Just try plugging two bulky AC adapters into the same outlet-it ain't happening. This retrofittable outlet's sockets rotate 360 degrees to accommodate two oversize plugs. Brass nubs on the outside of each socket drum stay in contact with three brass bands, so devices remain powered while you spin. $8
So far, glass heating elements have operated in two modes: on and off. But the traces of metallic compound embedded in Engineered Glass Products's Thermique glass connect to electronic controls, enabling you to precisely regulate temperature. Look for the hot glass in windows, towel warmers and pool enclosures.
Dump a whole bottle of detergent (up to 54 ounces) into the GE Profile dishwasher's reservoir and relax for the next few months. The appliance automatically releases just the right amount during the pre-wash and wash stages by examining cycle selection, soil level, and water hardness. An LED warns you when it's low. Also, the washer's exhaust vent opens only during the dry cycle, dropping the noise level to a whisperlike 47 decibels. $1,080
Spray Grancrete over a frame of
Styrofoam, metal, wood-even woven sugarcane stalks-and in 20 minutes you have a waterproof, fire-resistant structure that has more than twice the strength of traditional concrete and can withstand extreme temperatures without cracking. A liquefied concrete-like mixture of sand, ash, magnesium oxide and potassium phosphate, Grancrete descends from a product developed to encase radioactive waste.
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.