Pumping beer too quickly leads to excess foam, so bar patron turned inventor Matt Younkle designed the TurboTap to reduce the turbulence of fast-flowing beer. The tap's tapered interior limits the beer's acceleration, and an internal diverter sprays it across the bottom of the glass. The result-now available at ballparks and bars-is a perfect pour in half
the time. $100
At first glance, the N91 appears to be a full-featured MP3 player-with dedicated music keys, prominent volume controls, a 3.5-millimeter stereo headphone jack, an FM tuner and a USB port. Only when you slide the faceplate down to reveal the keypad do you recognize it as a phone. Drag and drop music (MP3, WMA, AAC and M4A files) onto its four-gigabyte hard drive, then create playlists directly on the phone. $700
It looks like Bubble Wrap, but BlastWrap isn't for cushioning eBay shipments. A BlastWrap-lined garbage can will dissipate a backpack-size-bomb blast in less than one thousandth of a second. The wrap's 2.75-inch compartments are stuffed with heat-treated perlite (the foamy pellets found in potting soil), a volcanic glass. The beads have a strong internal structure of sealed, air-filled cells. When a blast occurs, the cells are crushed one by one, minimizing damage to the surrounding area, while fire extinguishants snuff the fireball.
Satellite radio's one great drawback is that it tethers you to your car or home. But with the palm-size MyFi, you can take your programming anywhere. The 7.3-ounce player receives live broadcasts and stores at least five hours of recorded programming on its 128 megabytes of internal memory. So if your signal drops when you go inside, you can continue listening. $300
With this SD (Secure Digital) flash-memory card, you can move photos, songs or any other files from your device to your computer without cables or a separate card reader. Just stick the built-in USB plug directly into your computer. $80 (512MB) or $135 (1GB)
With nine processors and 234 million transistors, the Cell is the powerhouse of Sony's forthcoming PlayStation 3 console. The four-plus-gigahertz (depending on its application) chip calculates an unmatched 256 billion operations per second, making it 35 times as fast as the PS2's chip. The upshot: Characters react more realistically (like flinching when bullets whiz by). Next year Toshiba will offer an HDTV set that uses the chip to decode high-def signals.
You may think you've seen these before, but you haven't. Although traditional clear soap bubbles give you a rainbow effect in the right light, Zubbles are the first truly colored bubbles-nearly opaque, with a single vibrant hue. The problem, which took Minnesota toy inventor Tim Kehoe more than 10 years to solve, was to create a dye that could not only tint the thin wall of a soap bubble but that wouldn't leave a stain when the bubble broke. His solution: invent an entirely new dye that simply disappears.
This 1.6-ounce thumb-size MP3 player packs unmatched battery life: 50 hours on a full charge. Even more notable, the quick-charge function gives you three hours of playback after charging for just three minutes. Sony bolstered the lithium-ion battery's life using software that allocates precise amounts of power based on what the player is doing (rather than operating at full power all the time). It supports MP3, WMA, WAV and ATRAC3 formats. $120 (512MB) or $150 (1GB)
Sony's petite T350P finally frees you from the invisible umbilical of Wi-Fi. Although the laptop includes both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it's the first to also incorporate built-in access to Cingular's EDGE wireless data network, giving you near-broadband speed (up to 135 Kbps) in about 85 percent of the country. 1.2GHz Pentium M; 10.6-inch screen; 60GB hard drive; From $2,100
A Fuel-Cell Motorcycle With Portable Power
Riding the ENV is more akin to skiing or sailing than cruising on a 176-pound motorcycle. It's emission-free and as quiet as your computer. At the heart of this hydrogen-powered machine is a fuel cell, dubbed the Core. It breaks down hydrogen into electrons, which power the electric motor, and protons, which interact with oxygen taken in through the ENV's nosecone and are released as Earthfriendly water vapor and heat. The Core is detachable, so it can power a small house or boat. Available in late 2006. $6,000
The problem inherent to the digital video recorder (DVR) is that you have to be home to watch what you record. But this portable video recorder syncs with Dish Network's DVRs, so whatever is saved at home is copied over and ready to hit the road. Choose from a 2.2-inch screen with 20 gigs of space (20 hours of MPEG-2 video), a 4-inch screen with 30 gigs, or a 7-inch with 40 gigs. $330â€$600
A handful of two-megapixel camera phones hit the U.S. this year, but the fast, sharp Carl Zeiss lens on the Nokia N90 makes it an optical standout, delivering 5x7 photos good enough to print and hang on the fridge. Turn the lens in any direction and shoot using the dedicated capture button. View pics on the 2.1-inch, high-resolution display and store at least 140 high-resolution photos on a 64-megabyte expandable memory card. Built-in flash; 20x digital zoom; $700
Toshiba´s Blu-ray-driven breakthrough HD player is ready to roll
By Steve Morgenstern
Posted 08.16.2005 at 11:55 am 2 Comments
HDTV sets are stunning—until you pop in a movie and are reminded that DVDs are not recorded in high definition. At 480 lines of resolution, they don’t even begin to take advantage of a 720- or 1,080-line display. That will change later this year when Toshiba introduces the first high-def disc player for the U.S. market. Toshiba’s breakthrough box, an HD DVD player that at press time was still unnamed, will cost about $1,000 (toshiba.com).
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.