It’s nice when the tech wizards at Popular Science decide to take your latest gadget for a spin. It’s even nicer when they put you in the same category as Apple’s iPad, the world’s tallest building, an ultrafast electric Porsche, a solar-powered plane that can fly all night, a superfast remote controlled rescue buoy, and 3D TV. These inventions are all part of the “2010 Best of What’s New Awards,” the magazine’s annual roundup of the 100 most extraordinary innovations of the year. Eleven of the technologies — including the ones above and GE’s Vscan ultrasound — were each given the “Grand Award” for representing “a game-changing leap forward in their field.”
“Best of What’s New is more than a collection of new technologies and innovative products,” says Mark Jannot, editor-in-chief of Popular Science. “It’s a glimpse into the future, a chance to look ahead to the ways technology will transform everything from our health and the environment to how we work, play, and communicate.”
Looking good: Visit www.popsci.com/bown to see the full list of the winners and PopSci’s photo gallery.
Here’s what the judges had to say about Vscan, which just became commercially available this year: “Trauma doctors have a saying: Time is blood. The quicker a physician can identify an injury or disease, the better the patient’s chances of survival. Ultrasound can show doctors a patient’s beating heart or blood flowing through a kidney, and now the Vscan, just a bit larger than a smartphone, puts the tool in every doctor’s lab coat….”
“The Vscan is already allowing emergency medics to assess internal injuries on the way to the hospital. And doctors can take a quick look at a person’s heart murmur within minutes, rather than waiting hours or days for an appointment with an ultrasound technician. The Vscan could soon become as ubiquitous as the stethoscope.”
Desert bloom: The technology that snagged the coveted “Innovation of the Year” award was the Groasis Waterboxx. It’s hoped the bucket-like device may help reverse the toll of deforestation in semi-arid climates around the globe. The simple, inexpensive plant incubator keeps seedlings moist until roots grow enough to tap underground reservoirs. The editors said: “In tests in the Sahara, 88 percent of Waterboxx-sheltered trees survived, versus 10 percent of trees with traditional cultivation.” Photo: Popular Science.