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Pop Sci's Best of What's New

Boot Camp feature for Friday, November 8, 2002

The Best of What's New... for 2002. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Popular Science magazine is out with what would be its equivalent of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. It's annual Best of What's New Edition... listing one hundred winners in ten different categories. When it comes to computers and software... the winners include the just introduced Tablet PC, Apple's widescreen iMac... and, says executive editor Bill Phillips...

"Our grand award winner is for something called the MetaPad. It was designed by IBM. Basically what they did was they took the computer and turned it into a deck of cards... that size."

A full fledged computer that is wearable or pocket sized. In the general technology category... the competition was pretty intense... with the winners including the Segway Human Transporter, an invention called Smart Dust for detecting chemical weapons... .and the grand prize winner is something called Hypersonic Sound...

"Which is perhaps the coolest thing I've ever seen demonstrated in my six years at Popular Science. This company in California has invented a way to basically do to sound what lasers do for light, focus it in a beam. So the idea here is in their demonstration, what they did is they basically pointed a speaker at me, say, and I could hear the sound fine. Then they pointed it just to my right and I couldn't hear it. I could walk 150 yards away from the speaker and still hear it at the same volume."

A wide range of applications are envisioned from military to entertainment. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.