Just in time for the holidays,
PopSci presents our roundup of the year’s must-have products. From high-voltage flashlights and the flattest-screen TV to a waterproof camera and carbon-fiber laptop, it’s the best and shiniest of 2007. Enjoy the offerings here.
Of Mice and Memory
Saving a millisecond can save your life in a computer game. This is the first mouse that can record macros-sequences of clicks and keystrokes for common moves, such as grabbing guns and reloading-while you’re playing. A built-in LCD provides instruction.
Microsoft SideWinder Mouse $80; [microsoft.com](http://microsoft .com)
Ears Wide Open
These earphones don’t block external sound, so you can rock out while having a conversation or listening for oncoming cars. Instead of plugging your ear canal, the drivers hook in front of your ears and transmit crystal-clear sound waves through the cartilage.
InAir AirDrives $100;
A Little Screw
This 15-ounce screwdriver is the smallest with a variable-speed motor, letting it spin slowly for precision work. Dremel spread parts out to trim bulk: The motor is near the trigger, and the circuit board is in the handle. **Dremel Driver $70;
Sharp redistributed the electronics inside this LCD TV to save space, creating the slimmest large-screen set ever. The 46-inch model is just 3.75 inches thick-slimmer than many 32-inch sets.
Sharp Aquos D64U 46-inch $2,700;
Throw Out the White-Out
Place a document in this combination copier, printer and scanner, and its image shows up on a 3.5-inch LCD. Use the scrollwheel to select anything you don’t want to appear on the duplicate, whether typos or your ex’s face.
Canon PIXMA MP970 $300;
The world’s smallest vacuum packager saves food and space. Just seven inches long, it sucks air out of, and then seals, a pin-size opening in a zipped-up bag.
Oliso Frisper $100;
Head and Shoulders
Snap perfect portraits. In the Optio S10’s â€half-lengthâ€ mode, face-recognition software automatically finds the most prominent face in a scene and zooms in for a shoulders-up shot.
Pentax Optio S10 $250;
Tow gear and a house, even with a Prius. The 700-pound GO, which folds to become a trailer for boats and more, is half the weight of most pop-up campers. (Aluminum and tent fabric replace steel and canvas.)
SylvanSport GO $6,000;
Off the Table
Control your computer by waving this mouse in the air, without even pointing at the screen. A gyroscope senses motion, and an acc- elerometer knows if the mouse is tilted.
Logitech MX Air $150;
This handheld GPS offers hikers two ways to capture memories of treks. A built-in voice recorder and camera can associate words and pictures with points on a map.
Magellan Triton 2000 $500;
Fiber Is Good For You
The first all-carbon-fiber laptop is less than an inch thick but as sturdy as bulkier machines. The thin and lightweight material also dissipates heat more evenly than plastic.
Sony Vaio TZ $2,200;
Browse It By Ear
Keep your phone tucked in your bag while you peruse its address book and see song info on this Bluetooth headset with built-in display.
Nokia BH-902 Price not set;
More Rooms For Roomba
One of iRobot’s newest robotic vacuums cleans four rooms and finds its way back to its recharger. Radio and infrared transmitters at doorways tell it which rooms it has yet to clean and which to cross to get home.
iRobot Roomba 560 $350;
The GO 720 is the first GPS device that lets you edit maps right on its screen. Just tap to add your favorite restaurant or correct mislabeled one-way streets. Share fixes with others (and download their corrections) over the Web.
TomTom GO 720 $500;
Hue For You
Mood lighting for 16 million moods. Trace your finger around the color wheel on this lamp’s remote control, and a chip regulates the current flowing to four LEDs-two red, one blue, and one green. They dim and brighten to create the exact shade you choose. **Philips Living Colors $200;
Time To Go Fishing
Using temperature and pressure sensors, this watch for anglers calculates when fish are most likely to bite-say, during a warm afternoon. A version for hunters determines the best time for finding deer in the open.
Origo Guide Pro From $60;
One For All
Answer three kinds of calls with one Bluetooth headset. Your cellphone pairs directly with the earpiece, and the base station plugs into your phone jack and computer to wirelessly transmit landline and VoIP calls up to 33 feet (or farther if you carry the keypad).
Plantronics Calisto Pro $280;
Next Number, Please
The classic graphing calculator gets a makeover. Save work using a computer-like menu system, and type in notes on the alphanumeric keypad.
Texas Instruments TI-Nspire $135;
Listen To Yourself Sing
At-home musicians can now monitor their voice in real time while recording. With a built-in headphone jack, this computer mic eliminates the sound delay you’d get from routing audio through your PC.
M-AUDIO Session Music Producer $100;
High-intensity discharge lamps usually appear in car headlights. To get one into a totable flashlight, designers shielded the on-off switch so that it wouldn’t short out from the massive voltage needed to ignite the lamp.
AE Light Xenide $350;
Don’t worry about losing this flash drive, even if it holds confidential information. Computers can’t access it unless you enter a PIN, which activates a switch that sends power to the drive’s controller.
Corsair Flash Padlock $30;
Touch Up Your Prints
Take a stylus to the A826’s seven-inch LCD-the largest screen on any photo printer-and you can fix redeye, color over zits, or scrawl hand-written messages on your pics before printing.** HP Photosmart A826 $250;
The first radio-controlled toy with omnidirectional wheels can move any which way without turning around. To drive at an angle, the three wheels spin at different speeds, rolling smoothly to the side on small cylinders around their edges.
