Times are tough all over, but you can make your world a little better with hot new products. By Jonathan Ages
Zeo Personal Sleep Coach MyZeo.com • $400
Getting a good night’s rest will help you perform at work, gain muscle after workouts, or simply enjoy more frequent—and blissful —wet dreams. With the Zeo, you can selfdiagnose sleep problems. The wireless headband monitors sleep patterns and transmits them to a small computer that looks like an alarm clock which tracks how long you slept, the number of times you awoke, and the quality of your rest. Use the Zeo website to analyze the data even more comprehensively. It will help you figure out if that late-evening workout was a good idea or if it’s best to avoid that nightcap. That way you can spend more time dreaming about our Pet of the Month.
Timex Expedition WS4 Timex.com • $200
The Timex Expedition is the Hummer of wristwatches. The strap-on “dashboard” displays local altitude, weather conditions, compass headings, and, oh, yeah, the time. It’s available in six colors, looks indestructible, and will likely withstand anything a mountain, ski hill, or five-story walk-up apartment can throw at it. While the wide screen shows more simultaneous information than most watches in its class, it’s a little bulky and heavy for runners. Still, Dick Tracy and Jason Bourne would approve.
Brunton SolarRolls Brunton.com • $295 to $655
SolarRoll is the world’s first waterproof, flexible solar panel, so it’s great if you plan to summit Annapurna, wherever that is. What’s important to the everyday trekker, though, is that this innovative technology is available in consumer-level products that are actually useful. Amateur photographers can use the five-ounce, seven-inch-long SolarPort Flash to recharge a camera while backpacking. Larger versions will recharge a car battery —something that will be incredibly important after venturing into the uncharted territory of five full hours of stereo-assisted tailgating.
Pre Palm.com • $200 with two-year Sprint contract after $100 mail-in rebate
The former PDA champ is making a comeback. The Palm Pre – has a tactile keyboard and an iPhone-like 3.1-inch touch screen, but its intuitive design sets it apart. It will search your Outlook, Google, and Facebook accounts, syncing the calen dar and contacts. It collates messaging services, has push e-mail (including Gmail), and can run multiple software programs simultaneously. The downside: Palm’s app store is on the thin side, the phone would benefit from more than eight gigs of memory, there have been complaints about Palm’s use of personal info, and it’s only on Sprint. Still, the intelligently designed Pre – lives up to the hype.
Olympus E-P1 OlympusAmerica.com • $800
It looks like the camera collecting dust in your old man’s basement, but the retro-styled E-P1 is truly unique. It combines the capabilities of a highquality digital single-lens-reflex camera and the stature and simplicity of a point-and-shoot. It’s also an HD camcorder and high-end audio recorder. The kicker is, this palm-size, 12.3-megapixel camera is one of the first Micro Four Thirds with an interchangeable lens. Use the 14–42mm for casual shots or the 17mm lens and viewfinder for professional-quality stills. No old clunker could do that.