Women have been at the forefront of a majority of inventions and discoveries throughout the ages. Breaking stereotypes and boundaries in all fields of work, women have made their mark in history and created a difference in the world. Let’s take a look at some of the inventions that would not have been possible without the help of strong and determined women.
Solar Heated Homes
One of the most prominent problems facing the society today is the need for alternative and renewable energy sources that can power a house, an office, a company and a city. In 1940, along with Eleanor Raymond, Dr. Maria Telkes solved this issue by inventing the first solar heated home. MIT researchers in the Department of Metallurgy, these women developed a home heated entirely by the sun, constructed for a sum of $20,000.
Women have ruled the science and technology world since the first computer was designed. Dr. Grace Hopper, a rear admiral in the US Navy, invented the first user friendly business computer software program and helped in designing Harvard’s Mark I computer, a five ton, room sized machine in 1944. She also coined the term ‘bug’ and ‘debugging’ when she had to remove moths from the device. She is also credited with inventing the compiler that translated written language into computer code and for designing COBOL, one of the first modern programming languages.
The first computer programmer ever known, Ada Lovelace was inspired by Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. In 1842, she wrote an article describing the Analytical Engine by the Italian mathematician Luigi Menabrea with several early ‘computer programs,’ as well as strikingly prescient observations on the potential uses of the machine. Although she passed away at the young age of 36, her notes became one of the critical documents to inspire Alan Turing’s work on the first modern computers in the 1940s.
The Car Heater
Cars have become one of the most used means of transport. People living in the northern hemisphere can thank Margaret A. Wilcox who invented the first car heater in 1893. Her device directed warm air from over the engine to warm the chilly toes of the aristocratic 19th century motorists. Her design paved the way for other scientists to create improvised car heating systems commonly used today.
The Electric Refrigerator
It is easy to store food for days today because Florence Parpart invented the modern electric refrigerator in 1914. Parpart was a highly experienced entrepreneur who was successful in marketing and selling her refrigerators, developing her own advertisement campaigns and managing production operations of additional refrigerators.
While you cannot buy happiness, you can come pretty close to it, thanks to inventor Nancy Johnson. In 1843, Nancy invented and patented the ice cream freezer that is still used to the current day. The machine sold like hot cakes and within no time close to 70 improvements were made, making ice cream an affordable luxury and launching the ice cream industry.
Laying the foundation for WiFi and GPS technology used widely today, Hedy Lamarr proved that women can be much more than just a pretty face. During World War II, Hedy, who also happened to be a world famous film star, invented a secret communications system for radio controlling torpedoes which employed ‘frequency hopping technology,’ to create a signal that could not be intercepted. Despite having patented her idea, she signed it away to the Navy, never making a dime out of it.
Ever wondered how people in the old days would survive the cold harsh winters without any central heating? Central heating systems as we know of them today, would not have existed if not for Alice Parker’s idea to use natural gas to heat a personal home. In 1919, Alice invented a system of gas powered central heating which later on inspired the central heating systems of the future. Her invention revolutionized how people heat their homes and reduced the risk of high fires from the wood burnt in traditional furnaces.
Suki: This Startup Wants To Transform Healthcare With Its Artificial Intelligence Tool
We live in a rapidly transforming era where humanity is making exponential leaps in technology. Thirty years ago, no one would have believed you could talk to an online voice assistant to create tasks and get things done. Ten years ago, no one would have believed humanity would land robots on Mars. Technology truly has improved the quality of living of every human who owns a smartphone and has access to an internet connection. Voice assistants are slowly replacing manual tasks and making lives easier and efficient. Siri, Alexa, Google Voice Assistant are just some of the widely used artificial intelligence based tools which are employed on a daily basis. Artificial intelligence, which is hailed as the technology of the future is now slowly making its way into much more complex domains like self driving vehicles, quantum computing and also health care.
Suki, a United States of America based startup founded by Punit Soni, developed their own voice assistant which runs on artificial intelligence to simplify healthcare for doctors and other healthcare professionals. In simple terms, Suki is akin to Siri for doctors. While you could order a pizza or schedule an appointment on Siri, doctors could modify, edit and add health records of their patients. Suki is a powerful tool to help doctors with documentation of health records which often take hours of their (doctors) time.