Tyco R/C Tri-Clops Mutant $100;
Camera For the Smile
Set this eight-megapixel snapper to “Smile Shot,” and the shutter won’t click until someone grins. Face-detection software finds jawlines and watches for the change in contrast-light teeth against a darker mouth-that indicates a smile.
Olympus FE-280 $200;
This induction range keeps your kitchen fire-free. Built-in sensors measure the surface´s temperature and detect spills, so burners can shut off automatically if you leave them on too long or a pot boils over. **Thermador Induction Cooktop From $2,500;
The speediest compact water filter yet uses thin, hollow tubes, common in home filters, as its bacteria-snagging material. The tubes have a large surface area to catch germs but let water rush quickly through and around them.
MSR HyperFlow Microfilter $100;
Do-it-yourself painters often mark edges with traditional blue masking tape, but it can let today’s water-based latex paints seep underneath. Frog Tape contains a chemical that forms tiny beads when water hits it, blocking any gaps to prevent bleeding.
Frog Tape $6;
Skinny Keys and All
To make the superthin (and ergonomically wrist-friendly) diNovo keyboard, engineers at Logitech used the same switches used in laptop keyboards, but increased the depth they can be pressed down to give you that desktop feel. **Logitech diNovo Edge $200;
This networked media player can handle just about every audio and video format imaginable-whether it’s on a disc or streamed directly over your wireless network from a PC. And with full 1080p upscaling, even your old DVDs and downloaded content get a high-def boost.
Helios X3000 $379;
Matinee at 2 p.m.
Don´t pull the blinds-at 2,000 lumens, the world´s brightest home-theater projector can compete with daylight, creating rich colors anytime.
Panasonic PT-AX100U $3,000;
Worth a Thousand Keywords
Sort pictures as you take them. This camera lets you assign keywords to image files, so programs like Windows Photo Gallery can automatically organize them on your PC. HP Photo-smart R937 $300;
Get one pair of comfortable shoes, and then dress them up as oxfords, sneakers and more. With Skins modular footwear, 20-plus outer shells can slip over a single polyurethane “bone” insert that takes the place of the midsole, toebox and other supporting structures. Skins Bone Insert pair $50; Skins shells $160-$500;
Because LG’s new dish-washer first uses steam to loosen stuck-on bits from your plates, it requires less water for the actual cleaning, and it sprays water with less pressure during the delicate cycle. LG Steam Dishwasher $1,600;
The Pico looks like a USB drive, but it’s actually a full-fledged Linux computer that runs security software. It screens data en route to your PC, so you won’t need time- and power-hogging antivirus programs. Yoggie Pico $180, plus $30/year (first year free);
Recharge all your mobile gadgets-cellphones, iPods, Bluetooth headsets-in one place. The Chargepod adjusts its voltage to power six different devices simultaneously. Callpod Chargepod $50, plus $10 per adapter tip;
Track your heart rate without obvious wires on your chest. This tee senses your body’s electrical signals with conductive fibers woven directly into its fabric. A snap-in device radios results to a watch. NuMetrex Cardio Shirt $60;
No more scraped knuckles. The first lithium-ion-powered wrench for DIYers fits in tight spots to turn nuts and bolts. Its 100 inch-pounds of torque twist with more force than a regular drill. ** Skil 7.2V Lithium Ion PowerWrench $60;
Save the Data
Drobo’s USB-connected vault backs up its back-ups. The system knows on which of four possible hard drives it stores each back-up, so if that disk fails, it can create new duplicates on another. ** Drobo $500 (hard disks sold separately);
A Stickler for Safety
The first spray-on glue without toxic solvents is safer, less smelly, cleans up with water, and permanently bonds crafts or repair projects. ** DAP Spray ‘N Stik $9;
Most cameras boast impressive digital-zoom capabilities, but the loss of pixels makes it hardly worthwhile. This camera has an 18x optical zoom, something previously unavailable on consumer cameras. Pull it in for a wide-angle shot, and revel in its dual image-stabilization and face- detection capabilities. Now anyone can be a paparazzo.** FinePix S8000fd $400;
Music to the Ear
Just over an inch long, this is the smallest behind-the-ear hearing aid that adjusts its amplification when you listen to music. ** Phonak Audo From $4,000;
Keeping an Eye Out
Accident-prone? Paranoid? Clamp one of these to your windshield. When the camera detects emergency braking, it starts shooting, recording the next 15 seconds. With no moving parts and a heavy-duty magnesium-alloy casing, your video is safe. Lawsuits begone!** DriveEye Approx. $415; Japan only;
When your car breaks down and you find yourself stranded by the highway’s edge at night, throw the small orange cone over this tiny LED flashlight for an instant and powerful flare. Your car’s cigarette lighter recharges the six-lumen light.
Emergency Car Lenser Rechargeable $27; ledlenser.com
These headphones not only block ambient noise but use directional microphones to single out and enhance speech, letting conversations happen within the bubble of noise cancellation. A Bluetooth-enabled model allows for seamless phone conversations even in the noisiest environment.
