Popular Science Names Top Tech Innovations of 2005

12 Grand Award Winners Take Top Honors in the

18th Annual Best of What's New Awards

Nov 07, 2005, 00:00 ET from Popular Science

    NEW YORK, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Every year, the editors of Popular
 Science magazine review thousands of new products and technologies in pursuit
 of 100 breakthroughs that merit the magazine's highest honor, the Best of
 What's New award. Appearing in the much-anticipated December issue of Popular
 Science -- the most widely read issue of the year -- Best of What's New
 celebrates the 100 most impressive advancements in 12 categories: Automotive
 Tech, Aviation & Space, Cars, Computing, Engineering, Gadgets, General
 Innovation, Home Entertainment, Home Tech, Personal Health, Photography and
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20051107/NYM026 )
     Leading off each category is one Grand Award winner -- a product or
 technology that represents a significant leap over existing technologies. "The
 Best of What's New awards honor innovations that affect the way we live today
 and change the way we think about the future," says Mark Jannot, editor of
 Popular Science. "This year's Grand Award winners range from kid-pleasing
 colored bubbles to a mind-controlled prosthetic arm and a Jeep that can scoot
 diagonally like a beach crab."
     The 2005 Grand Award winners of the Popular Science Best of What's New
 Awards are:
     AUTOMOTIVE TECH: Hurricane (Jeep)
     Each of the Jeep Hurricane concept truck's four independently sprung
 wheels can deflect up to 45 degrees off-center, enabling the Hurricane to move
 diagonally or, when coupled with the gearbox's ability to turn the wheels in
 opposite directions, spin in place like a hurricane.
     AVIATION & SPACE: A380 (Airbus)
     This enormous jet's roomy two-story cabin can pamper the 118 business- and
 first-class travelers while packing as many as 437 passengers in coach to hold
 down fares. The A380 is half as loud as the smaller Boeing 747. Bigger fans on
 its engine slow down noisy exhaust air without diminishing power. Another
 advance is reliability -- the A380 has so many backup systems that Airbus
 claims it will almost never have to divert for mechanical failures.
     CARS: 2007 S-Class (Mercedes-Benz)
     It sees at night, prevents accidents, and leaves most sports cars in the
 dust: The ninth-generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class 550 is more then a simple
 luxury upgrade. Its Brake Assist Plus system uses long- and short-range radar
 to anticipate and avoid collisions -- or, at the very least, lessen the
 severity of a crash -- by automatically braking with full force if you don't
 step on the brake hard enough to stop in time. The car's Night View Assist
 shines infrared beams down the road to illuminate hazards that are beyond the
 reach of the headlight. A special camera on the rearview mirror reads the
 infrared and shows you a clear image of what's coming on an eight-inch LCD
 screen in the instrument panel.
     COMPUTING: Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (Toshiba)
     Imagine having a 10-gigabyte hard drive in your cell phone or a terabyte
 of space on your laptop. Perpendicular recording, a new way of storing data on
 a hard disk, creates the possibility for these kinds of capacities. Expect the
 entire hard-drive industry to go perpendicular within a few years.
     ENGINEERING: One Bryant Park (Cook + Fox Architects)
     Set to rise 54 stories above Manhattan, the crystalline Bank of America
 Tower at One Bryant Park will incorporate an unrivaled number of
 environment-friendly technologies. The building will supply 70 percent of its
 own energy with an on-site natural-gas-burning power plant. For climate
 control, One Bryant Park will rely on excess thermal energy from the power
 plant, a groundwater heat exchanger that is the first of its type, and an
 air-conditioning system cooled by ice made with excess power during off-peak
 hours. The building will even have waterless urinals and use water collected
 from the roof to flush toilets.
     GADGETS: PlayStation Portable (Sony)
     The introduction of Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) was the moment
 portable game consoles stopped being toys. It's smaller than a paperback, with
 a wide-screen display and the best-looking and most sophisticated games ever
 made for a portable. But it's what you can do on the PSP besides play games
 that really separates it from what came before. Listen to music or watch video
 from its Memory Stick Duo slot, surf the Web with its integrated Wi-Fi and
 browser, or pop in a Universal Media Disc of the latest movie.
     GENERAL INNOVATION: Zubbles (Ascadia)
     Zubbles are the first colored bubbles. They are nearly opaque, with a
 single vibrant hue. The challenge, which toy inventor Tim Kehoe worked on for
 more than 10 years, was to create a dye that could tint the thin wall of soap
 bubble but wouldn't leave a stain when the bubble broke. His solution: an
 entirely new dye that simply disappears.
     HOME ENTERTAINMENT: Xbox 360 (Microsoft)
     The first of the next-generation gaming consoles, the new Xbox 360 is not
 just about games -- the 360 is poised to take over the living room as well.
 The 360 is the first Media Center extender that receives and plays back HDTV
 from Media Center PCs, and it comes with a free lifetime subscription to the
 Xbox Live online service.
     HOME TECH: TimberSIL (Timber Treatment Technologies)
     Noncorrosive, fire-retardant and resistant to mold, mildew, termites and
 rot, TimberSIL pressure-treated lumber employs sodium silicate, a mixture of
 sand and soda ash, rather than green chromated copper arsenate (which leaches
 toxic arsenic into the ground). Bugs can look, but they can't touch.
     PERSONAL HEALTH: Neuro-Controlled Bionic Arm (Rehabilitation Institute of
     For the first time ever, an amputee need only think about a movement --
 picking up a glass, for instance -- and the 12-pound Neuro-Controlled Bionic
 Arm dutifully coordinates the task. Electrodes intercept the limb's residual
 nerve firings and feed them to a computer embedded in the forearm, which then
 commands six motors to move the device's shoulder, elbow and hand in unison.
 Thanks to hand sensors, the wearer can even gauge pressure and fine-tune his
     PHOTOGRAPHY: EasyShare-One (Kodak)
     Kodak's EasyShare-One allows for wireless photo sharing -- straight from
 the camera. You can add settings for any hotspot or connect setup-free to
 T-Mobile hotspots around the world. The camera also employs a user interface
 that makes it easy to e-mail photos, create albums and slide shows, and upload
 shots to the Kodak EasyShare Gallery site. And it can wirelessly transfer
 photos to your PC and printer.
     RECREATION: Volvo Penta Inboard Performance System (Volvo Penta)
     It's faster, cleaner, quieter, more fuel-efficient and more responsive.
 The Volvo Penta IPS contains a pair of forward-facing, counter-rotating
 propellers (like those in certain prop-driven airplanes) that are placed side
 by side directly underneath the engine. Rather than churning through water
 that's been chopped up by the exposed shaft, the way most inboard motors do,
 the propellers pull on undisturbed water, which increases efficiency and speed
 by up to 20 percent.
     The full list, descriptions and images of all 100 Best of What's New
 Winners is in the December issue of Popular Science, on newsstands November
 15, 2005, and can be viewed at http://www.popsci.com.
     Popular Science(R) is published by Time4 Media(R), the world's leading
 publisher of enthusiast magazines. Founded in 1872, PopSci is the world's
 largest science and technology magazine, with a circulation of 1.45 million
 subscribers and a readership of more than six million people. Time4 Media(R)
 is a subsidiary of Time Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time
 Warner Inc. (NYSE:   TWX).
     For additional information, images and interviews, contact Mark Ballard,
 212.255.8455 or mark@rosengrouppr.com

SOURCE Popular Science