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Popular Mechanics Honors Inventors With "Breakthro

Popular Mechanics Honors Inventors With "Breakthrough Awards"

October 03, 2005

Have you ever met an inventor? Since the days of the light bulb or telephone, does anyone still call themselves inventors? Well, NY1 Tech Beat Reporter Adam Balkin recently attended an awards show where the Thomas Edison’s and Alexander Graham Bell’s of today were recognized for their creations.

A room full of the top technological inventions of 2005 - the "breakthrough" inventions of the year – is why their inventors were on hand to accept acknowledgment at Popular Mechanics Magazine's annual Breakthrough Awards Ceremony.

“The Breakthrough Awards tonight are all about honoring people who are doing cutting edge working in all the fields, everything from helping the handicapped to new energy sources to potential technologies that may help us get into space a little more easily and cheaply,” says Jim Meigs of Popular Mechanics.

Lots of technologies that directly help make your life more convenient also awarded, from car engines to power tools to GPS units.

The rocket bike was created by a father and daughter team. Sadly though, it’s just for the father and daughter's own use right now, with no real plans for mass production.

“On this bike I could go from zero pounds of thrust or force all the way up to 200, so if I'm sitting still and I squeeze the throttle all the way I could actually go from zero to 60 in five seconds,” says rocket bike inventor Tim Pickens.

And some award winners are not satisfied with resting on their laurels. You may remember hearing about the Slingbox on NY1 a few months ago; hook it up to your TV and you can watch your cable, your digital video recorder, your DVD player from any computer with a high speed Internet connection. Well, its creators already working on getting invited back to the awards next year.

Coming up in the very near future you'll be able to access your entire home entertainment system from literally anywhere in the world. That's because the folks at Sling Media are allowing you to access your Slingbox from any Microsoft-enabled Smartphone or Pocket PC.

“Our whole goal as a company is to take every single display that you have and turn it into not just any kind of TV, but your living room TV,” says Blake Krikorian of Sling Media. “So the way that it'll work is all existing users of Slingboxes and of course people who buy new Slingboxes will be able to download a new Slingplayer client that will go on a variety of Smartphones, more intelligent phones with nice screens, and once they do that they simply hit the button and they're watching their living room TV.”

The night also awarded several advances in assistive technologies, from work that could someday help those with spinal-cord injuries regain their movement, to brain computer interfaces that allow severely disabled people to operate computers with their minds.

- Adam Balkin

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