Best Gadgets Of The Future: Flying Car, Personal Jetpack, Foldable Electric Bike

If nothing else, The Internet of Things involves plenty of gadgetry.

Aside from currently available connected objects, such as smart thermostats, watches and fitness trackers, there are some more futuristic gadgets around the corner.

And timed with the arrival of a new year comes a ranking of future gadgetry by GI Gadgets, which tabulated 200 million points of interactive social data to see what’s hot and what’s viewed negatively.

Many of these potential gadgets of the future make the current menu of IoT objects look relatively mundane.

The top spot goes to a flying car, the TF-X from Terrafugia. Connected cars have nothing on this four-seat hybrid with fold-away wings. Out of the garage and, once you tell it where you want to go, its propellers open and, at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour, it gets you there.

Next in line was Visual Master, whose Magic Leap video comes out of nowhere, like a whale leaping out of a floor and then disappearing, with holographics courtesy of augmented reality. The cinematic reality startup backed by Google has raised more than $825 million. (The short video demo has been viewed more than 42 million times).

Next in line is the JB-9 Jetpack from JetPack Aviation. The jet turbine-powered backpack is powerful enough to lift a person into the air but small enough to fit into the trunk of a car.

And then there’s the iC-R Helmet for a motorcycle rider. The helmet packs a rear camera, interior notification lighting and on-screen navigation.

Next in line of winners is the Reality Editor, essentially a handheld device that lets a consumer connect and manipulate the functionality of any smart object, for uses such as remotely opening a car window.

Continuing in the category of winning motion items is the Manta Drive electric skateboard with changeable batteries. The skateboard also can be used to charge a smartphone.

In the coolest transportation tech awards, the two winners are the Porsche Mission E all-electric sports car, which reaches 62 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, and the GI FlyBike, an app-controlled, electric bicycle that folds in one second.

The GI Gadgets rating also picked five gadgets it deemed controversial, suggesting that true fans won’t be laying down any cash for these. Here’s that list:

  • The Volvo XC90 Console Concept, which provides various pop-up consoles for storage of expensive items
  • The PhoneDrone Ethos, which takes your smartphone into the skies to capture photos and videos, not to mention air-to-earth selfies
  • The Starship Delivery Robot, deemed a ‘stupid idea’ and a device that can be easily stolen
  • Skybuds, wireless earbuds, suggested that are too easy to lose
  • Windspeed Skydeck, a concept from aerospace engineers that would involve an elevator to raise a passenger to a bubble on top of a plane to enjoy 360 vistas as the plane wizzes along

Many of these gadgets likely will never reach commercial production or acceptance, at least in the foreseeable future.

But they do provide some idea of what is being thought of and worked on behind the scenes.


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