Did you know you can buy an anti-fireball that you can drop into a fire, take a few steps back, and it will explode and extinguish it immediately? Oh my god. These are the 19 greatest inventions to save your life. Starting from self-defense gadgets designed to save one person, all the way to interplanetary weapons designed to save Earth's entire population.
So let's start with the GTFO wrist strap, which on the surface just looks like a questionable fashion choice. But actually, if you ever get stuck in a car or a bus, you'll have the last laugh. Because this pendant doubles as a projectile that you can launch into the windows like a slingshot to shatter them and to get the flip out of there.
And in the same vein, I'm absolutely shocked that the Zap Cane is a real product. It gives you something to lean on, just like a normal cane, but it also has a flashlight built into it, a reflective safety band for visibility, and apparently a 1 million volt taser, which can A) scare criminals and rabid dogs off with the loud sparking sound it makes, and B) in a worst-case scenario, can temporarily paralyze them without doing any permanent damage. Now, given that actual police tasers go up to 50,000 volts, I find it hard to believe that this stick your grandma could buy is actually a million. But based on the reviews, it still does seem to get the job done.
But believe it or not, we can level things up further with undercover dental floss, which, pull it out all the way and you'll see that it actually hides a real 6-foot Kevlar cable. It's made for spies and people who are at high risk of getting captured. And because Kevlar is such a tough material, it can cut through any kind of zip tie that you might get caught in. Not to mention the fact that this floss box also hides a handcuff key, made of plastic so that it doesn't set off metal detectors, a 2-foot diamond wire, which, because diamond is one of the hardest materials on the planet, can literally saw through a locked padlock. And, for the first 18 inches, real dental floss, so that you can make a... clean getaway.
But probably the coolest undercover self-defense tool is the Defender pepper spray. So, when you press this button, it releases a concentrated chemical that temporarily blinds someone who might be trying to cause you harm. But that's pretty standard. What the Defender also does is triggers a powerful siren to grab other people's attention. It has an integrated camera and flash, which both also go off when that button is triggered, to send a well-lit photo of this criminal straight to law enforcement, while also beaming across your location so that they can get to you ASAP. It's like the ultimate Uno reverse card on someone who thinks they're about to get away with something. But what if you're having an emergency, and you're also... in the middle of the ocean?
Well, you'd basically just have to pray that you have a buoy to keep you afloat, and then wait patiently in the hope that somebody comes to help. But the company USAFE has had a better idea. They've built a buoy that can pick up up to two people, and more importantly, is remote-controlled up to 500 meters away, which is insane. So your rescuer can see you in the distance, struggling in the water, drive it to you, pick you up, and then drive you back to the shore or to the nearest boat. Now, unfortunately, while you're in the process of being rescued from drowning like this, you may actually encounter a new problem in the form of sharks.
Sharks hunt by using specialized sense organs that detect electric and magnetic fields in the water, which are usually given off by muscle contractions of injured flailing fish, which are normally their prey. But this also means that they're usually the first animal to arrive when there's any kind of vigorous splashing. Thankfully, this is also where something called shark bands comes in. Basically, a magnet that you wear on your wrist or your ankle that has been shown to disrupt that electric field detection. It's a really cool concept, and has been semi-proved to protect people within a 2-meter radius, but then on the other hand, $94 for a magnet is kinda pushing it.
But even worse than what sailors and divers have to go through is the risk you have to take when you're operating heavy machinery. In fact, the job with the highest fatality rate across the entire United States is logging. And it's because anything that can cut through a tree can also cut through a human. But a new type of saw called SawStop is trying to change that. It has a 3-volt current running through it at all times, and a computer monitoring it. And as soon as a finger or an arm makes contact with it, it's going to interrupt that voltage, thus triggering an explosive reaction that pulls the saw away so fast that you would struggle to majorly injure yourself even if you tried. Man, horror movie directors are not gonna like this one.
Oh yeah, and speaking of jobs that pose danger to people's lives, we've got the Wii Remotes. Yeah, I bet you didn't expect to see Nintendo in this video. But yeah, turns out that Wii Remotes are not just made for a hyper-realistic round of bowling, the fact that they have motion controls built inside of them means that when they're paired with the right attachments, can be made to be laparoscopic.
