Our 10 Best Of Popsci’s 100 Best Innovations Of The Year

Our 10 Best Of Popsci’s 100 Best Innovations Of The Year

Who has the time or patience to count, not to mention read, up to 100? So we’ve taken the trouble to squeeze down Popsci’s 100 best list to a more manageable 10. Enough to read while still pretending to work.

The 2011 Nissan Leaf: It’s going to be the first “mass-market” pure-electric car. It’s not the first electric-car period, but the “mass-market” qualifier makes it OK. I guess. And the 160km range. And it’ll be about $30,000 before a $7500 tax break, so you can afford it. And we love Nissans. [Popsci] [imgclear]

The Sikorsky X2 Helicopter: It’s going to be the fastest chopper in existence based on the fact that there are counter-rotating rotors and a backwards-facing propeller that pushes the whole thing forward. It may not look like a helicopter you’re familiar with, but it’s pure sweetness. [Popsci] [imgclear]

Diamond Interchange: This new traffic intersection type can “reduce clogging by as much as 60 per cent”, which bodes well for drivers everywhere. You don’t need to know how it works, you just need to know that it does, and convince your local MP to change over to this style. [Popsci] [imgclear]

Powergenix Rechargeable AA Batteries: These are supposed to be, thanks to better Nickel-Zinc technology, as good as disposables — but can last up to 1000 charges. They’re not too expensive either, comparatively, at $US15 for four. [Popsci] [imgclear]

Sennheiser HD800 headphones: Sennheiser’s HD series are expensive (boldly expensive), but very much worth it. The 800 is just another reason why you should be taking night classes in order to get a better job to pay for these. $US1400 isn’t something you throw down casually, but if you’re talking sound quality AND comfort (others can do one or the other), you’ll have a hard time beating Sennheiser. [Popsci] [imgclear]

X-Flex Blast Protection Wallpaper: These sticky, rollable, self-adhesive sheets can be applied to any wall that you think will be the subject of explosions. In turn, the walls stay vertical and the occupants inside the building say alive. Popsci says these things kept a wrecking ball from going through pure brick, so it’ll definitely keep your angry teenage kid from putting his fist through your drywall. [Popsci] [imgclear]

Filigent Limited BioMask: A face mask — like the kind everyone wears in Japan when they’re sick — that kills 99.9 per cent of flu viruses in less than a minute. And 100 per cent after 10. A regular mask still holds 50,000 bugs (on average). If you want one of these you’ll have to import it from Hong Kong or Europe, where it’s more acceptable to wear one of these on the street. I should really stock up on these for CES next year; not because it’s going to be a mass of diseased bodies in a confined space, but because Adam Frucci is really disgusting. [Popsci] [imgclear]

Xela Innovations Purleve Hygienic Door Handle: The door handle is actually a sleeve dispenser, so instead of touching poopy metal, you touch a removable plastic sleeve whenever you have to get out from the can. It’s genius, even if it is slightly wasteful to refill sleeves all the time. But if we have no problem protecting our arses from public toilets with disposable toilet rings, this should sell just as well. [Popsci] [imgclear]

Microsoft’s Project Natal: If there’s one game development we’re looking forward to, it’s Natal. Imagine combining the fun of being at home with the fun of moving around in your living room and having a machine know exactly what you’re doing. Perhaps we should phrase it another way: Whenever Mark and I play any game, he says “imagine how great this would be with NATAL!!!!” He actually pronounces those exclamation points out loud over Xbox Live so I get how serious he is. [Popsci] [imgclear]

Bosch Full Force Technology Nail Gun: You might not use nail guns every day, but when you do, you really want to savour the experience. In this case, Bosch uses a secondary air blast that follows the first nail-ejection one in order to return the piston into firing position. So the nail gun literally goes pew-pew with each shot. As a result, the gun is 20 per cent smaller and 10 per cent more powerful than anything else. With one of these, everything you own becomes a board. [Popsci]