Suki currently focuses on documentation but has the potential to expand its usage to data queries, ordering, prescribing and billing. According to a white paper published by Suki, using its technology increases the time a doctor spends with a patient by 12% by cutting note taking time by 76%. The time which is saved also brings in a financial benefit of $30,000 more in revenue a year on average for doctors.
Suki raised a $ 20 million Series B round from Flare Capital Partners, First Round Capital, and Venrock, doubling its total funding to $ 40 million since its 2017 launch. Suki is also looking to expand its reach in India and has decided to establish Bangalore as their base of operations. India holds a lot of potential for Suki considering the amount of manual work which goes into almost any sector.
It would be interesting to watch how Suki and other similar AI based startups would transform healthcare across the world.
Leher Versus Clubhouse: Which Audio Listening Startup Would You Choose?
Clubhouse is a new type of social networking platform which is an audio only platform. This means every conversation takes place through audio where users speak to let their thoughts known. Users can create and host rooms where speakers will talk about a particular topic. Originating in the Silicon Valley, Clubhouse attracted some major names onto its platform like Elon Musk, Evan Williams, Reddit co founder Alexis Ohanian, former Y Combinator President Sam Altman, AngelList co founder Naval Ravikant, Ashton Kuthcer, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Kevin Hart and many others are some of the influential personalities who are on Clubhouse. There is however a catch as Clubhouse is currently limited to iOS.
Leher is an Indian made alternative to Clubhouse and is a similar audio sharing and listening startup. Leher also has video support unlike Clubhouse and is also available for both Android and iOS. However, Leher does not have the biggest names in the world on its platform but it does have significant micro influencers and is growing at a rapid pace. Within 180 days of its beta version launch, the company claimed to have its users spend about 44 minutes every day and 250,000 minutes per month for live video sessions.
We at Startup Stories are curious to see which among Leher or Clubhouse would our readers choose to take part in a virtual discussion. Please let us know your answer in the poll below.
4 Useful And New WhatsApp Features That Released During The COVID-19 Lockdown
WhatsApp is one of the worlds largest online texting applications which is used almost in every country. It is a light and easy to use texting application which also offers a lot of other important utilities other than texting. These include video calling, group video calling, digital payments, document and media sharing and location sharing. What began as a simple texting application is now an indispensable part of our lives because WhatsApp has made information flow faster and safer. WhatsApp kept scaling new heights time and again and this was possible only because of the constant innovation by the developer team.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced entire countries to go into lockdown and shut down businesses, WhatsApp is doing its part to help people during these times by rolling out some nifty and important features.
Group video call limit increased
WhatsApp had the facility for group video calls which could only accommodate 4 people in a single call. However, with a new update WhatsApp increased the limit of group video calls to 8 users. The update is not just limited to increase in participants but also to the audio and video quality. There has been a noticeable increase in the quality of the video and audio in group video calls.
‘Together At Home’ sticker pack
WhatsApp has launched a new sticker pack called ‘Together at Home’ in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO.) The sticker pack aims to help people stay connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Restrictions on frequently forwarded messages
This is probably one of the most important features to be released during the COVID-19 lockdown. In a country like India, a lot of misinformation is shared on a daily basis on WhatsApp messages and most of these messages are forwards. The amount of misinformation on WhatsApp is so high that WhatsApp is often referred to as ‘Whatsapp University.’ During the coronavirus pandemic, WhatsApp restricted ‘frequently forwarded messages’ to be sent to not more than one chat at a time.
WhatsApp has launched chatbots by partnering with WHO and the Indian government and launched a chatbot to provide authentic information related to the COVID-19 virus. The chatbot developed by the Indian government is known as MyGov Corona Help Desk and can be accessed by adding +91-9013-151515 to your contacts and sending a message.
Sharing correct information, avoiding incorrect panic.
Here is an effort by WhatsApp and @mygovindia to ensure you receive accurate and verified information on Coronavirus.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 21, 2020
We believe that these features are definitely the need of the hour and will go a long way in creating a positive impact. Let us know if you used any of these features on your mobile device!
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