Or to use normal human language, they can be used to simulate performing keyhole surgery on the inside of a human's abdomen. Medical students have already started using this to train, and there's even an official paper published that actually unironically labels the Nintendo Wii as an effective part of the training for any up-and-coming laparop... laparop... lap... laparo... laparoscop... laparoscopist. I think. Which, given how many patients each of them is going to treat over the course of their career, could actually save a lot of lives. Okay, we've covered land, we've covered sea, we've covered forest...
It's time to talk about fire. Nearly 4,000 people per year die in household fires, and that's just in the United States. And that makes fireball extinguishers, I think, a really important product. They've got a polystyrene shell on the outside, and on the inside, a mild explosive combined with a heap of dry fire extinguishing powder. The idea being that as soon as one of these comes into contact with fire, that explosive will be triggered and will blast this extinguishing substance in a radius of up to 60 square feet around it. Which has two perks. A) That unlike a normal fire extinguisher, this way you don't need to go near the fire to put out the fire. And B) That because of the way these are built, you can store them in high-risk environments, and if a fire does happen to break out there, they'll trigger automatically, even if your entire family was asleep while the whole thing was happening. Sadly, that's not going to quite cut it if the fire is bigger than 60 foot.
If that is the case, then you've basically got no choice but to just get out of there as fast as possible. Which is when you'd be very relieved if you'd installed an escape/rescue system on your building. The whole concept came about after the 9/11 terror attacks, and the thousands of people who found themselves trapped in a tall, fiery building with no way of getting out. And once you set one of these systems up, if there's ever a fire, it's basically an instantly deployable, ultra-fast, fire-resistant external elevator that can take firefighters up and bring residents down at up to 3 metres per second. Or, potentially an even simpler solution is the Ingstrom Escape Chute.
Which, I know, basically looks like a giant contraceptive, but it's actually genius. It's a tube with three layers. The outer one is fibreglass for fireproofing, the middle is elastic to control the rate you fall at, and the inner one is aramid fibre that's resistant to traction so that you don't get stuck going down. It's basically the same mechanism as putting a football into some nylon stockings.
And if you're enjoying this video, then a sub to the channel would be baller. But if we look at the very top causes of death around the world, then even more common than fires are road accidents. And so anything that can reduce that is going to save huge amounts of life.
And none other than Samsung are the ones who are leading the charge. They've realised that a large proportion of these road accidents are related to trucks, and more specifically, how it's basically impossible for someone behind the truck to see what's in front of the truck. And therefore, you never quite know when it's safe to overtake. And so, by building trucks with high-resolution cameras fitted onto the front, which then live stream to these Samsung displays on the back, they're effectively allowing anyone behind the trucks to see through them, to be able to make the right decision. These cameras even have night vision, which as a tech guy, I think is awesome. They're not in mass production, but Samsung's made these as a proof of concept, to pitch them to actual truck makers in the hope that it becomes the new normal.
And I really hope they succeed.
If worse comes to worst and you have to crash though, then there's probably no better place to do that than on ETI's Next Generation Barrier System. It replaces the typical flat metal road barriers for thousands of rollers, which are made with shock-absorbent material, and because they can roll, can also divert the majority of the impact from the collision into just forward momentum. The cherry on top is that each roller is also surrounded in rings of reflective material.
So it's not just that it saves you when you do crash, but it keeps the sides of the road hyper-visible so that hopefully you don't. These barriers are already operational in large parts of South Korea, and all being, well, the United States very soon. But there is potentially an even smarter solution. It's kind of funny, we have so many mechanisms designed to protect passengers if your car gets smashed. We've got seatbelts, we've got car bonnets that can crumple, airbags...
But it's taken until now for a company to actually stop the car getting smashed in the first place, without airbags. The system can detect when a car is about to hit you from the side, as this is where cars traditionally offer no protection to passengers, and it can then inflate in milliseconds and reduce the force of the impact by 30%. That might not sound like a big number, but that 30% is very often the difference between life and death. I just really hope the system can differentiate between a collision about to happen, and you walking towards your car.
Now, one of the saddest causes of unnecessary deaths comes from police-criminal interactions. When a criminal is running away, then in order to stop them running away, or to protect themselves if that person is armed, the police have often resorted to shooting them. A thousand people are killed from this every single year in the United States alone. It's a very extreme outcome for someone whose only crime might have just been shoplifting a handbag.