Sensear Price not set; available soon;
The next time your buddies take you along for a
snipe hunt, be prepared. These waterproof FRS/GMRS radios are equipped with color-screen, high-sensitivity GPS navigators. Five watts of transmit power let you talk to others as far as 14 miles away. And thanks to Position Reporting, with the press of a button you can send your exact location to the rest of your group-presumably while screaming into the radio: “Pick me up now, jerks!” Rino 520HCx $485;
To wow audiences in even the largest auditoriums, this presentation pointer’s green laser beam shines farther (two miles) and brighter than red ones. It sends radio signals about 30 yards to control your laptop.
Jasper Keynote $170; jasperlaser.com
Tape It to the Limit
With just a smidgen of this double-sided tape, we stuck a brick to the wall. Made of solid acrylic adhesive, rather than foam coated in glue, it’s superstrong and withstands even the roughest weather. A six-inch strip permanently holds up to 11 pounds, for tasks like hanging signs or molding.
Loctite Power Grab on a Roll $7; loctiteproducts.com
Crumbs, coffee, bacteria-what lurks between
your keys? The first waterproof, submersible keyboard can withstand both spills and cleanup in the dishwasher. A silicone seal protects its circuits from dunks in 10 feet of water. SEAL Shield $50; sealshield.com
What good are goggles if they’re too blurry to see through? In addition to the most advanced anti-fogging technology, these incorporate especially thin and aspherical lenses that counteract below-water distortion to improve visibility and reduce eyestrain. For the visually challenged, they can be fitted with prescription lenses from -1.5 to -10.
SABLE WaterOptics From $45;
Multi-tools let you fit a whole toolbox in the palm of your hand: pliers, screwdriver, knife, wire-cutters and, of course, the all-important bottle opener. But most of them require you to pry open tools with two hands. The X-Tract is the only one with single-handed access to all its tools. The pliers pop open with a nudge, and the screwdriver slides from side to side with a simple push of a thumb, revealing a Philips head on one side and a flathead on the other. A small notch lifts the bottle opener, for the best kind of instant gratification. ** X-Tract $50;
Lost and Found
Some people have an innate and impeccable sense of direction, but for the rest of us, GPS has been a godsend. This pocket-sized navigator communicates wirelessly with your Bluetooth-enabled phone, delivering step-by-step spoken and visual directions on your phone’s screen.
Become the most popular guy on the road with this new mobile router. Plug your high-speed cellular broadband card for your laptop (one model accepts Sprint and Verizon’s EV-DO cards, the other Cingular and T-Mobile’s UMTS/HSDPA service) into its CardBus slot and share your connection wirelessly.
D-Link 3G Mobile Router $300;
When you’ve outgrown your point-and-shoot but aren’t quite ready to abandon portability or ease for an SLR, the remaining options can seem discouragingly slim. In addition to 10 megapixels and a large LCD screen, this camera comes with big-boy toys: image stabilization, ISO ratings up to 3200, compatibility with Nikon’s high-end Speedlight flashes, and a converter for wide-angle and telephoto lenses.
Coolpix P5000 $400;
Hard times. On one hand, technology is becoming smaller, friendlier and more accessible than ever. On the other hand, it’s all so damn tricky to access in the middle of winter. Thankfully, at least one product now has a solution. These gloves have a special fabric on the thumb and index finger pads that allows you to control your iPod’s scroll wheel without needlessly exposing precious digits to the icy air.
iGlove Multi $35;
The longer you´re online, the more time hackers have to invade. This smart plug tracks your monitor´s power usage. When the screen goes to sleep, it closes the network connection.
This metal finder locates studs and and nails in older structures buried deep beneath plaster walls too thick for your typical stud finder. So that the next time you tackle a home-improvement project, you can actually, you know, improve your home.
MetalliScanner M40 $39;
Paint-on TV Screen
Turn your wall into a theater-quality projection screen with this reflective paint. Tailor brightness and contrast to your room´s lighting by adding more or less gray tint before rolling it on.
Vogel Mighty Brighty $150;
Rise and Shine
Clean hard-to-reach spots-second-story windows, SUV roofs-with this battery-powered scrub brush, extendable up to 10 feet. Its wires hide inside interlocking fiberglass poles, which are sturdy yet light enough to lift overhead.
Black & Decker 18V Power Scrubber $100;
Transfer music, pictures and files more easily with this three-in-one multifunction memory card-use it as an SD or micro-SD card for storage in digital cameras, cellphones and music players, or plug it into your computer via the built-in USB interface for use as a flash drive.
Trifecta From $28;
Most inkjet refill cartridges include the electronic print nozzle built in, making them resistant to clogging but expensive. New ink technology from Kodak, however, leaves the print heads in the printer, making the refills cheaper by half. And what’s inside is good too-pigment-based archival inks won’t clog the printer’s nozzles while making prints that you can pass on to your grandkids.
Kodak Pigment Based Inks $10 black/$15 color;
Nothing ruins your hardcore-rocker image faster than tripping over your ax as you attempt to maneuver through a tight space. The world’s first folding electric guitar has a pair of high-end pickups, a Tune-o-Matic bridge, and strings that roll into the body when the neck is doubled over so that it’s ready to play whenever you are.
Always the master of making photos fun, Polaroid (by way of spin-off research company Zink) is at it again with this mini photo printer. Send pics from your cameraphone via Bluetooth-regular digicams can connect via USB-and print them instantly using an innovative “zero ink” process that uses heat-sensitive dye-forming crystals to render your image.
