2005 top inventions

I just finished reading Time Magazine’s top inventions of 2005 – a little late, as it gets passed to me from my father-in-law in a pile a few weeks after he’s finished with them.

The magazine’s top nomination was for the cloning of a dog. Woof.

At Time.com, there is a list of the top inventions as voted by online readers, with the Fukuda Automatic Door coming first, followed by the stunning Lifestraw, a personal water purification straw. You can check it out at lifestraw.com.

The ones with the most practical use for me were:
– Roomba – a robot vacuum cleaner
– Sony’s Ebook Reader

The roomba is apparently available already in Australia, that can sense stairs and basically do all your vacuuming for you. And apparently it happily copes with dog hair, which is the bane of my existence. My beautiful gold labrador just has to walk through the room for it to be absolutely covered with dog hairs. It doesn’t look so bad on the cream carpet (apart from the footmarks and the red dye from where he peed on the red leather pouf), but on the kitchen floor, it constantly looks hairy. Not good, Jan. So I’m definitely saving up for a Roomba this year. Along with everything else.

Sony’s Reader was apparently a hit, because the screen is made from an electronic paper that makes it look almost as clear as paper. Not being backlit, it reduces glare, which can strain the eyes. It’s about the size of a paperback, and shows one page at a time.

Personally, I’d almost kill for an electronic music display device. Currently when I play the piano, my old much-loved music books are propped open with a diary on each side, to stop the pages from flipping open as I play. And then when I try to change pages I have to quickly rebalance the diaries, usually dropping them, and half the time the whole book falls on the floor.

As I write this, I did a search on Google for electronic sheet music display, and found the Music Pad Pro Plus.

It sounds like heaven. An electronic touch screen (or you can use foot pedals) to turn pages that can store 1000s of pieces of sheet music.

The only downsides I can see are price ($1200US), weight (around 4 lbs), and my preference to have two pages open at a time. Although it says you can use landscape mode to have two sheets displayed, I wonder how easy they would be to read.

Oh well. Maybe one day I’ll win the lottery, and have every gadget I could ever want.

And a new kitchen.


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