A tiny add-on chip will turn your cellphone into a credit card, bus schedule, concert ticket and more
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 08.01.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Forgot your wallet? You´ll need a better excuse than that for passing on the check. By next year, you´ll be able to pay simply by swiping your cellphone a few inches from a cash register, with a new wireless standard called Near Field Communication. An NFC chip in your phone will send your credit-card number-stored on your phone or on the chip-by way of short-distance radio waves. An electronic reader at the checkout will decode the number and ring up your purchase.
Toshibaâ€™s Blu-ray-driven breakthrough HD player is ready to roll
By Steve MorgensternPosted 08.16.2005 at 11:55 am 1 Comment
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).
The North Face's Spectrum 23 co-opts the wind to stand up to huge gusts
By Eric HagermanPosted 08.16.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Most tents are designed to fend off the wind, but The North Face´s Spectrum 23 invites it in through the front door-and ushers it right out the back. Built with a conspicuous awning that funnels wind through vents in the dome, the Spectrum ($260; thenorthface.com) can withstand 130mph winds, making it the strongest in the industry (100 mph is the previous best rating).
Seven new ways to get a state-of-the-art motorcycle experience
By Joe BrownPosted 08.16.2005 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
American motorcycles have a reputation for being low-tech machines stripped down for speed. But there´s only so much a bike can do without. So Confederate Motor Company (confederate.com) replaced every metal piece possible with a lightweight carbon-fiber one. The company hired industrial design firm Foraxis to help fabricate the new parts and produced a bike that weighs a mere 375 pounds: the B91 Wraith.
Mercedesâ€™s Bionic concept takes small-car thinking to new depths
By Matthew PhenixPosted 08.16.2005 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
When Mercedes-Benz began to contemplate its next generation of high-efficiency small cars, it sought aquatic inspiration. But instead of considering obvious undersea hot rods like sharks, the Mercedes team turned to a fish that resembled a car: the tropical boxfish. A native of the Indo-Pacific region, the Ostracion cubicus is surprisingly slick. Wind-tunnel testing of a clay model revealed a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0.06, startlingly close to the ideal 0.04 of a water droplet.
The latest TVs handle all the multimedia your living room has to offer
By Michael MyserPosted 07.21.2005 at 1:00 pm 0 Comments
First there were big screens. Then big flat screens. Now there are big flat screens packed with tricks, like the ability to record TV or access your home network. It’s all part of the push to minimize the number of decor-busting black boxes while maximizing entertainment choices—movies, slideshows, your music collection. Here are five reasons to chuck your TV in favor of a multitalented model.
1. The Laptop Impersonator This 2.7-inch-thin flat screen takes its cue from the computer world, with two PC-card slots to handle its latest features.
Grip it and rip it with these three smart-jawed tools
By Alan J. HeavensPosted 07.06.2005 at 11:00 am 0 Comments
Hand tools for turning nuts and extracting nails can be a man’s best friend—or foe. These innovative new grippers are designed to deliver unparalleled leverage and versatility, making it easier than ever to squeeze into tight spots to dislodge a rusted nut or extract a headless nail.
A new internal transmission makes it easy
to ride hard
By Stephen RegenoldPosted 06.30.2005 at 10:00 pm 0 Comments
In the evolution of ride-over-anything mountain bikes, the ever-vulnerable rear derailleur—that gangly parallelogram that shifts the chain up and down the rear cogs when it´s not clogged with mud or bent by rocks—has been a glaring technical handicap. So GT (gtbicycles.com) got rid of it. With its $5,000 IT-1, GT moves gear-changing duties to an unsullied haven inside the bike frame, by way of an eight-speed internal transmission.
Replace your second computer with this portable tablet
By Paul WallichPosted 06.27.2005 at 7:00 pm 0 Comments
Since the dawn of wireless, the roving Google junkie has faced two options: a bulky wireless laptop or a Web-page-cropping PDA. This fall, however, Nokia (nokia.com) will introduce a palm-size Internet gadget that surfs Web pages in full, albeit scaled-down, glory, anywhere. Measuring three by six inches, the 770 connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi or a Bluetooth cellphone. Think of it as a $350 replacement for that second PC.
An automotive designer best known for building sports cars shifts gears to invent a safer subcompact
By Matthew PhenixPosted 06.26.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Pint-size cars are the practical option in European cities, whose streets seem to be designed for wheelbarrows, but they come up short on safety. Keenly aware of this dilemma, Milan-based automotive designer Pininfarina has reconsidered subcompact safety from the inside out with its Nido concept car. Named after the Italian word for â€nest,â€ Nido refers to the unique design for protecting passengers of this diminutive two-seater (it´s 2.5 feet shorter than a Mini Cooper).