Zink Pocket Photo Printer approx. $100;
This top-end backyard scope costs a mint and weighs a ton (OK, 500 pounds), but it sits on the steadiest mount you can buy, which means crystal-clear pics of far-off galaxies. The scope locks easily in place, and the mount electronically balances it.
Meade RCX400 20-inch Telescope on MAX Mount $60,000;
Video-on-demand capability, micro-SD expansion and up to 210 hours of standby life make this an attractive phone. But it’s the injected stainless-steel hinge requiring molecular manipulation (to form it requires that the steel molecules’ shape be manipulated) that really triggers the geek lust.
E5000 Price not set; available soon;
Because a marine VHF radio doesn´t do you much good at the bottom of the ocean, this one floats. A watertight seal traps air in the spaces around the extra-small internal components, creating a buoyant bubble.
Icom M34 $170;
Even the low-end cellphone your carrier gave you plays MP3s, but there aren’t many decent ways to share your music on the fly. These miniature speakers wirelessly tune into any Bluetooth-enabled phone-perfect for that impromptu dance dance-off.
About the size of a remote control, North America´s smallest satellite phone keeps you in touch from anywhere on the planet without weighing you down.
Globalstar GSP-1700 $1000;
Back It Up
Have thousands of photos on your hard drive, but always forget to back them up? Plug in this completely automatic USB storage device and have it locate, copy, and store all the images on your system with nary the push of a button. ** Polaroid Backup $140;
Never miss your exit on the freeway again. This GPS navigation device illustrates major highways right down to the individual lanes. Arrows show you when to switch lanes in order to nail your turn, a first among handheld GPS units.
Fujitsu Siemens Pocket LOOX N100 $500;
Life in the Fact Lane
This dashboard-mounted computer not only displays info from your car´s sensors-such as temper-ature and oil pressure-it also runs Linux, so you can add more func-tions, including GPS navigation and Web browsing.
Drew Tech DashDAQ $600;
With all the Sidekick features you know and love, plus customizable face plates and a rock-bottom price, the Sidekick iD is perfect if you want to call, text, e-mail, and browse easily without paying through the nose. ** Sidekick iD $100;
Hack Your Pack
For a perfectly sized bag, add or shed compartments from the first fully modular backpack. Steel grommets on the frame secure bottle holders and other pockets.
TrailFlex TF500 Harness System $140;
Slip this compact mouse onto your index finger and move your cursor by running the laser along almost any surface, whether desk or denim. Use its side-mounted buttons and scrollwheel with your thumb.
Logisys Optical Finger Mouse $30;
This GPS device comes with an ultrawide screen, two gigs of memory, and real-time traffic monitoring. But best of all, it can translate doodles you make on the touchscreen (such as a quick route traced across the map), so there’s no need to avert your eyes from the road the next time you’re desperately in search of a doughnut.
NV-U72T Price not set; available in Europe;
Most high-def camcorders waste precious pixels–their image sensors register 1920×1080 resolution, but they record only 1440×1080. The first full-HD consumer camcorder stores five hours of ultra-sharp video on its 60-gigabyte hard drive. **JVC HD Everio GZ-HD7 $1,800;
An e-ink-like display tracks free space on this SD memory card (for cameras and other gadgets) and lets you add a two-character label, such as initials or an ID number.
A-DATA info SD card $15-$37;
Midday productivity lag? If only there were some sort of “pod” where you could take a “nap.” This chair, designed for workplace power naps, has a privacy visor to block out ambient noise and rouses the sleeper after a short but energizing 20 minutes with gentle vibrations and alarms.
MetroNaps EnergyPod $8,000;
What can $100 worth of PC get you? Surprisingly, a lot. In addition to its four gigabytes of onboard flash-memory storage, this Linux-based machine lets you keep up to 100 gigabytes on the company’s servers for $13 per month, so your data is accessible from any computer. Additionally, the Zonbu itself is packed with free software that doesn’t scrimp on the computing experience-the OpenOffice suite, iTunes-like music and video players, Skype, Firefox and more-all in a form factor not much larger than a hardback book.
Looking vaguely like a medieval torture device, this mouse uses haptic feedback to simulate nearly any imaginable texture used in a game or graphics program. Even better, it mimics weight, dimension and shape for an unparalleled, lifelike experience.
Novint Falcon $239;
Slick ‘n’ Slide
Aesthetics are nice and all (the available colors are “Mysterious Green” and “Spring Yellow,” and external lights change colors as the day or season progresses), but a two-megapixel camera, an expandable media player and 327 hours of standby battery life are what make this slim slider phone especially attractive.
Sony Ericsson S500 $500;
A Far-Sighted Robot
This programmable toy critter shoots infrared beams from its eyes, so it can detect objects up to 13 feet away and navigate through doorways, even in the dark.
WowWee Roboquad $120;
Brusha Brusha Brusha
If you’re like us, you don’t think much about your toothbrush until the three-month mark when it begins resembling a toilet brush and youre forced to chuck it and begin again. If the cycle is beginning to wear thin, consider the latest in dental technology: titanium. Whereas nylon bristles absorb water and bacteria, the titanium alloy is resistant to both and has better elasticity, which makes for a more effective cleaning. Best of all, the brush lasts two to five years, so you can spend what was previously toothbrush-shopping time on something more worthwhilelike floss comparison.
