Innovation Lab: Mutant Roach Traps, Murder Prediction and Liquid Watches

At Mobile Marketing were proud to help tech companies showcase their cutting-edge solutions, whether its on our website, in our magazine or at our Mobile Marketing Summits. Giving a platform to companies that are breaking new ground in their market brings audiences one step closer to the ideas and developments that will shape tomorrow.

In that spirit, our Innovation Lab feature takes a step beyond the world of apps, ads and handsets with slightly bigger screens, in order to share some of the tech worlds innovative ideas. They might be interesting, disruptive or just outright strange, but these are the stories that have caught our eye over the past week.

Japanese Pest Control Firm Builds Traps for Mutant Cockroaches

Earth Chemical, the Japanese firm behind a popular brand of cockroach traps, wants you to be worried about giant mutant roaches that will eventually take over the Earth. Or at least thats what the company claims in a new video designed to promote the firms glue traps.

In order to show off the strength of the glue used in its Roach Motel style traps, the company constructed a huge version, 929 times larger than the standard model, and tested it on a number of human subjects to show how effective the adhesive is at trapping subjects.

The test was run using a scientist, a track runner and a Sumo wrestler, in order to show that no matter how smart, fast or strong you might be, the companys glue still rendered you immobile in fairly short order.

The companys threat of giant-sized mutant roaches is, of course, all fictional, but the campaign demonstrates the strength of its product. The video is accompanied with a website where consumers can upload their photo to transform themselves into giant bugs, as well as accessing information on dealing with household pests.

eddie johnson police chicago
Eddie Johnson, superintendent of Chicago Police Department

Chicago Police Develop Minority Report Formula to Predict Murders
When we talk about the film Minority Report in tech circles, its usually to cite the films vision of touchscreen technology and hyper-personalised marketing. However, the Chicago Police Department claims to have calculated a formula based on police records that can predict murders before they happen, just like the psychics that drive the films plot.

As part of the citys campaign to control gun and gang violence, the computer algorithm assigns scores based on arrests, shootings, gang affiliations and other variables and predicts who is most likely to be involved in a gun-based crime soon, either as a victim or perpetrator.

“We know we have a lot of violence in Chicago, but we also know theres a small segment thats driving this stuff,” said Eddie Johnson, superintendent for Chicago PD, in an interview in the New York Times.

Once figures are identified, they are kept under close scrutiny by the police, while social services reach out to those who are hoping to leave behind a life of gang violence and bloodshed. The program has faced criticism as a potential breach of civil liberties, and as something with the potential to reinforce prejudices or stereotypes, but according to the developers, variables like race, gender, ethnicity and geography are not taken into account, simply factors like previous criminal behaviour.

Chinese Bus Will Drive Over Traffic Jams

Chinas roads are notorious for traffic jams that can last hours or even days, and while legislators and planners are trying to find ways to change driving habits and ease congestion, one company has come up with a fix for the intermediate term that could help commuters get where they need to go.

The straddling bus is a giant vehicle capable of carrying up to 1,400 passengers at a time, designed so that other vehicles can travel underneath it. As a public transport vehicle with a top speed of 40mph, the space under the central passenger compartment would allow other vehicles to pass through while it stopped to load and unload, or overtake when roads were clear.

The design, which was unveiled at the 19th International High Tech Expo in Beijing, would also allow the vehicle to travel over the top of other vehicles during heavy traffic, keeping its passengers moving even when most cars had ground to a halt, as long as nothing in front of it was taller than 7ft, the clearance under the bus.

liquid metal watchLiquid Metal Watch Tells Time With Mercury Droplets
Smartwatches are getting more and more advanced as companies sink money into development, hoping to be the first firm to truly crack the wearables market. The Liquid Metal Watch by Seahope is far from the most technical device, but its certainly one of the most stylish.

The watch uses three blobs of mercury trapped within the face to indicate the current hour, minute and seconds. The company has remained tight-lipped on exactly how the device works, but one can assume theres a series of magnets keeping the blobs where theyre meant to be.

The watch is currently taking pre-orders, and will be available in various colours and metal finishes once it does release, with customers even able to select black or golden liquids with similar properties to go inside, to make sure even their magical liquid watch matches their outfit.

Hemostatic Device Celebrates First Successful Field Use

The nature of the Innovation Lab means were often reporting on prototypes, experiments or potential products, so its always great to see news of ground-breaking device thats actually being put to use by the people its designed for. Thats the case with the XSTAT Hemostatic Device, a revolutionary medical tool built to staunch severe bleeding on the battlefield.

The device, created by medical innovation firm RevMedX, works by injecting a group of small, rapidly-expanding sponges into a wound cavity using a syringe-like applicator. Once in the wound, the sponges rapidly expand and exert pressure to stop the bleeding, as well as absorbing blood. Each sponge has an x-ray detectable marker so they can be removed once the patient is stabilised.

The US Military released information earlier this week that the device was used on a coalition forces soldier who had been wounded in action with a gunshot wound to his left thigh. Unable to stop the bleeding using more conventional methods, the medical team attending to the soldier deployed the XSTAT and achieved “nearly immediate hemostasis”.

“The first-in-human experience with XSTAT is the culmination of tremendous effort on the part of both RevMedX and our military collaborators,” said Andrew Barofsky, CEO and president of RevMedX. “We are pleased to see XSTAT play a critical role in saving a patients life and hope to see significant advancement toward further adoption of XSTAT as a standard of care for severe hemorrhage in pre-hospital settings.”