The latest Gadgets
By Hani Khattab
- All gadgets
Before it unveiled the Roomba Floorvac for the home market in 2002, iRobot built land-mine-clearing robots, which used the so-called crop circle algorithm. This very same technology was adapted to make the Roomba circle and sweep autonomously. Within a year of its launch, iRobot's Roomba Floorvac was the top gift request on American wedding registries, and sales of the revolutionary vacuum cleaner surpassed the combined total number of all mobile robots previously sold.
Digital Video Recorder
When ownership of this gadget crept past 1 million in 2002, TV and advertising execs worried aloud that DVRs, by enabling viewers to skip commercials, were surefire TV killers. "There's no Santa Claus," one CEO said. "If you don't watch the commercials, someone's going to have to pay for television and it's going to be you." Fast forward to today: 40 percent of households have a DVR; whether out of habit or laziness almost 50 percent of DVR users still watch ads; and the networks have, on average, seen ratings jump 10 percent, thanks to playback.to edit this text.
In 1972, the Mr. Coffee machine simplified a brewing process that had been long dominated by traditional percolators. The machine's success, however, was also an early example of celebrity spokesmanship: When Joe DiMaggio became the face of the brand, Mr. Coffee machines became the runaway best-selling model in the United States. (Its success was even spoofed in the 1985 film Back to the Future: The DeLorean time machine is powered by a "Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor.") Today, approximately 14 million drip coffee makers are sold each year in the U.S.
Flip-up screens have been a big deal on digital SLRs for a while because they're great for use in situations where a conventional viewfinder or display won't do - such as trying to get a clear view of the action which you're in the middle of a crowd.