The year 2015 saw the release of personal biometric scanners for online banking, the availability of self-regulating artificial hearts and the development of an aircraft capable of flying across the globe using only solar power. All of these are major advancements upon earlier technologies.
The United Kingdom's banks released a technology called VeinID for corporate clients in their personal homes and offices. This technology uses an infrared LED and a special camera to see the blood-flow in a finger's veins, allowing it to create an image of a unique vein pattern. This pattern is unique to every person and allows a system to authenticate someone without a password or PIN.
Although prototypes of the self-regulating artificial hearts have been around since 2013, the final model made available to the market was released in the European Union in 2015. Unlike earlier artificial hearts, this one is completely artificial and is capable of monitoring blood pressure in real time by adjusting its pulse rate. The heart is also capable of preventing blood clots using a special mesh skin.
Solar Impulse is a Swiss aircraft project that has been incrementally developed since 2009. It has 17,000 solar cells that soak up daytime sunlight, allowing it to fly through an entire night without an additional energy source. Although it has the wingspan of a Boeing 747, it weighs only a little over 5,000 lbs.