I know I’m not the only one who dreams of being a superhero with special powers. They’ve always been the realm of comic book or movie fantasies—until now. Thanks to new technology, some cool inventions can actually grant us mere mortals, Batman-like superhero abilities. Here are the Top Ten Superpower Gadgets That Give You Special Powers.
10. Bespoke Bulletproof Suit
Sometimes I feel ten feet tall and bulletproof—then the bartender cuts me off. Turns out there’s a way to at least get the bulletproof part down without drinking.
Torontonian tailors ‘Garrison Bespoke’ have created a bespoke bulletproof suit. The fabric is bulletproofed with lightweight carbon nanotubes, custom-tailored into a suit for your specifications.
Many of Garrison’s clients work in the diamond or other high-risk industries. They feel the need for a suit to protect them from more than the elements. The material is thinner, lighter, and more flexible than Kevlar, but designed to harden to block a bullet.
While this is really cool, I don’t think my wallet is bulletproof enough to handle one—a single suit reportedly costs $20,000.
9. Robot exoskeleton gives you hulk strength
If I really did have twenty grand in my wallet, I might need help picking it up. I could use the Cyberdyne HAL suit, which gives the wearer superhuman strength to carry heavy loads which would be useful in the real world for other jobs involving heavy lifting.
It uses a network of sensors to monitor the electrical impulses the wearer’s brain puts out. This is done with EEG, which stands for electroencephalography—try saying that three times fast. Because of this, the suit is basically operated by mind control.
Although it weighs 130 pounds, it walks “with” you, and with superhuman strength who’s going to notice carrying an extra 130 pounds? Now, the question we all want to know is: if I’m wearing this thing and I push the buttons on my remote, will they break?
8. Pyro Fireshooter
Ever wanted the ability to shoot fireballs like pyro from x-men? All you need is the Pyro Fireshooter which attaches to your wrist and allows you to carry four fireballs’ worth of charge.
You activate the device with a remote held in your other hand. I think you’ll have to check the local fire codes before playing with this device though.
7. Working Jetpack
A man named Yves Rossi has invented a working jet pack, just like something you see in the movies. This thing can reach a stunning 160 miles per hour, and Rossi often uses it to make quick six-minute flights.
Unfortunately, it’s not ideal for long-distance travel, due to the amount of fuel it uses. This is a problem for all jet pack tech—meaning more than a quick hop would require you to carry large amounts of heavy fuel, which would force it to spend even more energy lifting the extra weight off the ground.
But hey, I’m sure I’ll look really cool and futuristic taking it for a quick run down the block to the corner store!
However, if you want to fly over water, just get some JetBlades—though this is another invention that requires the superpower of being rich because you’ll need $5,995 to afford it. If you have that, you can actually fly above water for as long as you want, thanks to a hose that trails from the back of the suit and uses the water to power the journey.
But you might want to put on your bulletproof suit for a little extra protection, as the company’s website notes that there’s a learning curve and “safe is a relative term.”
6. Enhancing your mind
Want to move objects with your mind, like that kid in Stranger Things? Yes, there’s an invention for that, too. A so-called “brain cap” invented by researchers at University of Maryland is a non-invasive, sensor lined cap that, like the Cyberdyne HAL suit, operates using EEG.
Essentially, it uses your brain waves to control a computer or other networked objects. Researchers designed it to help individuals with disabilities, like paralysis.
However, it’s possible that with further development it may one day be available to anyone who needs a boost. Now, I wonder if I can change the TV channel with my mind… that truly would be game-changing.
Believe it or not, the Royal College of Art has produced its own superhero device to augment some of our senses. The EIDOS mask has a superhero feel to it because it looks like a large mask. But apart from just looking cool, it amplifies visual or auditory signals.
Researchers say that because we’re bombarded with these all the time, the mask makes things easier by honing in on one signal and amplifying it. For example, if you’re trying to listen to one conversation at a crowded party, the mask could filter out those voices and amplify them, reducing background noise. Or if you’re attending a concert, you could zoom in on the sound of a particular instrument. The sight-augmenting aspect is similar to long-exposure photography, refining an image then displaying it in the mask’s goggles.
5. Superhero Armor
Batman and iron-man have a mask and armor that’s so impressive, the military wants them too. They’ve developed a so-called “Iron Man” exoskeleton, or TALOS suit, that increases mobility and strength with robotics.
