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Scientific American's Annual Gadget Guide: 10 Reasons to Fondly Remember 2011

Our picks for some of the coolest tech of the year

1 of 10

GoPro HERO2 HD Camera:

Woodman Labs, Inc., which does business as GoPro, offers three different editions of its HERO2 high-definition camera —Outdoor, Motorsports and Surf. The HD HERO2 Outdoor Edition is the most advanced GoPro camera.....[ More ]

Sifteo Game Cubes:

Sifteo cubes feature a clickable, full color LCD display, a variety of motion sensors and a rechargeable battery—all in a 3.8-centimeter block. The cubes can be moved, shaken, flipped and rotated to play a number of classic games like chess, dominoes and jigsaw puzzles.....[ More ]

Vectrix Personal Electric Vehicle:

The Vectrix VX-1 Li+ is an awfully big (and awfully expensive) gadget, but this all-electric scooter stands out for its ability to max out at about 110 kilometers per hour and travel up to about 135 kilometers on a fully charged battery.....[ More ]

Fitbit Wireless Tracker:

Fitbit, Inc.'s Tracker relies on an accelerometer and altimeter to measure motion patterns to indicate calories burned, steps taken, distance traveled and even sleep quality. The Tracker, which weighs about 11 grams, clips onto the wearer's clothes to measure physical activity and can also be slipped into a wristband before bedtime to gather information about how many times and how long you wake up during the night.....[ More ]

Wacom Inkling:

Wacom's Inkling digital sketch pen captures a digital likeness of a sketch. Use Inkling's ballpoint tip on any sketchbook or standard piece of paper and it will store drawings, which can be exported from Inkling Sketch Manager software into Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator (CS3 or newer), Autodesk Sketchbook Pro (2011 or newer) or Autodesk Sketchbook Designer.....[ More ]

Orbotix Sphero:

Sphero is a glowing white ball that can be maneuvered across the floor, sidewalk or track by tilting, touching or swinging an iOS or Android smart phone or tablet thanks to a combination of software and wireless Bluetooth connectivity.....[ More ]

Kiga Bergmonch Backpack/Scooter:

Although it technically debuted in mid-2010, Koga BV's Bergmönch —German for "mountain monk"—gained traction this year, combining hiking and mountain biking into a single piece of equipment.....[ More ]

Nest's Learning Home Thermostat:

Nest's self-programming thermostat programs itself by monitoring when and how much and how often its settings are changed. The thermostat, which also monitors weather conditions using a wi-fi connection, is accessible via a smart phone and makes suggestions for optimum heating/cooling temperatures.....[ More ]

Kopin Golden-i Headset Computer:

Kopin, Inc.'s Golden-i is a head-mounted computer that runs a version of the Windows operating system and can communicate with any operating system that supports Bluetooth and wi-fi. The voice-activated Golden-i can access desktops, laptops and other computers via the Web or by using remote desktop access software from GoToMyPC or Citrix.....[ More ]

Lytro Light-Field Camera:

Unlike a conventional camera that captures a single plane of light, the Lytro camera is designed with a special sensor to capture the color and intensity of the entire light field , which is all the light traveling in every direction in every point in space.....[ More ]

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