And so I think the BOLORAP 150 is going to be an absolute game-changer. It shoots out a laser-targeted Kevlar cord that automatically wraps around the criminal's body, disabling their arms so they can't use weapons, or their legs to stop them running. Which means that this one gadget fixes both of the most ambiguous situations that tend to result in unnecessary deaths, which will save police officers, and it will give the criminals a second chance if the court system feels like they deserve it.
The only devices that could potentially save even more people than that...
are ones capable of outsmarting large-scale natural disasters. You might remember the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. It started with one of the largest ever recorded underwater earthquakes, which caused 100-foot-tall waves the height of a 10-story building to come crashing down on Indonesia, wiping out homes and taking 230,000 lives within hours. Well, we now have tsunami pods. They're surrounded by aircraft-grade aluminium to protect from impacts. They have a ceramic inside wall to protect from intense heat, as tsunamis are often followed by fires. They're spherical to keep them upright and stop debris accumulating around them. They've even got an iPod dock to blast out your favourite tunes and wait for it all to blow over. These things are so durable that if a tsunami did come, and if it did, God forbid, destroy everything you own, that would be the last thing left. But then equally, it's a pretty weird niche thing that I don't imagine everyone's going to want to buy.
But what if that earthquake happened on land? Nowhere is this more of an issue than Japan, which just so happens to be positioned right on top of the meeting point of four of Earth's tectonic plates. These guys have close to 1,500 of them in a year, which is more meals than I eat. Nearly. But what's really cool about this is that they finally figured out that if you can't beat the earthquakes, you've got to join them.
Meaning that while a conventional building will shake with the ground, bending and warping and oftentimes just falling apart because skyscrapers are not made of putty, Japan has started using something called a base isolator. Basically a foundation layer in the building that separates it from the ground and can move. Meaning that when an earthquake comes, this layer can slide back and forth, matching the motion of the quake and therefore allowing the building itself to stay completely upright.
Given that Japan's last major earthquake killed over 15,000 people, by eliminating the main cause of those deaths, this tech could very quickly take that number down to hundreds. Do you want to hear a really terrifying fact? Well, current estimates suggest that there are around the world right now 100 million active landmines. 100 million spots on this planet that if you stepped, you would be blown to smithereens. Landmines have become the first defense that many countries plant when conflict emerges.
But most of the 6,000 people a year they end up killing are actually innocent civilians. So two brothers came up with a solution in the form of Mine Cafon, a set of two drones, one specialized in identifying high-risk areas and building 3D maps of them, and then the second that comes in after and confirms the landmine locations using metal detectors and then remotely detonates them by triggering a small explosive. With the current manual removal method, it would take us 1,000 years to clear all existing landmines.
And so given that Mine Cafon says that their system can do it in 10, the potential saving to life is well into the thousands. But now, on a completely different tier, we have an invention that will save lives on a planetary scale. As a population, we spend a lot of our time figuring out how to fix the problems that we're facing from within our own planet. But until a couple of months ago, we actually had no solution to external threats from outer space. But that's when NASA finally showed us what they've been working on. By colliding their Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, spacecraft into a nearby asteroid, showing that this collision can actually alter the path of an incoming apocalypse and that we now effectively have our first interplanetary anti-extinction weapon that could save 8 billion lives. So that's nice. Speaking of lifesavers, by the way, a couple of days ago I was trying to show my friends one of my all-time favorite clips on YouTube. You might have seen it. It's this incredible video of the entire cast of Harry Potter as puppets. The only problem is, the quality sucks.
This thing was made 15 years ago, and it's capped at 240p. But there's a solution. Download the Opera desktop browser and use Lucid Mode. It reduces blur, increases sharpness and contrast. It's literally a one-button fix for subpar quality internet content. And it's not just YouTube, Instagram, TikTok. It also upgrades every single image that you just see day-to-day browsing, basically making your entire internet experience richer. And it even upgrades stuff that already looks sharp. If you want to see my face as sharp as ever, this is how you do it.
And that's not even factoring in Opera's baked-in ad blocker, the fact that you can reply to your social media messages from within the browser, and the hundreds of other things it does. But I won't spoil it. Link in the description to try it now for free.