CLONE FOR DEBUGGING of The 100 greatest innovations of 2017
The year's most transformative products and discoveries.
With two built-in cams, a smartphone can imitate a much more serious camera, but Light has packed 16 imaging sensors—each with its own lens—into a device that fits in a jacket pocket. The L16 fires up to 10 of its cameras every time you push the button, which enables photography magic, such as fixing focus during editing, canceling out digital noise, and mashing up smaller photos into massive 52 MP images.
Plug in these Wi-Fi pods around your house, and they bathe your home in wireless connectivity. Plume uses an adaptive cloud-based system that analyzes your space and optimizes the flow of data. So if you’re watching YouTube while someone streams Netflix in the same room, it might divert your data to a different module that’s farther away but has more bandwidth for your content.
The high-end pro market was the last stand for DSLR supremacy, and Sony’s flagship camera crashes that party. It can shoot 20 full-resolution 24-megapixel images per second with autofocus. That beats the baddest DSLRs around.
This 20,000 mAh power bank has two USB ports, a standard wall socket, selectable voltage, and 11 internal temperature sensors to prevent overheating and significantly decrease the odds that you’ll fry your devices while juicing up. The direct DC port feature charges most mainstream laptops and bigger gadgets like DSLRs or drones with increased power efficiency. You can monitor its vitals on its OLED display.
Most mouse pads do little more than collect crumbs and grime, but Logitech’s generates an electromagnetic field that charges its high-end gaming mouses such as the G903. No docking, no battery swaps—just scrollin’ scrollin’ scrollin’. The pad comes with two different surfaces: hard plastic and cloth, so it won’t slow down your Overwatch skills. Plus, the top of the mat has an LED you can customize to match your avatar.
Two power connectors look like a vampire bite on the back of Essential’s first smartphone. What you can’t see is the clever way they seamlessly move both power and data when an accessory is attached. The platform will be open to other manufacturers that want to use its standard for modular accessories. It also means add-ons are less likely to become obsolete when you switch phones.
The marquis feature of Snap’s Spectacles is the intentionally conspicuous design that shouts, “Look, I’m on Snapchat!” The second most important is a built-in camera that funnels your point of view to your Story in 10-second bursts of circular video. Spectacles started as a publicity stunt, which required users to find secret vending machines to get a pair, but now they’re widely available to anyone, even the unhip.
With 28 engines firing together in a coordinated, cacophonous symphony of rocket fuel, the Falcon Heavy lifts off with 5 million pounds of force—more than any ship since the retired ’70s-era Saturn V—and twice the payload weight of any other modern spacecraft. Those thrusters equate to three space-cargo-hauling Falcon 9 rockets and will tote tens of thousands of pounds of satellites, a solar sailing spacecraft, and eventually two lunar tourists. The side boosters burn first and land back on Earth, while the center engine makes the final push out of the atmosphere. The more hardware SpaceX can recover, including that last stage, the cheaper (and cheaper) the flights become. Success in these early missions will prove that this is the ship with the horsepower, reliability, and price point to shuttle humans to Mars.
A single, seamless carbon-fiber frame makes the $2 million Cirrus Vision Jet sturdy enough to sport a panoramic 180-degree windshield. From their spots behind the cockpit, up to five passengers can enjoy almost unimpeded views at 28,000 feet from their luxury-car-like seats. The 30.7-foot plane’s single top-mounted engine won’t bother them either; its placement away from the cabin in the middle of the V-shaped tail, separate from the spin-resistant wings, reduces internal noise. In case of emergency, a parachute stashed in the nose can float everyone down to safety. Yes, it has cup holders.
Drones don’t see objects; they see pixels. The Fast Lightweight Autonomy program teaches them to recognize doors as openings or trees as obstacles so they can navigate without humans or GPS. The system retrofits crafts with cameras and sensors, which guide them at up to 40 miles per hour through dense forests or warehouses. Without ground-to-drone contact, the bad guys will have trouble hijacking ’em.
There are few meals as dependent on consistency as smoked meat, cooked for hours at a steady, low heat. The Smoker Cabinet (which costs a searing $13,495) has a multi-pronged attack to hold temps. A computer-regulated fan stokes the fire as needed, and a 7-pound column of charcoal burns from the bottom up, so it can smolder for 16 hours without a reload; all the while, a chunk of wood in a basin burns, adding smoky flavor.
A garden hose can’t handle higher-pressure cleaning tasks like blasting mold off window sills. Drawing from a hose, bottle, or bucket, the motorized pump in WORX’s battery-powered 3.7-pound cleaner pressurizes liquid to a grime-bombing 320psi —five times the strength of a hose—without a power washer’s bulky base. The Hydroshot needs only half a gallon per minute, as opposed to a hose’s 4 to 6 gallons.
Stop waiting for water to slowly drip into your Brita’s reservoir. Instead of trickling liquid through two tanks, the Stream Pitcher’s filter sits directly in front of its spout so the H2O can purify as you pour.
No matter their myriad appendages, most multitools share one chafing similarity: an awkward grip that makes twisting a pain. To deliver maximum torque, Gerber gave the Center-Drive’s bit driver a slightly curved stem so, when open, it aligns with the center axis of the gadget like a single-purpose tool does.
Don’t bother adjusting your smart home’s lights and speakers individually: Stick a 2.4-inch Pop Smart Button on the wall to do that for you. During setup, the app detects smart devices on your Wi-Fi network, then programs them to respond to button presses. Add a special remote, and you can create coordinated programs like a “movie night” mode that turns on the TV, dims lights, and sets temps to the ideal snuggling degree.
Most safety masks have a big flaw: gaps at the edges, which allow dust and debris easy passage into your lungs. A silicone seal around the perimeter of DDME’s SoftSeal mask molds the barrier comfortably to your face so its four layers of filters—which block smoke, ash, fine air-pollution particles, and larger allergens, along with living pests such as bacteria, mold, and viruses—can protect you properly.