In 2023, groundbreaking innovations have transformed our world, paving the way for a more dynamic future. This exploration of the year's top innovations not only showcases technological marvels but also emphasizes the crucial role of innovation in driving positive change. Join us as we celebrate the pioneers shaping tomorrow and delve into why fostering a culture of innovation is essential for addressing our most pressing challenges.
2023 innovations chosen
by the Ratio team
Welcome to the cutting-edge landscape of 2023, where innovation knows no limits and breakthroughs are redefining the realms of possibility. In this blog post, we take you through the most notable innovations that have captivated our imaginations, disrupted industries, and set the stage for a future that promises to be nothing short of extraordinary.
In no particular order,
What if physically demanding jobs could be done by more people and more safely too? Promising to "revolutionize workplace safety," German Bionic is showcasing a new exoskeleton that can reduce pain and injury in physically demanding jobs. Combined with other concept exoskeletons that can even allow the physically disabled to walk, this idea of physical enhancement through exoskeletons is one that could take off this year.
The idea of Agtech (Agricultural Technology) may not immediately seem like a natural fit at a show about consumer technology ... and it certainly doesn't get many headlines. Despite the tendency of popular media to ignore the space, there were lots of fascinating innovations coming for the sector that are worth sharing. AGRIST, a Japanese agritech startup, introduced an AI-powered harvesting robot “capable of automatically identifying and picking harvest-ready bell peppers with millimeter precision through thickly layered leaves.”
Each year, tens of thousands of people in the U.S. go to the emergency room after falling using walkers and canes. The Zeen was designed to be a safer walker, using a gas-spring technology that inventor Garrett Brown developed when creating the Steadicam movie-camera stabilizer in the 1970s. It allows users to smoothly move the chair up and down, so they can more easily shift between walking, standing, and sitting modes. “There was something missing between walkers and wheelchairs,” says Brown, co-founder and CEO of Zeen maker Exokinetics. He believes the Zeen fills that void.
Once available only through schools and other educational institutions, Lego Braille Bricks—which teach visually impaired children necessary tactile skills—are finally coming to consumers’ homes. The set (currently available in English and French, with more languages on the way) takes the classic 2×4 building brick and modifies its knobs to correspond with the braille alphabet, numbers, and symbols. The pieces are compatible with all Lego products. “We developed these for everyone, so even sighted children and family members can show their interest in learning braille,” says Rasmus Logstrup Jensen, Lego’s creative lead on partnerships and innovation.
Before we get too deep into great gadgets, let's not forget just how much tech there is at CES that is reinventing just about every sector. Leadax makes sustainable roofing by upcycling used plastic - a timely reminder that solving many environmental problems in the world might start with rethinking the roof above our heads.
The Music: Not Impossible haptic suit—a wearable backpack that weighs a couple pounds, with wrist and ankle attachments—translates audio from a concert venue’s mixers and placed microphones into vibrations that allow people who are deaf to feel the music on their skin. From events at Lincoln Center to South x Southwest, Music: Not Impossible has been lending its not-yet-commercially available suits to deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors. “For the deaf, it’s not just about the music; it’s the social aspect,” says Daniel Belquer, the company’s co-founder and “chief vibrational officer.” “To be involved in something larger than themselves, to disappear among the crowd—[hearing people] take it for granted.”
To debut their 50th Anniversary Concept Model Piano at CES 2023, Japanese music brand Roland shared a concept that includes drones with speakers hovering to create a surround sound effect. In the process, they introduced a new concept in immersive entertainment that many people haven't really been thinking about ... drones for sonic displays. We already see drone fireworks displays. What would it be like to program a bunch of drones that are carryings sounds of different types and create it all as a sort of moving symphony? The mental picture in my head for this seems pretty cool. I'd love to see someone do this in real life.
As we conclude our whirlwind tour of 2023's top innovations, it's clear that we are on the brink of a new era defined by technological marvels and limitless possibilities. These innovations not only showcase human ingenuity but also underscore the importance of embracing change and pushing the boundaries of what is conceivable. Let the spirit of these breakthroughs inspire us to imagine, create, and build a future that continues to push the frontiers of innovation, shaping a world that reflects the limitless potential of human creativity. Here's to a future where the only constant is innovation itself.