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Two MIT teams' work make TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of 2012 list

Two MIT-developed products were recently named among TIME magazine's best inventions of 2012.

LiquiGlide, a nontoxic, nonstick, super slippery coating for condiment bottles, was developed by Kripa Varanasi's laboratory in MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering. Made from food materials, it's easy to apply to food packaging and prevents stubborn condiments from sticking to the inside of the bottle.

For food-sauce companies — and their customers — easy removal of condiments is a constant challenge. Most people have experienced the frustration that comes with struggling to expel a condiment — such as ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise — with furious shaking, messy rummaging or pure brute force. Now, a simple tilt of the hand sends condiments sliding out.

This prestigious recognition comes on the heels of this fall's top MassChallenge award, including $100,000, and this past spring's MIT $100K Competition Audience Choice Award. Led by Varanasi, the Doherty Associate Professor of Ocean Utilization, the LiquiGlide team is J. David Smith, Christopher J. Love, Adam Paxson, Brian Solomon and Rajeev Dhiman.

Bounce Imaging's low-cost, easy-to-use imaging device for visual recconnaisance enables soldiers and first responders to get an inside look at potentially dangerous situations, such as fires, collapsed buildings, hostage situations and war zones, without having to run in blind and put their lives at increased risk. 

The spherical device is stuffed with six cameras and infrared LEDs on the inside and covered with a rubber shell on the outside. Once it's thrown into an unknown area, the camera takes two photos per second — even in low light. The infrared LEDs and a camera with near-infrared range enable full panoramas that can be sent to phones, tablets or laptops for immediate viewing.

The startup's co-founder, MIT alum Francisco Aguilar MBA '12, says the idea came to him after the Haitian earthquake in 2010, which illustrated to him the need for a method of visualizing a potentially dangerous situation before entering it. Bounce Imaging's other co-founder, David Young, is currently a second-year MBA student at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Bounce Imaging was also recognized at this year's MassChallenge Awards Ceremony with a $50,000 prize.

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