| Sunday, November 28, 2004
| COOLEST INVENTIONS OF 2004
Computer in your shoes? Believe it.
a sensor in the new Adidas 1 Sneakers measures with
each step how much compression you put on the heels
of the shoes. Microprocessor controlled cushioning
then adjusts the heels stiffness so they become more
rigid on dirt trails, for example, and softer on
pavement or when you're walking. In addition, you can
set comfort levels with buttons on the shoes. The
lithium-ion battery that fuels the system last about
INVENTOR : Adidas
AVAILABILITY : March 2005, $250.00
TO LEARN MORE adidas.com
The Nike Swim Goggles use disposable adhevise strips
to stay in place and keep water out, even after a dive.
An extra angled pane maximizes your field of vision
without distorting the view, and -- serious swimmers
take note -- they produce zero drag, so they're even
faster, than the naked eye. The medical grade glue on
the strips is engineered to bond comfortably with
your flesh on one side and the polycarbonate lenses on
the other. Still, putting the goggles on and taking
them off can be a chore.
INVENTORS Rob Bruce, Dylan Vab Atta
AVAILABILITY Spring 2005, $25.00 a pair
WET AND WILD
If you love water skiing but hate waiting your turn
or finding someone to drive the boat, the SOLO maybe
what you need. This unmanned, 8 ft long fiber glass
boat lets you ski by yourself. All controls are on the
tow handle, including acceleration, turning and a stop-start
button. For added safety, the kill switch is activated when
you drop the handle. Legal in 40 states. the SOLO goes up
INVENTOR Solor Watersports
AVAILABILITY Now, $10,995
TO LEARN MORE solowatersports.com
Forgot the map? Left the guidebook at the hotel?
No problem. The GoCar is a three wheel tour guide
equipped with a GPS system that not only tells you
where to go but also describes the sights once you
reach them. The brainchild of Nathan Withrington,
a pilot and engineer from Britain. The GoCar speaks
directions out loud. Currently available only in
San Francisco, it goes up to 35 mph and travels
a 12- to 17 mile loop.
INVENTOR GoCar Rentals
AVAILABILITY Now. $40 for one hour
TO LEARN MORE gocarsf.com
Insurgents, be afraid. An armed, unmanned ground vehicle
that never gets tired, hungry or scared is headed your way.
The SWORD has night and termal vision, four cameras and
a 7.62 mm machine gun. It can climb stairs and is utterly
silent-- until it opens fire. A live video feed enables its
"driver" to operate the vehicle from up to 1 mile away.
The U.S.Army has ordered 18 to deploy in Iraq.
INVENTORS u.S. Army Research, Development & Engineering Center
and Massachusettes defense firm Foster-Miller
AVAILABILITY 2005, $230,000 (military only)
TO LEARN MORE pica.army.mil,foster-miller.com
NOW HEAR THIS
Poor reception is the curse of all cell phones.
While there islittle you can do about your carrier's spotty
coverage in any given location, you can make it easier
for others to hear you by investing in a better headset.
The Jawbone has a sensor that rests on you
cheekbone and picks up vibrations emanating from your head
as you speak. It then uses those data to filter out background
noise. You may not notice the difference, but the person on
the other end will hear you much better.
AVAILABILITY Now $150.00
TO LEARN MORE jawbone.com
THE CUTTING EDGE
NO MORE FADE TO BLACK
Now that you've got that snazzy LCD TV hanging on your living room
wall like a fine work of art, it seems a pity to have it go blank
when you turn it off. Philips-MiraVision MIRROR TV avoids that by
turning into a mirror. A polarized coating on the front
of the screen reflects light when the sets is off. Available in 17-in
and 23-in models, The MIRROR TV also comes in a splict screen
style, which are now being used in hotels.
AVAILABILITY Now, $2,799 to $3,999
TO LEARN MORE firstname.lastname@example.org
SAY IT WITH FLOWERS
Imagine flanking your home stereo with birds of paradise rather
than a pair of speakers. The Ka-on Flower speaker, housed in a vase
or pot, uses real plant parts-- stems to conduct sound waves, leaves
and flowers to serve as cones-- to fill a 16 ft radius with music.
Its audio quality is closer to that of a vinyl record than a CD, but
for some audio[hiles, that's a good thing.
INVENTORS Keiji Koga, Hiroshi Siraki, Let's Corp.
AVAILABILITY Now, only in Japan: $284 for the vase version;
$473 for the potted plant.
GET THE MESSAGE
When the Swarovski crystal company asked ultramodern furniture
designer Ron Srad to create a chandelier last year, he promptly
declined, saying, "Crystal is the epitome of kitsch. It is not may planet".
This year he changed his mind and created LOLITA, the first text messaging
chandelier. Made of 2,100 crystals and 1,050 white LEDs, the 5ft
spiral displays SMS messages sent by any phone. Of course, you'd need
INVENTOR Ron Arad
AVAILABILITY Now, $138,435
TO LEARN MORE swarovskisparkles.com
TIME FOR CHANGEBefore the Swiss watchmaker Jean Francois Ruchonnet designed
the Monaco V4 concept watch, he lifted the hood of his Maserati,
gazed at the engine and thought aboutthe belts. Then he decided to
create a similar belt system in miniature to replace the interlocking
gears in a mechanical watches. Each belt replaces five to six
gears, thus simplifying construction. The belt are also better in
absorbing shocks, for a more visible and accurate timepiece.
AVAILABILITY Prototype only
TO LEARN MORE tagheuer.com
(from TIMEMAG )
|posted by infraternam meam @ 1:39 AM