One glance tells you whether to take an unbrella–or take cover. This is the first home weather station (complete with wireless vane and rain guage) to show federal alerts for tornadoes and more.
Honeywell TN924W $350;
If youre diabetic, you know how hard it can be to remember if you took insulin, let alone how much your last dose was. A digital memory chip embedded in this insulin pen automatically records the date, time and size of your last 16 doses and displays them with the push of a button. Dose size is selected by spinning the end of the pen, which dials it up or down in one-unit increments.
HumaPen Memoir About $45;
On the Run
Ultramobile personal computers usually end up being too much of a compromise to competently fill any one use. But with an integrated qwerty thumb-keyboard, 4.5-hour battery life, three-gigabyte cellular data, plus Wi-Fi and a powerful yet battery-sipping Intel chipset driving Windows Vista–all in a 1.5-pound package–Samsung’s latest offering may buck the trend. A webcam, microphone and fingerprint reader are also crammed in.
Q1 Ultra From $800;
My EarBuddy and Me
Why bother loading your MP3 player with bass-heavy favorites if they’ll only come through tinny and weak? These enhancers pop onto the end of bud-shaped headphones to comfortably seal up your ear canal and prevent oh-so-precious bass-leak while blocking ambient noise. ** Whoomp! Earbud Enhancers $20;
The Power Artist
It’s pretty clear that cellphone batteries are the most inefficient product known to mankind-leave the phone on standby, refuse to take any calls, and it’s still drained by the end of the day. Use the phone for talking, and expect to have the battery die in the midst of a very important conversation. Now a partnership among Philips, Energizer and Techtium has produced a phone whose battery lasts
a month on one charge. If you still can’t give it a decent charge in that time frame, backup comes in the form of a single AAA battery, which gives you another week to find your charger. Xenium Price not set; available in the winter;
Nowadays you can find a wide-angle lens, high-luminance flash and water-resistant body on just about any old camerabut onboard GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth? Slightly rarer. This camera automatically records the coordinates of each image or video it takes, and bundled software automatically embeds your shots in digital maps that then display thumbnails when the tagged location is scrolled over.
Ricoh 500SE From $900;
Blowing on clenched fists may be the international symbol of cold-weather conditions, but the clammy chill that follows often does more harm than good. Contain that precious body heat with these gloves, equipped with a special valve that receives your warm exhalations, spreading them throughout the glove’s inner linings.
Gorgonz Pro 805 Exhale $40;
If your idea of organizing a closet entails the ol’ toss-everything-in-and-hope-the-door- holds method, these organizers will fit right into your scheme. Made of a flexible foam-like material called Arpro, these wedge-shaped modular organizers support themselves by squeezing into any available space. Order from chaos!** Make/Shift Shelving System $64;
Train delayed and in danger of missing the beginning of 24? Aside from a bevy of standard smartphone features, the N77’s 2.4-inch high-color screen, stereo speakers and internal antennas will allow you to catch the opening minutes of Bauer-hour on your phone. Just be sure not to yell â€I will kill you!â€ too loud in public.
N77 Available in Europe this spring; about $490;
Solar Glares, Icy Stairs
Just when we thought we’d finally gotten it straight-solar power: good; air conditioners: bad-we encounter this shockingly low-consumption AC wired for solar or DC renewable power. Even if you’re stuck with an ordinary power supply, this air conditioner uses 80 percent less power than average. Especially handy is the on-board battery that lasts 24 hours between charges. So next time there’s a county-wide blackout that neatly coincides with the summer’s worst heat wave, you can rest easy.
Millennia 4.0 $3,500;
Video chats made clear and simple: This webcam is the first model for PCs that has autofocus and requires no software.
Creative Live! Cam Optia AF $130;
A motorcycle helmet doesnt have much space for gadgets, so this Bluetooth headset does double duty. It answers cellphone calls and communicates with an included passengers headset over a radio intercom.
Cardo Scala-Rider TeamSet $230;
Ah, coffee: so vital, yet still such an imperfect science. This machine blends the control of a percolator with the ease of those single-serving pod things that can’t quite seem to take off. Pop in a coffee or tea pouch, select your desired amount, temperature and strength, and press start. One pouch is good for 18 cups and is self-sealing-so if you somehow suck down less than 18 cups in a single morning, it’s good for the next day, week or month.
Beveo Coffee & Tea Maker $180;
Its a sad truth, but juicers have been neglected by the technology gods over the years. In a world in which coffee machines are embellished with tiny computers and LCD screens, the juice maker is a sorry sight. Finally, a juicer fit for the 21st century has arrived. With five variable speeds, a backlit control panel that displays fruit recommendations based on drink, and a nearly silent motor, the travails of juicing can be relegated to the past. ikon **Juice Fountain Plus $250;
Don´t Drop Your Calls
Your conversations don´t have to end because your cellphone headset died. A capacitor inside this one stores extra energy, so you can keep talking for 30 seconds while you change batteries.
Sennheiser BW900 $370;
Ringing in the Rain
Keep talking through clumsy mishaps and dips in the pool. This cellphone survives in up to three feet of water by protecting vulnerable hinge areas with O-ring seals and water-resistant speakers.
Casio G´zOne Type-V $300;
It’s Hip to Be Square
Can’t fix that slice? The square shape of this driver distributes weight evenly-and makes for a more forgiving, straighter-shooting club.
