The North Hall of CES is known for its audacious displays of car audio—lots and lots of undrivable vehicles with wacked-out paint jobs, displayed with subwoofers and giant-screen televisions inside that would be guaranteed to make any driver crash and/or go deaf. One audio company exhibited a 300-lb. subwoofer that generated noise so loud that the convention center's Skywalk shook when it played, and we were warned to keep our videocam 15 feet away so the lens didn't shatter from the vibrations. When they actually turned the system on, a 50 Cent song came blaring out (Fitty was unsurprisingly very popular with the after-market car gadgets audience); at first I grooved a little, but when the bass-line refrain started, I crumpled to the floor in pain. The sensation was less "sound" than "earthquake," inciting a very uptight lady nearby to storm angrily out of the room to jeers of "If it's too loud, you're too old." Watch as Jonathan and I cruise the booths in Cartown, CES, in the video below. —Megan Miller
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.