8 Brits who just changed your future
Besides being totally underrated for their food culture, Brits are also responsible for coming up with some of the most clutch inventions of all time. Like the very article you're readying in a seventh tab? That's thanks to Internet inventor and Englishman Tim Berners-Lee. But forget that and get to know some of his non-hyphenated named English compatriots and how they’re changing the future as we know it -- today.
Professor Stuart Parkin
A pioneer in the field of “spintronics”, which is supremely complicated, but mainly has to do with how we store and acquire information online.
What he invented: He developed techniques that make it possible to store much larger amounts of data on magnetic disk drives. Before his research, things like social media and cloud services would have been impossible. Now, according to Parking, a handful of disk drives could store all the information known by mankind -- including nannie's casserole recipe -- since the beginning of time.
Why it will totally change the future: Parkin is now developing a new type of data storage, which he claims will increase standards of storage space tenfold. Nannie's mind = blown.
The musician who’s also half of Frou Frou and all the best parts of The OC and Garden State soundtracks.
What she invented: “Gestural music wear”, a pair of gloves that allow the wearer’s hand movements to manipulate sound and look like they starred in The Wizard.
Why it will totally change the future: You know how every time you see a DJ, they just fiddle with the knobs on the soundboard and try (and fail) to look cool? Well now they can inject more charisma in their performance. But so can anyone, since the gloves cost only twelve pounds (about twenty bucks). $20 to look like a teen Fred Savage? Yes please.
Founder of London-based company DeepMind and former child prodigy.
What he invented: Artificial intelligence capable of figuring out old school Atari video games. His machine “learned” the games so well that it beat every human expert, which was the first time AI was observed learning such a complicated task besides Tron, which was actually a documentary, you know.
Why it will totally change the future: Google bought Hassabis’ company, changed its name to “Google DeepMind”, and gave it a lofty mission: to solve artificial intelligence. If Stephen Hawking is right, and he’s not often wrong, smart robots will probably destroy us all, eventually. So, uh, he might be making that happen?
Bond (rad name for obvious British reasons) is the managing director and chief engineer for Reaction Engines.
What he invented: An aircraft engine that could propel commercial airplanes at 5-times faster than the speed of sound. Called The Synergetic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine ("Sabre" because you know they spent like an entire day trying to think up a badass, acronymable name), this propulsion device is also being developed for space-bound craft.
Why it will totally change the future: If Bond is successful, the so-called Skylon plane powered by the Sabre would be able to fly beyond the atmosphere without rocket boosters, go into space, then land smoothly on a runway -- a feat no other vehicle is currently capable of.
CEO & founder of The Blaze
What she invented: A green laser attachment for bicycle handlebars that projects a lit-up image of a bike on whatever surface the rider is pedaling on (grass might be tough, yes), about twenty feet in front of them.
Why it will totally change the future: Her efforts could save 79% of the 3,000 cyclists that were struck and killed last year by drivers who never saw them.
Professor Christofer Toumazou
Invented the artificial pancreas to help treat Type 1 diabetes, the wireless heart monitor, and the cochlear ear implant.
What he invented (this time): Professor Tomazou designed a rapid DNA test that uses just a cheek swab and USB stick. Within 20 minutes, this device can tell you what serious diseases, if any, exist in your genetic code (or if you’re part Neanderthal).
Why it will totally change the future: His anti-aging serum could turn you into a straight up Highlander. (Apparently, there can be more than one.)
2014 winner of the James Dyson award for design.
What she invented: Pakstaite invented a new bio-reactive expiration sticker, which turns bumpy whenever the food contained within the package expires. Called “Bump Mark,” the sticker is cheap and easy to make (its chief component is gelatin).
Why it will totally change the future: Bump Mark has the potential to cut down on the hundred million tons of food, which, according to the UN, is wasted each year. And, way more importantly, means you may never have to smell a rancid pack of deli ham again.
Internet-sensation and inventor with a unique combination of sparky ingenuity, mechanical acumen, and a sense of humor.
What he invented: Furze made an enormous Monty Python-inspired farting machine and pointed it towards France. His towering contraption, with its facade of metallic ass cheeks, shoots out a flamey stream, accompanied by a boom so loud that two individuals claim to have heard it across the English Channel during its test run.
Why it will totally change the future: It won’t... but, man, that's just so great.