Ingenious Infrared Microwave Shows Your Food Change Color As It Heats Up

After watching this video I feel like the best microwave I've ever used sucked very badly. What you see here is a concept for the Heat Map Microwave, which would have a built-in IR camera on top and a screen on the front, effectively allowing you to see exactly when your food has been heated all the way through. Get… » 2/11/15 12:00pm 2/11/15 12:00pm

Chat With PBS Host Steven Johnson About Unsung Science Heroes

Steven Johnson is the host of the new PBS show How We Got To Now, which celebrates the everyday folks who you've probably never heard of—but who changed the world. We'll have him here starting at 2pm EST to answer all your questions about inventors and scientists that helped shape the world we live in. » 11/12/14 1:44pm 11/12/14 1:44pm

The Aloof Blackjack Player Who Created Our Digital World

Every digital device you use operates on a string of ones and zeroes, the binary "yes/no" decision at the foundation of modern computing. It's a concept so fundamental to our modern day that we rarely stop to wonder where it came from. But it's all the work of one man: Claude Shannon, whose fascinating story you've… » 6/28/14 8:00pm 6/28/14 8:00pm

An Intricate Typeface Made Out of History's Greatest Inventions

When she was a design student, Khyati Trehan embarked on an ambitious project to highlight history's 26 most influential inventors with a unique alphabet. Remarkably, each letter of the special typeface is drawn with a world-changing invention while also name-checking the inventor. The letter "E," for instance, is… » 5/12/14 3:25pm 5/12/14 3:25pm

Former NASA Engineer Turned Super Soaker Inventor Just Got Very Rich

Lonnie Johnson's having a good week. The former NASA engineer just won $73 million in a royalties dispute with the toymaker Hasbro for inventing the Super Soaker, the coolest toy you ever had growing up. The lawsuit also covered royalties for Nerf which Johnson also masterminded because he is awesome. » 11/07/13 11:01am 11/07/13 11:01am

The Super Soaker Was Invented by a Former NASA Engineer

Long ago and far away in a place called the 1980s, a man with a dream and a uniquely excellent knowledge of fluid dynamics decided to quit his day job designing rocket ships and design the world's best ever water gun instead. For that, we thank you Lonnie Johnson. » 8/02/13 10:57am 8/02/13 10:57am

NYC Nikola Tesla Exhibit Opens Tomorrow, In Time For His 157th Birthday

A new exhibit dedicated to the work of Nikola Tesla opens tomorrow at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. Called Tesla’s Wonderful World of Electricity, this homage to the late inventor was assembled with help from the Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia. Why tomorrow? Because July 10th is Tesla's birthday,… » 7/09/13 4:40pm 7/09/13 4:40pm

Meet the Man Who Invented Video Games

Before Angry Birds, Call of Duty, and Halo, there was Pong. And before that there was Tennis (cartridge 3) for the Magnavox Odyssey. And that machine was Ralph Baer's baby. An inventor by trade, Baer developed the first working prototype, "the Brown Box," in 1968, and just four years later, the Odyssey burst onto… » 3/07/13 9:59am 3/07/13 9:59am

Celebrate Thomas Edison's 165th Birthday With a Crash Course On His Life

Did you know that Thomas Edison got his first job as a telegraph operator after saving the daughter of a station agent from an oncoming train? Or that he didn't invent the lightbulb, but instead created the first commercially viable version? » 2/11/12 1:00pm 2/11/12 1:00pm

The Man Who Wore a Maxi Pad and Changed the World

Fast Company weaves an amazing story about Indian inventor Arunachalam Muruganantham, who lost his wife, friends, and, well, almost everything in his quest to build a better sanitary napkin by wearing one himself—along with a goat blood-filled bladder. » 12/19/11 4:40pm 12/19/11 4:40pm

Alexander Graham Bell Sure Did Love the Tetrahedrals

Alexander Graham Bell. Genius. Father of the telephone. Hardcore tetrahedral nut. Our friends at Oobject have assembled 12 of his best pyramid-shaped wonders.
When you get through here, check out these famous laboratories, these nine odd Edison inventions, and these 15 myths about the founding fathers' inventions. » 12/12/11 9:40pm 12/12/11 9:40pm

Will the New Patent Law Help or Hurt Innovation in America?

President Obama signed into law the American Invents Act this past Friday with the intent of reforming the patent process in the U.S. But will it streamline the process or provide more fuel for the antics of corporations and trolls? » 9/20/11 10:13am 9/20/11 10:13am

Teleprompter Inventor Hub Schlafly Scrolls Up to that Big Newscast In…

In the late 1940s, a young television engineer was called upon to figure out a way for actors to better remember their lines. Hubert "Hub" Schlafly wasted no time with the assignment, devising a motorized scroll in a half-suitcase that was placed just off camera. The teleprompter—and decades of assured newscasts and… » 4/27/11 8:40pm 4/27/11 8:40pm

Meet the Man Who Invented the Digital Camera

Steven Sasson is a pretty unassuming guy. But he changed the world. In this "video portrait" by David Friedman, Sasson briefly walks us through the birth of the digital camera, and muses about its implications since then. » 4/11/11 8:40pm 4/11/11 8:40pm

Praising Failure: James Dyson Talks Vacuum's 5,127 Prototypes

Sir James Dyson, inventor of perhaps the most recognizable consumer vacuum on the market today, is completely comfortable with failure. He's good at it—failure I mean—but most great inventors are. » 4/10/11 11:00am 4/10/11 11:00am

John Muir: Writer, Environmentalist, Gadget Junkie?

When John Muir's name comes up, technologically progressive inventor is not the first thing that comes to mind. But as The Atlantic points out, the author and lover of nature dreamed up a few ingenious inventions in his time. » 4/08/11 6:20pm 4/08/11 6:20pm

Accidental Inventor of Super Glue Dead at 94

Most people don't live to be 94. Most people don't receive the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Most people also don't invent, by accident, an extremely useful and widespread super-substance. Harry Coover, who died Saturday, did all these things. » 3/28/11 9:40am 3/28/11 9:40am

Inventing the Death Ray

We're pretty obsessed with the idea of a death ray. After all, we constantly see these weapons of mass annihilation in movies, read about them in books, and run from them in nightmares. But why haven't we invented one yet? » 2/02/11 10:40pm 2/02/11 10:40pm

Benjamin Franklin's Most Enduring Inventions

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, making today his 305th birthday. Here is a list of things you may or may not have known sprang from this impossibly talented man's mind. » 1/17/11 5:40pm 1/17/11 5:40pm

Japanese Inventor Wants to Destroy Typhoons With Submarines

Typhoons are a deadly problem along eastern Asia, killing dozens yearly. Their lifeblood? Warm ocean water. Which is exactly what Japanese inventor Koichi Kitamura wants to fix, with subs that would pump cold water to the surface, killing storms dead. » 9/27/10 7:20pm 9/27/10 7:20pm