Time Magazine's 2002 Best Inventions
November 19, 2002 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Time Magazine's 2002 Best Inventions
I love my toys and gadgets, and I especially fancy the Air Surfer, @ $75 it looks like the glider for klutzes like me. However, I'm not ready just yet to take the hoots of derision that this Bluetooth Mobile Phone Headset will bring. This new chip looks set to improve digital photography... I do fancy that! But will Foveon have the muscle to bring the X3 to fruition?
This, though, is as close as we'll ever get to 'vaporware': Nasa's AeroGel... find out what earthly purpose it could serve.
Some on the list are little more than product placements (I'm looking at 'Breathe Strips' and 'Ultra-Cashmere' now), and some - Mr. Dyson's Cyclonic spin vacuum, I'm surprised to see - are hardly new. Others [Nano-Tex, Date Rape Drug Spotter & The Scramjet] I'm sure we've discussed before (but they don't figure in Mefi searches).
How many of these will change our lives - and how many will improve them? Is there something cool missing from the list? - something tells me that their gushing over their discovery of '3D Online Entertainment' ["...you can do it all and more in Second Life, a startlingly lifelike 3-D virtual world now evolving on the Internet"] gives it the Kiss O' Death. [...via blogdex]

posted by dash_slot- (11 comments total)
Aieeee!!!! epinionsfilter overload! Kidding, excellent post. Most of those inventions are scary. The cell phone tooth? Good god if that isn't the end of solitude I don't know what is.

And I don't know many snowboarders who'd waste $1000 on a jacket with a mp3 player sewn into it. I really didn't think they could get more ridiculous than last year's selection of Dockers mobile pants, but that takes the cake.

The camera chip however, makes me sad, because I just spent a lot of money on a spiffy digital camera.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:42 PM on November 19, 2002

Oh, and this Earth Supercomputer looks really creepy in that HAL kinda way.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:55 PM on November 19, 2002

I got to handle a 1cm3 piece of aerogel at the JPL. The fellow handing it out warned us not to put our hands near our mouths afterwards (laugh, but I'm a nailbiter), and we had to be very careful not to crush it. Since it was so small, it was hard to appreciate how light it was.

I was skeptical about its applicability because of these precautions, but some googling reveals that (naturally) they've been working on the fragility and toxicity issues for a long time. Maybe we had an old sample, or maybe the fellow was just being cautious.

Does anyone know if the stuff they use to kill roaches (search for "Drione") is the same aerogel that NASA makes?
posted by tss at 8:59 PM on November 19, 2002

I love this article, they always pick some fun and outlandish items. It was also on their recommendation that I purchased the remote control plane for my daughter. BTW - less than $50 from etoys.

Anyway, a fun article.
posted by Plunge at 9:09 PM on November 19, 2002

The Foveon X3 sensor is currently in one digital SLR, the Sigma SD9. Hopefully they'll create a larger sensor sometime soon with the same overlapping red, green, and blue pixels.

I can't wait for the digital SLRs, which currently cost about $2000, to come down a bit more in price. They're way out of my budget right now, but the "cheap" ones used to be about $5k, so maybe in a year or two...
posted by lalas at 10:31 PM on November 19, 2002

An amusing assortment of trinkets. However, it's ultimately usless as I do not see myself being able to afford rent for the next five years, let alone one of the products in those advertisments listings.
posted by Down10 at 1:36 AM on November 20, 2002

'vaporware': Nasa's AeroGel

I can't believe you got away with that... ;)

Oh, and on a complete tangent, the reason that digital pictures look shit on print is that a 6*4 print is about 164MP, not 7MP...
posted by twine42 at 3:24 AM on November 20, 2002

<because someone's bound to, so it might as well be me>
So, this phone, it vibrates?
posted by normy at 5:37 AM on November 20, 2002

<vain attempt at redemption>
Norman Koren's excellent site for photo-geeks includes a good article unravelling the 'How many pixels is enough?' question.
posted by normy at 5:48 AM on November 20, 2002

tss: I believe this is the silica gel used to kill cockroaches.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:42 AM on November 20, 2002

I'm really not so impressed. The cell phone tooth is completely useless. I already have one of those, and the voices can't hear you!

Was laughing my ass off when I read all these great inventions, but now that it's out of my system I don't have much reaction left. It's kind of like when you show a little kid those ultimate bubbles. They're like, "Okay, I get it, the bubbles last a long time. Quit acting like a retard."
posted by son_of_minya at 9:27 AM on November 20, 2002

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