Callaway Golf FT-i Driver $625;
Be your own housesitter. The Wi-Fi chip in this robot lets you maneuver it-and its webcam-from any Internet connection. If you catch Fido on the couch, yell “Off!” through the ‘bot’s built-in VoIP phone.
Erector Spyke $300;
HD For Free
Your cable or satellite company would be more than happy to fill your new HDTV with high-definition channels (upping your monthly fee in the process), but in most major markets, all you need is a special antenna to pull in the free over-the-air high-def signal broadcast by your local networks and public channels. This USB antenna doubles as a DVR, plugging into your Mac to record free high-def shows TiVo-style. You can plug in your regular cable box too.
Miglia TVMini HD+ About $165;
Get the Show on the Road
Watch HBO anywhere you go. The first portable satellite TV looks like a briefcase but opens up to reveal a 17-inch LCD. The antenna, no longer a dish, unfolds from the top cover.
DIRECTV Sat-Go Price not set;
Eggs and Bakey
Turns out there are healthier ways to wake up than being yanked out of a dream by the traffic report. This clock/LED lamp/sound-maker was designed with the support of sleep researchers and implements your unique metabolic cycle and circadian rhythm to maximize your shut-eye. The lamp replicates natural light, slowly dimming each night to lull you to sleep and brightening each morning to wake you gently-supposedly increasing your a.m. energy and lucidity.
CNightCove About $2,350;
Why should still cameras have all the miniaturized fun? This camcorder, touted as the world’s smallest, is water-resistant, shock-proof, has 10x optical zoom, starts up in less than two seconds, and uses high-capacity SD memory cards. So uploading your on-the-fly footage of the cat attacking the computer again is a breeze.
A bulky waterproof iPod case is nice and all, but sometimes you just want to jump in without having to worry about wrapping it up. Enter the first iPod waterproofed from the inside out. The impervious coatings are applied to the ‘Pod’s inner workings, leaving it aesthetically identical to any other Shuffle and secure up to 10 feet. Clip it to your goggles and dive in.
Waterproofed iPod Shuffle From $150;
For big jobs, you want the longest-lasting battery in your power tool. This meter for Milwaukee´s lithium-ion batteries tells you their health before you start.
Milwaukee V Technology Battery Service Reader $140;
This New Guitar
If your ax-wielding talent isn’t limited to feverish rounds of
Guitar Hero, you´ll appreciate Gibson´s latest digital foray. The guitar features individual pickups for each string, a high-definition, all-digital signal stream and the latest production software. Pretty easy on the eyes, too. **Les Paul HD.6X Pro Digital Guitar $5,000; gibson.com **
Rock and Stroll
If pushing the little one around is taking a toll on your need for speed, it may be time for the Strollometer. With eight functions that measure everything from distance to maximum speed, at last you can get some fun out of the whole ordeal. Apart from, you know, the joys of selfless love. **Strollometer $40;
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE . . . AND CAR
This system acts like an ordinary boom box when you plug in your MP3 player. But connect it to your car’s stereo through an optional dock, and it becomes a subwoofer to pump up the bump in your ride. ** Blaupunkt Velocity 2Go From $400;
Instead of an ice pack, try this sack of fluffy fake snow that forms when water crystallizes around thousands of tiny polymer beads. It won´t freezer-burn skin because its outer layer melts to a soothing 40
Brush With Frequency
Clean your teeth with the same technology that scrubs surgeons´ scalpels. A transducer in this device emits ultrasound waves, whipping your toothpaste into a pulsating froth of microscopic bubbles that penetrate under the gumline and between teeth. ** Ultreo $150;
Spot underwater features, whether trout or sunken treasure, in greater detail. An 800-kilohertz sonar wave-a higher frequency than in other consumer devices-creates near-photo-like images.** Humminbird 997c SI Combo $2,000;
Music Mind Reader
The perfect, no-fuss playlist: This two-gigabyte MP3 player chooses music based on your tastes and then grabs songs using Wi-Fi or in-car satellite docks. ** Slacker Portable Player $150;
What good is a greener computer if it becomes obsolete in a matter of months? The rp5700, HP´s first foray into “consumerentalism,” is not only 95 percent recyclable and 25 percent more efficient than an average PC, it also has a five-year life cycle.** rp5700 From $650;
On the Go
A massive notebook has its perks, but there´s something to be said for a laptop that can actually fit on your lap. This ultramobile PC weighs in at just under two pounds but is packed with enough RAM and flash memory for anything you´d need on the go. A built-in camera, mic and Wi-Fi are just some of its perks. ** Eee From $400;
Transform this jacket into a backpack by flipping straps out from a pocket in the liner and folding the body inside. Zippered compartments provide the same amount of space in either mode-up to 760 cubic inches, equivalent to a small daypack. ** Core Gear Xip3 $500;
Is your living environment, shall we say, spatially challenged? Barely larger than most microwaves, the Mini Kitchen still manages to squeeze in an oven spacious enough for a whole chicken or pan of brownies along with two hot plates powerful enough for all your toasting needs. Best of all, it´s self-cleaning, eliminating the need for passive-aggressive reminders to your roommate.** Mini Kitchen $200;
Love scrolling through photos on your iPod but hate the unwieldy uploading process? This tiny card reader plugs directly into your video iPod and lets you skip the computer to instantly transfer photos from your camera´s SD card.
