By: Claudia Repsold
Brazilians are creative, but what exactly have they invented? Many cool inventions have a Brazilian inventor behind them; some are high-tech gadgets, while others are ingeniously simple ideas.
- Kinect for Microsoft Xbox
Brazilian inventor Alex Kipman is the creator behind Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller. Kinect sold eight million copies in its first three months of release, setting a new Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling consumer electronic device.
Kipman has been with Microsoft for about 15 years, and in 2011, he entered the company’s Hall of Legends. In 2012, he was awarded National Inventor of the Year by the American Intellectual Property Owners Education Foundation.
You’ve never heard of HoloLens before, but don’t worry, you will soon. HoloLens is one of the most revolutionary products that Microsoft has created in years. The brain behind the project is, once again, Brazilian inventor Alex Kipman.
A technology like the one you saw in the movie “Mission Impossible” will be released by Microsoft this year. HoloLens is a pair of glasses that displays see-through, high-definition 3D holograms with which you can interact; it integrates perfectly with real physical places, spaces, and things. HoloLens will go along with the new Windows 10 Holographic. Forget about screens and pixels — the next digital frontier is holograms, and a Brazilian inventor is creating them.
In 1972, the German-Brazilian Andreas Pavel invented and patented the portable stereo cassette player, which he named the “stereobelt”. In 1979, Sony started selling a similar device branded as the Walkman. In 1980, Andreas Pavel began legal talks with Sony regarding royalty fees for his invention.
It took 30 years, in and out of the courts, for Sony to finally acknowledge Andreas Pavel as the original inventor of the Walkman. Apparently, this part of the agreement could only be reached after the death of Akio Morita, founder of Sony, who was previously proclaimed the creator of the personal stereo. The settlement fee Sony paid to Pavel is a closely guarded secret.
- Hot-Air Balloon Flights
The first documented balloon flight took place in Europe in 1709. The Brazilian inventor Bartolomeu de Gusmao managed to lift a balloon full of hot air in Lisbon, with the king of Portugal and his court looking on. Bartolomeu de Gusmão is considered the Father of ballooning; he preceded by 74 years the Montgolfier brothers, who flew in a hot air balloon in 1783. One century later, in 1899, a patent for a navigable balloon was granted to Ferdinand von Zeppelin.
- Antivenom Serums
In 1903, the internationally renowned Brazilian immunologist Vital Brasil, developed the first polyvalent anti-ophitic serum efficient to treat bites of rattlesnakes, coral snakes and jararaca snakes. Vital Brasil was also the first to develop anti-scorpion serum in 1908 and anti-spider serum in 1925. He founded the Instituto Butantan, a major producer of immunobiological and biopharmaceutical products worldwide. In 2000, the Brazilian veterinarian Rosalvo Guidolin developed the serum in powder form, which increased its durability and facilitated its storage.
- Solar Bottle Bulb
The solar bottle bulb is a plastic bottle, filled with water and a bit of bleach, placed through the roof. It refracts sunlight to produce a level of brightness approximating a 40- to 60-watt incandescent bulb without using electricity. Its inventor, a Brazilian mechanic named Alfredo Moser, had his lightbulb moment in 2002 during a blackout in Brazil. Illac Angelo Diaz, executive director of the MyShelter Foundation in the Philippines, transformed the Brazilian invention into the Liter of Light movement. The idea brought light to millions of people in 15 different countries, from India and Bangladesh, to Tanzania, Argentina, and Fiji.