TALOS stands for Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit, and in addition to increasing strength, it’s also bulletproof, weaponized, and can monitor the wearer’s vital signs. So if a soldier wearing the suit lightly punches someone, the suit amplifies the strength behind it, creating a punch that can smash through wooden planks. The wearer also gains the ability to lift up rockets and rocket launchers like they’re shotguns.
Meanwhile , the suit is still flexible enough to do push-ups in, even though push-ups aren’t on my list of superpowers. Again, researchers are still trying to improve the suit’s efficiency, as increased power demand might require increased weight because of its power source.
4. Finer motor controls
Summoning ghosts on the go would be a pretty cool superpower, and while there’s nothing that can use our hand gestures for that just yet, we’re getting closer by the year. One such awesome device aiming to perfect our fine motor controls is the Ouijiband.
This device is an electronic counterweight you attach to your wrist. Using a gyroscope and gimbal, it senses fine motor movements and, if it deems it necessary, smooths them out. This can help everyone, from surgeons who want to cut in a straighter line to athletes who want to improve their backhand or golf stroke. Artists could use it to draw perfect circles, and it might even be able to help steady the hands of people with neurological illnesses like Parksinson’s Disease.
Then there’s Kinseowear, the artificial muscle designed for all of us. It’s similar to kinesio tape, which sticks on and microscopically lifts the skin to alleviate discomfort. Kinesiowear goes further, providing a “stick-on muscle.” You attach it anywhere you want, and it can do everything from tapping you on the shoulder to supporting your muscles while you swim, run, or do other exercises.
It can be worn for weeks at a time, charging inductively through chargers that can be situated in chairs or beds. Kinseowear communicates by subtle shoulder tugs, and works with other devices, like a smartphone.
3. Lightbending “invisibility cloak”
I’ve been told I blend in with the wallpaper a few times, and never considered it a superpower, until now. To perfect this skill, the military has created a technology to actually make a person invisible.
They developed it for defense purposes, but it could one day have commercial uses for anyone who wants to disappear… you know, like your everyday bank robber.
This “invisibility cloak” is said to make you to disappear into your surroundings in a chameleon-like way. It uses “metamaterials”, which reflect light to create an optical illusion. By bending light around an object, it allows you to see right through it. If you are the object – hey presto, you’re “invisible.”
Researchers in London, Germany, and Japan have created similar prototypes, but none are available for sale to the public just yet, so you may have to wait for your instant-invisibility shield.
2. Climb Anything
Want to climb tall buildings like Spiderman? That may be possible soon, with the help of researchers at Cornell University. They’ve created a palm-sized device that uses surface tension in water to make a reverse-adhesive bond. This will enable you to stick to wood, brick, or even glass.
It was inspired by the Florida Palmetto Tortoise beetle, which uses the surface tension on droplets of oil at the ends of its legs to climb and stick to surfaces. Yes, that’s right, the Spiderman-like tech was developed based on an insect…just not a spider. Scientists found that the more holes the device had, the better the suction. They were even able to reverse the suction, allowing one to become “unstuck” on command.
If these become commercially available, they will work by using an electrical field to pump tiny amounts of water through many microscopic holes in the “Spiderman” gloves.
1. Bionic eyes
You know what would be cool? Having enhanced vision that would enable you to see ever the smallest details from miles away, or at least improve your vision from its present capability. Imagine how handy that would be! Well, technology is on the verge of making this a reality.
To start, A company called Second Sight aims to give people with visual impairment their sight back with the Argus II. Also called a retinal prosthesis system, it bridges the gap between light entering the eye and the optic nerves, which communicates the images our eyes see to the brain. Second Sight’s Argus II is the only FDA-approved device for this purpose. It uses a camera integrated into a pair of eyeglasses, plus an implant on the surface of the eye that taps into the optic nerve. At the moment, users are only able to see shadows and outlines of figures. But the company hopes to improve the technology for future users.
Meanwhile, the Seek Thermal XR camera, combined with an app on your iPhone, is useful for anyone who wants to have night-vision. The Seek Thermal XR can detect heat signatures in pitch-black conditions up to 2,000 feet away.
Seek suggests it’s useful for hunters who want to track game at a distance – or make sure large predators aren’t approaching their tent at night—but other people may enjoy playing a $300 game of hide and seek.
Now, if I could just see into that black hole at the bottom of my wallet, maybe I could find that all my money has gone on these cool gadgets…
What superpower gadgets would you like to have? Let me know in the comments down below!