-Inspired Airbags
Hedgehog-Inspired Airbags
The i Gel Full-Body Airbag Acts As a Personal Protective Coccoon
<
11
Industrial Exoskeletons
Industrial Exoskeletons
The Robo-Mate is the World's First Industrial Exoskeleton
<
10
Marvelous Universe Photos
Marvelous Universe Photos
These Earth and Space Photos Depict the Solar System and Deep Space
<
9
Autonomous Solar-Powered Catamarans
Autonomous Solar-Powered Catamarans
The C-Enduro Catamaran is Studying the Celtic Sea
<
8
Futuristic Miniature Airplanes
Futuristic Miniature Airplanes
The SkyProwler is a Miniature Quadcopter-Inspired Airplane
<
7
Eco-Friendly Lab Campuses
Eco-Friendly Lab Campuses
The CREATE Campus by Perkins+Will Features a Full Range of Labs
<
6
3D-Printed Jet Engines
3D-Printed Jet Engines
The World's First 3D-Printed Jet Engine Was Created In a Year
<
5
Cyclist-Protecting Campaigns
Cyclist-Protecting Campaigns
The Volvo Life Paint Makes Bikes and Helmets Much More Visible
<
4
Solar Panel Windows
Solar Panel Windows
This Innovation Turns Solar Cell Technology Completely Transparent
<
3
Modular Hydroponic Planters
Modular Hydroponic Planters
The Citysens System Enables You Grow an Indoor Vertical Garden
<
2
Smart Modular Microfarms
Smart Modular Microfarms
These Connected Greenhouse Create Rooftop Gardens in Urban Areas
<
1
Home Farming Boxes
Home Farming Boxes
The Mini-Farm Grow Box Lets You Easily Grow Greens At Home
<