Consider a scene from a hypothetical Hollywood thriller: Our heroine, filled with dread and whispering into her cellphone, walks slowly down a dark hallway toward a closed door. The sounds that make this scene come alive—-her voice, her footsteps, the creaking floorboards, the background music—-began as a bunch of prerecorded digital files on a hard drive. It took a sound engineer’s touch-—and a machine like the Euphonix System 5—-to blend them into the final, seamless soundtrack.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.