Dreaming of running up Mt. Kilimanjaro? Do it today. The NordicTrack X7i Incline Trainer raises and lowers itself to mimic the dips and hills of real-world topography.
The X7i downloads maps over Wi-Fi from a Web site called iFit, which lets you pick popular routes like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Trail, as well as treks you’ve designed on your computer across any territory covered by Google Maps. As you run, a seven-inch screen scrolls the map and shows snapshots of passing landmarks. (The “scenery” will help distract you from the burning in your legs—the machine cranks to 40 degrees upward or six downward.) Afterward, the console sends workout data to the Web, where you can analyze it and plot your next run anywhere on the planet—or beyond, since Google Moon is open for hikes, too.
This scale adds peer pressure to your battle against the bulge. It uses Wi-Fi to send your weight, body-fat percentage and body-mass index to your computer, iPhone or even your Twitter followers.
Withings WiFi Body Scale $160; withings.com
Stay hydrated without strapping a bulky water bottle to your hip. The Platypus reusable, flexible nylon and polyethylene pouch squishes to stow in a pocket and shrinks as you drink. When empty, it rolls up for easy storage, and a bacteria-fighting lining means it won’t get skunky.
Platypus SoftBottle From $8; platy.com
The Activa MP3 player chooses songs that match your jogging pace. An accelerometer judges how fast you’re moving, and software picks tunes with a similar tempo. Or it can select music similar to your favorite motivational anthem.
Philips Activa $130; philips.com
Attach SoundofMotion’s magnetic sensor to a bike’s rear wheel, and it measures torque, rotations and speed and beams the info to your cellphone. Or, for less-exact stats, strap an accelerometer-containing phone to your leg and let an app count its turns.
Soundof Motion Velo-Computer $70 (est.); velocomputer.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.