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We live in an amazing, wonderful world, but somehow, people are always finding new ways to make it better. Whether it’s inventing new technologies or finding fresh, innovative uses for technology that already exists, people are doing everything they can to improve the world around them. One of the greatest benefits the internet has provided since its invention is the ability for people across the globe to share knowledge and build upon other people’s ideas. Here are just a few different examples of how innovators are working to make the world a better place.

Cheap Water Filtration

While clean drinking water is readily available almost everywhere you go in the United States, that’s not the case everywhere. Many people living in other regions of the world have to deal with water-borne illnesses that can make them sick, do permanent damage, or even lead to fatal complications. According to The Water Project, a nonprofit organization that dedicates itself to solving water issues, 1 in 9 people don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water. In fact, as much of 80 percent of illnesses in developing countries are connected to unclean water and poor sanitation.

To solve these problems, innovators have been developing a wide range of affordable, efficient water purification systems to provide clean drinking water to people across the globe. From solar devices that distill water using only the sun’s rays to straws that filter water as you drink it, new advancements are occurring every day. One Japanese company has even created a bicycle called the “Cycloclean” that harnesses kinetic energy from the bike itself to purify water. Meanwhile, the bike doubles as a form of transportation for people who live in remote villages to travel to and from their water source.

Video Accessibility

The internet allows people to trade ideas back and forth across the globe, and video is one of the most popular media in use. However, people who are visually or hearing impaired, or people who speak a different language, often have difficulty consuming video content. For years, video professionals have been finding new ways to make these videos accessible to everyone, and governments have been increasing regulations to encourage these innovations.

At first, to make a video accessible, you had to create an entirely different version that included accessibility features like subtitles, closed captions, or video description services. As technology has progressed, however, it has become possible to embed these features into the digital files and call them up only as needed. Most recently, streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube have developed the ability to embed these same features into streamed versions of their content, allowing a broader audience to have full access to their videos.

Self-Stabilizing Silverware

The ability to feed oneself is a basic skill that many take for granted. But as people get older, many develop tremors and limited hand mobility, making it difficult to control their eating utensils. Companies like Liftware have created solutions to solve this problem: self-stabilizing silverware.

These are assistive devices for people who have difficulty controlling their hand and arm movements as they bring their eating utensils to their mouths. The devices include sensors and motors to eliminate shaking and twisting to keep the food level. This allows people who may have difficulty feeding themselves to retain dignity and independence as they live their daily lives.

Social Media “Check-Ins” After Disasters

From natural disasters to terror scares, it’s horrifying when something bad happens near someone you care about. In the past, there was nothing to do but sit and worry, hoping that your loved ones were okay until you finally got a phone call that everything was alright. Even if they did call, that only meant that the person receiving the call knew their loved ones were fine.

Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have begun incorporating “Check-Ins” after major events. This allows users to mark that they are okay, which will then notify their social group. It makes it a simple matter to inform everyone that you are out of harm’s way without having to make dozens of separate calls.

These are just a few of the ways that recent innovations have helped improve the world, and there are more innovations being made each day. The world really is a wonderful place, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to make it even better, and by working together, we can.

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