Tech Briefs in 2019 celebrated historic NASA anniversaries, new ways to power electronics, and innovative hacks of our “smartest” technologies.

As another year comes to a close, let's take a look at the most intriguing inventions and most-read blog stories of 2019.

  1. Metallic Wood

    metallic wood

    Here’s a Tech Briefs riddle: What’s as strong as titanium, but four to five times lighter? (And porous.)

  2. Potassium-Oxygen Batteries

    potassium oxygen battery

    Potassium-oxygen batteries have promising power potential, but they degrade. A team at Ohio State University has a more durable design in mind.

  3. A Mars Mystery

    Mars methane chart

    Researchers still don’t know the source of a certain gas on Mars.

  4. ‘Biodes’

    biode prototype

    A standalone battery now contains a cathode, an anode, and this new award-winning component.

  5. A Flying-Fish Robot

    flying fish robot

    A lake is usually a picture of serenity — perhaps the last place you’d expect to find a flying-fish robot launching itself 85 feet in the air.

  6. Electronics, Made From Thread

    thread-based electronics

    When you coat a linen thread with nanotubes, you’ll be surprised at the kinds of sensors that are possible.

  7. Self-Healing Glass

    self-healing glass inspired by a butterly

    This anti-fogging, liquid-resisting, and self-cleaning super-glass may support the next generation of displays, laptops, and solar cells.

  8. Rust Power!

    power generation by rust

    Scientists have found a way to generate electricity by combining saltwater with one of life's more undesirable compounds.

  9. Car Hacking

    Jeep Cherokee hack

    This year, we spoke with Chris Valasek, a security researcher who found a way to take remote control of a Jeep Cherokee.

  10. Apollo 11

    Man on the Moon

    As we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing this year, it’s only fitting that our most popular INSIDER story in 2019 showcased the Apollo 11 mission – and the many “spin-off” technologies we still use today.

Make sure to download our original Tech Briefs podcast: Here's an Idea – Apollo 11.

Which 2019 technologies stood out to you? Share your comments below.