TIME cover: The Most Amazing Inventions of 2005

  • Share
  • Read Later

New York – Snuppy, the first dog created by cloning, has been named the 2005 Invention of the Year by TIME magazine as part of its fifth-annual Most Amazing Inventions issue (on newsstands Monday, Nov. 14). TIME’s 43-page package includes a range of innovative new inventions.

“Plenty of labs do mammalian cloning these days, but the group that produced Snuppy is, like the puppy himself, extraordinary,” TIME’s Alice Park writes. “With striking regularity, Woo Suk Hwang and his 45-person team have cranked out one cloning breakthrough after another from his laboratory of veterinary science at Seoul National University in South Korea. In recognition of those feats, his cloning techniques—embodied by a history-making puppy—have been chosen TIME’s Most Amazing Invention of 2005.”

“I had already produced many cloned cows and pigs, but when Snuppy was born, it was different,” Hwang tells TIME. “When I pulled out the first cloned dog from the surrogate mother’s uterus, I was so happy. He was very healthy.”

“If we study and develop our technique more, I expect that we can find some ways to diminish, or reduce the rate of abnormalities in cloned animals,” Hwang tells TIME. His approach has introduced some level of control and standardization to the somewhat haphazard process of cloning. TIME reports. Even before Snuppy’s birth, Hwang had streamlined his process to yield more canine clones from fewer donor eggs.

“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,” TIME managing editor Jim Kelly writes in a letter to readers.

This is the second consecutive year a Burt Rutan invention makes TIME’s list of amazing inventions. This year, TIME names the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, designed by Burt Rutan, and piloted by Steve Fossett, who set a record for the first solo, non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world, to the list. Last year, SpaceShipOne was TIME’s 2004 Invention of the Year.

The full story and list of TIME’s Most Amazing Inventions of 2005 is available Sunday on TIME.com: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1128237,00.html

Highlights of TIME’s 2005 Coolest Inventions:

Roll with it:

--Toyota’s i-unit: A four-wheel personal-transportation system that looks like a space-age sports car. “This is designed to be an extension of the human body,” says Yoshiaki Kato, chief engineer of the fully electronic, drive-by-wire concept vehicle, which is powered by lithium-ion batteries and has an exterior made of biodegradable, plant-based materials.

-- Tweel from Michelin: A wheel without an inflated tire…is anything but retro. A shock-absorbing rubber tread band distributes pressure to dozens of flexible polyurethane spokes supported by an aluminum center. Because the Tweel is airless, it is more rugged and never goes flat.

Up & Away:

-- Shift Tricycle: Invented by industrial designers from Purdue University. Rear wheels move closer together as the rider picks up speed, then separate for easier balance at slower speeds or a standstill. It has no spokes or bike chain.

Tasteful Ideas:

-- TurboTap: A stainless-steel spout that attaches to an existing tap changes the flow of the beer so that it hits the bottom just so, eliminating the need to tilt the glass or slow down the pour.

-- Flavor Sprays: Chef David Burke’s flavor sprays mimic the taste of high-cal foods but have no fat, cals or carbs. A mix of natural and artificial flavors, the sprays come in 18 varieties such as Memphis BBQ and chocolate fudge.

Healthy Options:

-- LifeStraw: For $3, LifeStraw a beefed-up drinking straw designed by the Swiss-based company Vestergaard Frandsen, uses 7 types of filters, including mesh, active carbon and iodine to make 185 gal. of water clean enough to drink. Can create safe drinking water for victims of hurricanes, earthquakes or other disasters and prevent waterborne illnesses such as typhoid.

Focus Pocus:

-- SeaLife DC500: Underwater digital camera captures ultrasharp, high-res pictures and overcomes underwater photography challenges such as poor light, waterborne particles and quick moving subjects. Waterproof down to 200ft.

--One-Time-Use Video Camcorder: Compact, easy-to-handle with playback button that lets you view and delete.

Sporting Life:

-- LandRollers: A pair of skates with oversized wheels that are angled inward for easier balance, especially on cracked pavement.

-- Hydro Epic surfboards: Hollow on the inside but an extra-sturdy shell made of a carbon fiber-Kevlar composite and a thin aluminum honeycomb. Stronger, faster and 30% lighter than other boards.

-- Nemo Equipment inflatable tent: Tents can be erected in less than a minute with a little foot pump, no aluminum poles. Designed by a consultant for a NASA project.

Game Point:

-- Fisher’s Magnetic Speed Tennis Racquet: Two unipolar magnets positioned in opposite sides of the head help speed the recovery so the ball is catapulted back over the net with extra oomph.

Live Wires:

-- Sleeptracker watch: Wakes you only when you are in a light sleep.

Bot Crazy:

-- i-Cat: 13 electric motors move the robot’s eyes, eyebrows, eyelids, mouth and head to produce the appropriate emotional response. By Philips Research.

-- Nuvo: A two-legged robot can dance, talk, play music, tell time, even shake your hand. By ZMP Inc.

Thin Skins:

-- Cannondale’s Carbon LE line of cycling wear: Made of moisture-wicking, odor-absorbing, UV-ray protective polyester. What makes it so? Carbon from coconuts.

On the Move:

--Hand Roll piano: A 61-key Hand Roll piano that rolls up like a blanket and spreads out to about 3-ft.

Home Runs:

-- Scooba: iRobot’s follow-up to Roomba, the robotic vacuum, Scooba sweeps loose debris, sprays a cleaning solution onto the floor, scrubs the surface with a brush and sucks up the dirty water.

TIME’s issue includes a web shopping guide, tech buyers guide, online music guide and more. Visit www.TIME.com to rate the inventions and guess their function by looking at a photograph.

Broadcasters: TIME staffers are available to discuss the Most Amazing Inventions of 2005. They include: Editor of TIME’s Inventions package Josh Macht and staff writers Lev Grossman and Anita Hamilton. TIME’s Alice Park, department head, Science section, who reported the story from South Korea, can discuss Snuppy, TIME’s Invention of the Year.

TIME contributor Wilson Rothman can demo the items in Tech Buyer’s Guide and technology contributor Maryanne Buechner can discuss the web shopping guide.

To book TIME editors, please contact: Jennifer Zawadzinski, TIME 212 522 9046 or jennifer_zawadzinski@timeinc.com or for radio: Yolanda Reid on 212-522-0613 or yolanda_reid@timeinc.com

TIME is partnering with The History Channel and the National Inventors Hall of Fame to sponsor The Modern Marvels Invent Now Challenge. From now through December 31, 2005, budding inventors can submit their ideas to www.historychannel.com/invent. Next April, 25 semifinalists will be invited to exhibit their inventions at a national design exposition and participate in a daylong seminar with veterans of the invention field. Four finalists will be selected to receive cash grants and appear on The History Channel. One of those four will be named the 2006 Modern Marvel of the Year champ and receive a $25,000 grant to help bring the winning product to market.

Media Contacts: Jennifer Zawadzinski, TIME 212-522-9046 or Kim Noel, TIME 212-522-3651