Every year, TIME highlights inventions that are making the world better, smarter and even a bit more fun. To assemble their 2020 list, they solicited nominations both from our editors and correspondents around the world, and through an online application process. They then evaluated each contender on key factors, including originality, creativity, effectiveness, ambition and impact.
The result: 100 groundbreaking inventions—including a smarter beehive, a greener tube of toothpaste, and technology that could catalyze a COVID-19 vaccine—that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.
In this year’s list, the inventions of two Armenian-owned businesses were featured in the 2020 list (Embodied and Krisp). Embodied, Inc. is an industry leading robotics and AI company creating state-of-the-art companion robots to revolutionize human-centric care and wellness by enhancing quality of life for individuals and families. Recently, they have created Moxie. In Moxie, children find a compassionate pal who encourages reading and drawing, and sends them on missions meant to spur engagement with adults, siblings and peers, such as writing kind notes for their family to find or talking to a friend about feelings. Paolo Pirjanian, CEO and founder of Embodied, Moxie’s creator, says it is intended to offer “a springboard into the real world.”
Similarly, Krisp, an Armenian-based startup has also been featured on the list. Krisp produces a software that blocks background noise on phone calls. As millions adjust to remote work, unwanted background noises—yelling kids, roaring lawn mowers, barking dogs—have become the scourge of online meetings. Think of Krisp as your mute button for all that. The noise-canceling app, which costs $5 a month if you pay annually and is compatible with any videoconferencing software, uses machine learning to differentiate between your voice and background sounds, filtering out unwanted noises so your colleagues only hear you.