<A HREF="http://www.popularmechanics.com/"><I>Popular Mechanics</I></A> has announced its 2007 Breakthrough Awards, honoring individuals and products that push the envelope of what technology can do. These are the ten winners of the Breakthrough Product Awards for Setting Benchmarks in Design, Creativity, and Engineering. Some of these items are far-off, and some you can purchase now, but they all bring something unique to the table.
" This ground-breaking innovation redefines teamwork for the digital age. With multi-touch capabilities, the Surface allows people to use the tabletop computer simultaneously. Most remarkably, it is the first device with the ability to wirelessly connect with other portable devices. As an example of this revolutionary technology, when a camera is placed on the screen, the photos spill out on the tabletop, and the user has the ability to rearrange the photos and 'slide' them directly into another device."
"The iPhone is a phenomenal breakthrough in the cellphone industry. Apple cleverly combined three devices to create the iPhone -- a widescreen iPod, a phone, and an Internet communicator. The device is equipped with a highly responsive touch screen that allows the user to simultaneously use phone, email, and music features. Most notably, the iPhone has a 'visual voicemail' feature which allows the users to select, and delete messages with a tap of the finger."
"Samsung introduces the hard drive of the future -- SSDs, which are essentially big bundles of flash memory. Flash memory works much faster than traditional hard drives, and is less resistant to mechanical failure."
"Nintendo takes interactive gaming to a new level. Courtesy of the pressure-sensitive Wii Balance Board, this active-play phenomenon provides a 'core' workout, with activities including aerobics, yoga, muscle stretches, and other games for the whole family to enjoy."
"The Sync system, to be installed in all Ford models within two years, can be used simultaneously as a hands-free phone, with voice command capability and a universal music player. Most impressively, the Sync has the ability to read incoming text messages out loud."
"These automotive giants join forces to offer a new fuel saving technology in rear wheel drive cars and trucks. The adaptation of this scalable hybrid system will deliver drastic full economy improvement."
"It's not the technology that makes this desktop computer revolutionary; it's the perks that make it a novelty. Zonbu offers online storage, and a user-friendly warranty -- if the PC crashes, a brand new computer will be sent overnight. With a slew of pre-loaded applications, the computer is highly resistant to viruses and unexplained crashes."
"Hitachi's reciprocating saw uses a revolutionary technology called User Vibration Protection (UVP), a counterweight mechanism that reduces vibration by sixty percent, dramatically reducing operator fatigue, and increasing safety."
"This plastic fiber batt insulation is a dramatic advancement from ubiquitous fiberglass insulation. In contrast, this self-supporting material can be cut with a utility knife, and torn by hand without the creation of dust, eliminating discomfort associated with fiberglass and the need for protective equipment."