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6/28/2013
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10 Great Gadgets From The Future

They're highly anticipated, heavily hyped and possibly wonderful, at least until the reviews arrive.

Samsung Unleashes New Mobile Devices: Visual Tour
Samsung Unleashes New Mobile Devices: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view)
More often than not, technology products disappoint. Part of it is the marketing. The videos of attractive, carefree people wielding mobile phones at nightclubs generate a sense of excitement that just can't be sustained in daily life.

The letdown also stems from actual usage. Google Glass looked like it might change everything, but its significance has been less than that. It's a milestone in wearable computing, but more of a millstone when worn.

Future products? They're still golden, as yet untainted by imperfections. Could Apple's iWatch be anything other than awesome? Unreleased and untested, upcoming products shine in our imaginations. They're everything we hope for, until we open the box.

Ten products from the future follow. They're coming this year, or maybe a bit after that. And until then, they're full of promise.

Apple Mac Pro
After the critical drubbing Apple weathered from the Power Mac G4 Cube 13 years ago, it takes a lot of confidence to abandon the rectangular desktop tower for a black cylinder. So much so that you have to root for Apple to get the new Mac Pro right, even as you struggle to keep from noticing how much it looks like a modernist trash can.

[ Don't want companies like Google snooping on you? Read Google Shares Advice On Wi-Fi Security. ]

Desktop computers are becoming an endangered species in the mobile era, but it doesn't have to be that way. The Mac Pro could keep the flame of traditional computing alive, even if it's clearly not designed for expansion and tinkering. Wouldn't it be great if the new Mac Pro proves three times faster than competing workstations, at half the cost everyone expects? There's no harm in dreaming.

Leap Motion
The concept sounds incredible: A device that can track hand motions in the air and turn them into interface events on a connected computer. Leap Motion promises the sort of computer interaction depicted in Minority Report and other sci-fi movies. It will be great if it works as advertised, because touch-screen interaction on a laptop isn't ideal.

Recon Jet Pilot
While Google mulls whether consumers will really buy Glass in some form or another, the future for computerized eyewear looks brighter for specialized applications. Recon Instruments is working on a product called Recon Jet Pilot, or Google Glass for athletes. Jet Pilot, slated to ship at the end of the year, focuses on providing relevant information and services for those engaged in sport. And at $499 through July 21, it costs a third of Glass. That alone makes it worthy of consideration.

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