Airplane trays don´t leave much wiggle room, so Razer outfitted this mini wireless travel mouse with an ultra-high-resolution sensor. Nudge it an inch to push your cursor all the way across the screen.
Razer Pro|Click Mobile $60â€$70;
Fill your iPod for free. This FM tuner for PCs comes with software that records music both from Internet radio streams and the airwaves. By matching song snippets against a database, it adds title and artist info on the fly.
ADS Tech Instant FM Music $50;
Weigh Your Options
It´s great to know how much you weigh, but it´s better to know where the problem lies. This scale measures body fat separately for each limb and compares it against a healthy range, calculates everything from daily caloric intake to metabolic age, and plots it on daily, weekly or monthly graphs-making it that much harder to cite ignorance as your excuse for not working out.
Innerscan BC-558, $300;
Buying a camera is usually a compromise: Getting pro-level features usually comes with pro-level bulk. The E-510, however, incorporates many of Olympus´s top-of-the-line SLR features-a 2.5-inch live-view LCD, mechanical image stabilization, and even dust-reduction for spot-free photos (thanks to ultrasonic vibrations and a special adhesive membrane)-in an especially lightweight and ergonomic body.
E-510 From $800;
Rethinking the Remote
Three hundred channels and a DVR full of recorded shows, and you’re still sifting through it all with a controller straight out of the ’80s. That’s why Hillcrest Labs designed the Loop, a remote with nary a number on it. Instead, a button brings up an onscreen guide, which you navigate with a scroll wheel. To select what you want to do–browse recordings, change settings–just wave the remote around to move an onscreen cursor through a series of intuitive, icon-driven menus. Accelerometers inside the controller detect where you’re pointing (a technology the company calls Freespace). **The Loop, Price not set, Available soon;
Look, Ma, No Cords!
Want to go wireless with your audio system but cringe at the thought of having to buy new speakers? This set uses the most advanced 2.4-gigahertz wireless transmission technology to deliver interference-free CD-quality audio to your current speakers. Best of all, the set automatically scans for the best-possible frequency channel and switches automatically before any audio errors occur.
KEF Universal Wireless, $600
Remote Control the Mood
As any tech-savvy lothario knows, timing is everything. So after remotely summoning the Barry White and getting the Posturepedic heart-shaped waterbed revolving, finish the deal with these mood-enhancing LED lightbulbs. Use the remote control to cycle through 15 different hues, or take things up a notch with strobe effects. Here’s hoping your would-be woo-ee isn’t epileptic.
Pearl Lamp Works Home LED Lamp $48;
Phoning It In
This GSM-networked box hangs inside a front door and alerts the homeowner´s cellphone when a vistior buzzes the intercom. A code punched into the phone then opens the door.
Waleli GSM-doorbell $600;
Take Two or I’ll Call in the Morning
If a patient doesn’t take crucial meds on time, this pillbox alerts a central server that sends relatives a voice or text message. InforMedix Med-eMonitor $50, plus $60/month;
Amplify most acoustic guitars, and you lose that crisp sound in fuzzy feedback. This one uses four mics placed in the audio sweet spots and lets you control them individually, so you can tune out squawk and dial in dulcet tones.
Yamaha CPX900 $850;
Long showers are great, but they wreak havoc during droughts, rack up the electricity bill, and suck for the person stuck with the dregs once the water heater’s depleted. This timer shuts off the water after a predetermined time has passed. A large clock counts down your precious minutes, but once it’s done, it’s done. There are even options to put a waiting period between showers (so you can’t just start up again once the water’s off). Sure, it’s brutal, but sometimes tough love is the best kind.
Shower Timer Approx $340;
Most SLR cameras make you frame shots by pressing your eye to the viewfinder. Clip this small video sensor to the eyepiece of your SLR-digital or film-to get a 2.5-inch LCD screen you can use from up to 40 feet away.** Zigview S2 $500;
Make sure the pizza man can always find his way with these sleek LED address numbers. Solar panels charge the self-contained batteries by day and switch on the lights automatically as night falls.
Solar LED Address Numbers $20 each;
We´ll vouch for the sound quality and the convenience of these DJ-style Bluetooth headphones. They double as a cellphone headset and let you control your music player remotely.
Motorola S805 $150;
This razor follows all your contours. An ultrathin central driveshaft allows for more freedom of movement, the three rotating blades independently flex up and down, and the entire head spins a full 360 degrees. Philips Norelco arcitec $170-250;
This rear-projection TV’s bulb lasts 20,000 hours–about six times the norm–delaying costly replacements. In lieu of burning electrodes, an electric field around the bulb ionizes gas to create light. **Panasonic LCX70PT 61 $2,000;
To make the first tattooed bicycle tire, ink saturates a thin skin of rubber. High heat and pressure meld it permanently to the rest of the tire. At night, the ink is reflective.
