Top five inventions of 2013

5. The 3Doodler

This invention is just what it sounds like—a pen that doodles in three dimensions instead of two. The 3Doodler works like a 3-D printer. It melts and cools plastic to mold the freestanding structures your heart desires. The toy was created by Maxwell Bogue, Peter Dilworth and Daniel Cowen at the Boston-based toy company WobbleWorks and received over $2 million as a Kickstarter project, greatly exceeding the goal of $30,000. Artists can purchase the 3Doodler online for $99 at

4. Sony Smart Lens

Take your smart phone pictures to a new level with the SonySmart Lens, a high quality lens that clips right to your smart phone device. The lens features a 10x optical zoom capability, performance sensor, zoom and control, but its power feeds off of the smart phone. The QX100 model has a large 1.0-type 20.2MP 2MP back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS sensor for precision detail and low light shooting. Though the DSC-QX100 is a bit too big to fit in a jeans pocket, it is small enough for a bag. It retails for $499. Buy yours from the Sony website.

3. Artificial Memories

This innovation could potentially improve mental health. MIT Scientists set out on Project Inception to make a mouse experience a false memory, or in other words, make the mouse feel the effects of something that never actually happened. The scientists succeeded. They tracked and activated memory-related brain cells and made a mouse react as if it had received shocks in one place when it really experienced pain in another area. One of the MIT researchers, Steve Ramirez, believes that the work could erase or improve bad memories in people who suffer from depression or posttraumatic stress disorder.

2. Invisible Skyscraper

South Korea will now be known as the first country with a skyscraper that can literally disappear into thin air. Tower Infinity uses cameras and LED screens to blend in with the surrounding skyline so that onlookers can see an unobstructed view of the buildings behind this tower. Designed by U.S.-based GDS Architects, this glass-encased tower will exceed 450 meters or 1,476 feet and have the third highest observation deck in the world. The high-tech LED façade system will use a series of cameras to send real-time images onto the building’s reflective surface, thus creating an invisibility illusion. This invisible skyscraper will be built just outside of Seoul.

1. Google Glass ​

This invention is probably the most well known of the five listed. It’s a wearable, portable computer that can take pictures, conduct Internet searches, check the weather and basically act as a smartphone device. The Google Glass resembles real glasses, except it has a screen attached to it that displays information in a hands-free format. Currently, the Google team is working to adapt the Google Glass to those who need prescription lenses. In addition, Google may partner with sunglass retailers like Ray-Ban or Warby Parker to allow consumers to try on the Google Glass while in stores.