Top Tech of the week – 12.22.2006

We were able to land a major exclusive this week with one of the busiest men on the planet, and also incredibly reclusive one. Yes, we got an interview with the one and only Santa Claus. He’s a difficult man to get inside the head of, but we did learn some interesting things – despite the worker pinch in much of the world he suffers no labor shortages, he’s concerned about the long term price and availability of the aluminum he favors for toy construction, and he prefers XM over Sirius in his sled. We also asked him what his favorite stories of the week in technology were. These were his top five:

Self-sufficient phones – It makes sense that Santa would embrace anything that cuts down on both his battery costs and the number of AC adapters he has to make. These three concept phones from ModeLabs Group recharge through simple motion. Each phone captures the kinetic energy that is generated when you move and uses it to keep the phone working. You may never have to plug a phone in again.

Student-created concept car – You don’t devote your life to making and delivering toys if you don’t like kids. Santa loves them, so he loves this innovative car, the DScar, made by (older) kids at Cranfield University in Europe. It is made entirely of mass-produced parts, yet its three wheel design makes it versatile, attractive, and probably more than a little fun.

Bicycle snowmobile conversion kit - Snowmobiles take up way too much space in the sleigh, so this is not only a fun innovation, but it is a huge space saver. This kit from KTrak lets you easily turn your mountain bike, which is pretty useless in snowstorms, into a snow-loving machine. The only difference is that this snowmobile doesn’t have much of a motor on it, and only goes as fast as you can pedal.

Onkyo Wavio PVR – When you can’t make your products stand out because of their features, you had better make them stand out because of their looks. The Wavio is a personal video recorder that looks like a pyramid. I imagine that they’ll be very popular in Egypt. You can record any audio or video source you can find onto a wide range of memory cards for all your devices.

Xethanol – It’s widely believed that Santa’s sleigh is reindeer powered, but he supplemented it with a jet engine years ago (Dasher and Dancer aren’t getting any younger), so rising gas prices are making the big guy less than jolly. Xethanol could be the salvation. It’s ethanol made from the orange peels that are discarded during the juice making process. Now all Santa has to do is figure out how to grow oranges at the North Pole.


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