On December 7, instructors shot off the traditional confetti cannons to mark the end of this year’s 2.009 Product Engineering Processes class. There was certainly plenty to celebrate. Student teams had just finished giving their final presentations, which featured demos of the eight prototypes they’d thought up, designed, built, tested, and polished over the course of the semester. In keeping with the 2015 “magic” theme, the new products they created included a hands-free door opener for toilet stalls, a safety device for climbers and cavers (demonstrated by a pair of climbers rappelling down from the ceiling in Kresge), a device that helps blind people learn Braille, an automated theater spotlight, and a kite-shooting game involving sensors and lasers. This year marked the 20th that David Wallace has led the storied class in mechanical engineering. Known for his willingness to don crazy costumes in the classroom (he’s been everything from Richard Simmons in a sparkly tank top and silky shorts to a princess in a blond wig), he sported a top hat and tails for the occasion.
The worst technology of 2021
Face filters, billionaires in space, and home-buying algorithms that overpay all made our annual list of technology gone wrong.
A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click
Deepfake researchers have long feared the day this would arrive.
Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever
Funders of a deep-pocketed new "rejuvenation" startup are said to include Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner.
A gene-edited pig’s heart has been transplanted into a human for the first time
The procedure is a one-off, and highly experimental, but the technique could help reduce transplant waiting lists in the future.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.