Top Tech of the week – 12.29.2006

It’s the end of the year. Another one come and gone. With New Year’s Day coming up, there are a couple of things that you can be certain of. First of all, you will almost certainly wake up on the first day of the year with a big hangover. That’s inevitable. You’ll also probably make a whole bunch of resolutions – changes to your life. They probably won’t last, since they never do, but they’ll stand a better chance of lasting if you have good technology helping you out. Here, for the new year, are the best technology we have come across this week:

Battery-free pacemaker – Hopefully your New Year’s Eve isn’t so rough that you will end up needing a pacemaker (if it does, you have probably partied too hard). If you find yourself in need, though, this may be the perfect solution. You would never want to have your batteries die in your pacemaker. This new one has a micro-generator that draws power from your movements. As long as you keep moving, your heart will keep pumping. And vice versa, I guess.

Brando USB Phonebook – Few things would get the new year started off more poorly than losing your phone and all the data on it. This USB phonebook won’t stop your phone from getting stolen, but if it does get pilfered at least you’ll still have all your phone numbers. You can just load them from this little contraption right onto your new phone. This wouldn’t be a problem if you had a smartphone that linked up with Outlook or something, but if you don’t want to get that fancy then this device could save you a serious headache.

Toyota Concept – The new top dog in the car game wants you to be able to go hybrid and still stay fast and sporty. After all, even a granola should look good while they drive around. The car has a 3.5 liter engine that can kick out 292 horsepower, and an electric motor that conjures up another 197 horsepower. That’ll get you to your vegetarian restaurant pretty quickly. It can go from 0 to 60 in just 4 seconds. Maybe you’ll be able to get an interior made of hemp, too.

High-tech credit card – All my credit card seems to do is cost me money. This credit card concept does a whole lot more than that. It is conceived to be a fully functional computer, complete with Bluetooth, GPS, Windows, WiFi, and a touch-sensitive interface. Even though it is so small, storage isn’t an issue. Most of the storage is done on an external server, so you can access pretty much whatever you want. The concept is a long way from reality, but it will be a pretty cool reality when it does materialize.

Inkless pen – Have you ever had a pen explode in your pocket? No better way to ruin a day. And a pair of pants. With this pen you’d never have that trouble. It’s made of stainless steel. Through some mystery of science, when you write on standard paper it leaves a mark that can’t be smudged or rubbed out. It supposedly doesn’t stop working like a pen or pencil does. It seems odd, but if it actually works then my pants and I couldn’t be more excited.


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