Our Search for Amazing Inventions

Being an inventor has never been easy -- just ask anyone who's spent a lifetime chasing the next great brainstorm. But when you dream up something truly grand, it can make all the false starts and trial runs worth the trouble. For proof of that, you need merely ask the creators of the 40 examples of inventive genius featured in this week's issue. TIME has spent more than six months surveying fields as diverse as electronics, aeronautics, medical technology, sports equipment, toys, clothing and food looking for the newest--and most inspired--ideas of the year.

If the doorway that conforms to the shape...

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