Innovations from two Minnesota companies have seen them land on Time's 100 Best Inventions of 2019 list.
Starkey Hearing Technologies and 3M have made the list because of new hearing aid and packaging products, respectively.
Starkey was included because of its Livio AI hearing aid, which is not only the company's newest and most advanced hearing aid – was developed at company HQ in Eden Prairie – but also its best-selling hearing aid ever.
It's the world's first hearing aid that has integrated sensors and artificial intelligence to "track physical and cognitive activity," the company said, and also has "life-enhancing features" such as fall detection and alert capabilities, rechargeable batteries, and voice-to-text transcription.
The hearing aids can stream music for users, and can even translate conversations into the wearer's language.
As for 3M, the Maplewood-based company won praise for one of the new products from its Scotch packaging and tape range.
The Scotch Flex & Seal Shipping Roll is described as "the future of packing" by Time, with users able to wrap the cushioned packaging around the item they want to send, with the roll sticking "securely only to itself."
As Time notes, the roll cuts waste and shipping costs, and could mean fewer delivery trucks on the road, with 3M saying it could end the need for "shipping tape, boxes and packing peanuts."