SweetskinZ Tire $40;
Finally, an ultra-mobile PC designed for the outdoors. Add extra hardware by popping modules onto the back of this military-grade mini computer, and don´t worry about dropping it-even into a pond. It´s waterproof up to three feet.** Black Diamond SwitchBack UMPC $3,700;
Pound the ball–not yourself. To distribute vibrations so they don’t rattle your arms, Easton varied the thickness of the walls on this hollow composite bat. Carbon nanotubes keep it strong. **Easton Stealth Comp CNT $380;
Phosphorescent paint on this watch’s dial and hands shines brightly for several hours after exposure to light. As a backup, fainter, tritium-filled tubes keep the dial legibly illuminated for at least seven years. ** Reactor Trident $300â€$450;
Replacing laptop components like the processor or graphics card can require hours of removing tiny screws and plugs. But the tinkerer-friendly C90S lets you access most parts simply by lifting off a bottom panel. The warranty stays intact, too. **Asus C90S $1,300 (est.);
Three microphone capsules inside this palm-sized recorder pick up full surround sound, perfect for saving impromptu jam sessions or creating like-you-were-there podcasts.
Zoom H2 Handy Recorder $200;
All Steamed Up
With a pressurized steam reservoir, an ergonomic trigger and a 1,750-watt output, this iron verges on power tool. Better yet, it presses and steams in a fraction of the time of an ordinary iron, leaving you more time with the actual power tools. **Pressure Iron and Steamer $200;
Pack this waterproof, dent-proof guitar in your carry-on-it´s less than two thirds the normal size and weighs about three pounds. The hollow carbon-fiber neck allows it to resonate much like a larger guitar.
Blackbird Rider $1,600;
L’Eggo My Yego
Remember when plug-in air fresheners covered the whole outlet and were totally useless for anything but freshening the air? Thumb drives have been wallowing in their own bad time for a while now-plug one in, and say goodbye to a port (no small sacrifice now that everything seems to use USB)-but at last, one company is addressing the shortcoming. This drive is equipped with two hubs, so you can not only access its port when it’s plugged in, but you get a bonus hub as well. Added password protection means you can safely leave your devices charging even when the office snoop asks to use your computer for “just a sec.”
Yego Price not set;
Dock ‘N’ Roll
Set your iPod in one room and listen to it in another-or even outside. This dock sends your music wirelessly to up to four speakers, including one that’s weatherproof. Eos uses radio waves to carry CD-quality sound 150 feet.
Eos Wireless From $130;
JACK BE NIMBLE
To make working under your car easier and safer, the first combination jack and stand lets you lift the chassis and prop it up securely in one go. Position either of the two stands by pumping up the jack and then pulling it away, leaving the stand in place. ** Craftsman 2 Ton Lift and Secure Jack System $300;
Long Distance Service
Forgot an e-mail on your PC? Grab it from afar by logging to this home server, the first consumer model to open files
and programs on networked computers. **HP MediaSmart Server Price not set; hp.com **
On the first racket that you can string in two ways, inserts change the size of string holes. Wide ports dampen vibration to create a wider sweet spot; small openings mimic the responsiveness of a traditional racket. **Prince O3 Speedport $220;
The Wrench that Says When
You´ll never strip a bolt if you heed this torque wrench´s warning lights. The wrench measures force 2,500 times a second and signals you to ease off before overcranking.
GearWrench Electronic Torque Wrench $340;
Zero to 50 mph in 6.8 seconds, a top speed of 62 mph and a near-silent engine are great specs for any scooter, but the Maxi-Scooter has one other thing going for it: it runs on a battery. The first all-electric scooter gets about 68 miles between charges and takes 2.5 hours to rejuice.
Maxi-Scooter $11,000 (available soon);
Spic ‘n’ Span
Barely larger than a microwave, this countertop dishwasher can wash four complete place settings with a fraction of the energy expended by regular-size washers. Even better, it wastes less water than washing by hand, granting you a legitimate excuse for your laziness. ** EdgeStar Countertop Dishwasher $190;
Perfect for your next beach vacation, the first waterproof camcorder grabs VGA videos (and six-megapixel stills) in up to five feet of water. Metal reinforcement around the LCD withstands pressure changes. **Sanyo Xacti E1 $500;
Oh Gosh, Oh Geo
This GPS module syncs its clock with your digital camera’s and then matches its location data with each moment the shutter is clicked, using software to plot the coordinates on a Google map or upload them to Flickr. Small enough to slip into a pocket, the Trackr’s power consumption is low, so it won’t die at a crucial moment-like when you finally stumble onto that pirate treasure. **Photo Trackr $100;
Open wireless networks are great, but searching through them, dealing with weak signals, and being booted anytime the one you’re using shuts down is a pain. Enter the Slurpr, which promises to pull every available signal, aggregating their bandwidth into a super broadband connection. Caveat: The legality of this product is, shall we say, iffy.
Cleared for Takeoff
It´s the solution heavy sleepers have been waiting for: Apparently, all it takes to avoid repeated tardiness to work is a helicopter! This alarm clock launches its little foam payload at the critical moment and doesn’t stop wailing until you get up, fetch the mini copter on the other side of the room, and place it back in its holder. Not as cool as that roof-to-roof chauffeur service you were considering, but still.
Flying Alarm Clock $50;
The Better to See You With
Being able to play movies on your iPod is well and good, but being able to watch them without risking blindness is even better. This portable DVD player comes with a flat iPod dock, in addition to an 8.5-inch swivel screen and an SD/MMC slot for displaying photos from your digital camera.
DCP850 $200;[philips.com](http://philips.com target=)
SKINNY DRIVE AND ALL
At 2.4 pounds and 0.77 inch thick, the Portg R500 is the slimmest laptop with a built-in optical drive-a 0.28-inch-thick DVD burner that’s the world’s thinnest. Toshiba Portg R500 $2,000;