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Future Perfect

By Hannah Wallace November 30, 2008

Like the Incredible Shrinking Man, our most advanced devices are getting smaller and smaller. The best technology is something you hold in your hands, plug in your ears or wear on your body. Sometimes it even talks to you. You hardly know it’s there, except when you need it. Here are some new high-tech gadgets that rely on smart—but small—technology.

High Fidelity

After plopping down hundreds of dollars on an mp3 player, why listen with cheap earphones? Bradenton-based Sleek Audio has just rolled out the Rolls Royce of listening devices, the SA6 Earphone ($249.99). Engineered by company president Mark Krywko, a 30-year veteran of hearing-aid design, it’s the world’s first earphone with a multistage variable equalization system. This allows you to fully customize the sound of your music, whether from an mp3 player, musical instrument or other audio transmitter. The detachable input cable means you needn’t buy new headphones if the cord goes bad. (The company is currently developing a cable-free, hassle-free, wireless application.)

Sleek Audio

3904 9th Ave. W., Bradenton

(800) 777-7937

www.sleek-audio.com

Snoozology

According to the science of sleep, it’s not how much sleep you get that counts, it’s the quality. It boils down to Circadian rhythms, the ebb and flow of your REM state; if you wake at the wrong point in your sleep cycle, a sleepy-headed, cranky feeling results. The Sleeptracker Pro Wristwatch alarm clock (about $180), a wickedly clever wristwatch/alarm clock, solves the problem. It tracks your internal biological clock while you sleep. When you reach your sleep cycle’s lightest point, it wakes you up within 10 minutes. The result? Formerly grouchy morning risers transform into bright-eyed early birds.

Sleeptracker

www.sleeptracker.com

(800) 617-4509.

Music with Heart

You like music. You like working out. Yamaha's BODiBEAT ($299), with a built-in mp3 player and heart-rate monitor, gets the two in synch. How’s it work? It synchronizes your music to your workout movements and heartbeat, pulling tracks from your music selection to match your stride. Speed up and it plays a thrashing tune; slow down and the new song chills out. When you shift gears, it fills in the gaps with prerecorded beats to match your tempo. Then a new song starts, with a new beat to match your speed. How cool is that?

www.yamaha.com/bodibeat

Slouch No More

Remember when your mother used to poke you to make you stand up straighter? The new iPosture ($99.95), an intuitive electronic device designed to improve posture, takes a gentler approach. The nanosensors inside this discreet device monitor your upper chest angle; if your posture deviates more than 10 degrees from its best position, it sends out a gentle vibration. (Thanks to smart software, it knows the difference between slumping and shifting.) The battery-powered gizmo is only an inch in diameter, and can either be clipped to your clothing, worn like a pendant or patched to your skin. A painless way to straighten up.

www.iposture.com.

Back-up Time

Apple’s new Time Capsule is both a WiFi router (802.11n) and an external hard drive ($299 for 500 GB, or $499 for a full terabyte). It functions as a no-brainer backup drive for any Mac using the Leopard OS—OS X 10.5 systems. (Since so many people don’t back up laptops, the Time Capsule’s WiFi connectivity makes it the ideal backup device for the MacBook Pro.) The Time Capsule integrates seamlessly with Leopard’s Time Machine function, which automatically takes snapshots of your desktop, allowing you to navigate through its Time Tunnel to retrieve lost files at any point in the past. Third-party applications are available to make it work with PCs and older Mac operating systems. Yet another cool device in a white box with an apple on it.

Computer Advantage

7810 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

(941) 351-2415

www.computeradv.com

High-Tech TV

OK, so this won’t fit in your back pocket, but if you’re looking for top-end digital TVs, look no further than the Runco Digital High Definition series, say the experts at Sarasota’s Advanced Audio Design. The video processing in these sleek machines has been designed to work with any type of display technology. Pair that technology with the company’s liquid crystal imaging ultra-thin LCDs, and you’re talking cinema-quality TV in the comfort of your own home. Prices range from $8,000 (47 inches) to $99,999 (103 inches).

Advanced Audio Design

4915 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

(941) 925-2673

www.advanced-audio.com

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