10 Things We’re Obsessed With In May

Some things are just ... better

This article was originally published in the May 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Obsessed.”

The Ingenious Mr. Pyke

Writer Henry Hemming brings to life the genius of Geoffrey Pyke, an inventor and war reporter (among other things), who once convinced Winston Churchill to build an aircraft carrier out of ice. That’s just one odd turn in the adventurous tale. $27

Osprey Atmos AG

Osprey’s new pack shoulders some of a backpacker’s burden with its new 3D suspension: a layer of seamless mesh, a hip belt, a tensioned peripheral frame, and a load-balancing harness. The fit will tempt you to pack a few extra luxuries. From $230

Wiha Bi-Cut Super Cut

The power button on Wiha’s wire and chain cutter doubles the tool’s leverage by changing its pivot point. It’s great for when you need to make an extra tough cut. From $40


Developed by communications firm Klein Buendel in partnership with NOAA and the University of New Mexico, the sunZapp smartphone app uses UV light forecasts to tell you when to apply sunscreen. The catch: Advice only works if you follow it. Free


This collector’s edition game imitates life. Players build a 3D board into a tree and in the process guide its growth. To win, players fend off beetle attacks and cultivate the healthiest flowers of their color. $125

Intel Compute Stick

A TV can become a full-fledged PC with Intel’s Compute Stick. The dongle-size device comes loaded with Windows, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and even a USB port. Go on, build your PowerPoint on the big screen. $150


Earplugs are great for blocking out a snoring roommate or a night-owl neighbor. But they muffle important noises too. Hush earplugs use Bluetooth to send alerts when your alarm goes off or an emergency call comes through. $150

Yeti Rambler Colster

Hot summers call for cold beverages and that requires something more than a plain old foam cozy. Yeti gave the Colster double-wall insulation to vacuum-seal cool air in and a gasket to hold your cold one in place. $30


Weighing yourself is not often a pleasant affair. Qardio lightens the mood with its new smart scale. Among other capabilities, it presents your results in emoticons and with haptic feedback, instead of harsh, unfeeling numbers. $149


Inspired by Walt Disney’s vision of futurism, this time-travel adventure follows a science-obsessed teen who stumbles into a world of technological possibility. She’s met there by a former boy genius, played by George Clooney, naturally. May 22