THE CUTTING EDGE
Ever since the advent of the Swiss army knife, mankind has sought to fit more and more tools into smaller and smaller devices. The latest triumph of ingenuity over simplicity is the i-Quip, which puts an extraordinary number of traditional gadgets--and quite a few new ones--into a compact design. The i-Quip is divided into two separate pods: one holds quotidian tools (blades, scissors, screwdrivers, etc.), the other such high-tech necessities as a digital compass, a barometer, a clock, a flashlight and an altimeter. INVENTOR Imperial Schrade Corp. AVAILABILITY Now, $250 TO LEARN MORE www.schradeknives.com
Many of us feel the call of the deep, but few of us are willing to face the cold, wet and occasionally shark-infested realities of scuba diving. That's why we need Spyfish, a gadget for divers who aren't quite ready to take the plunge. Spyfish is a battery-powered minisubmarine tricked out with cameras and floodlights and operated by wireless remote control. It trails a slender cable behind it that transmits whatever it sees back to a monitor topside, so you can rummage through Davy Jones' locker while sunning yourself on deck and sipping a mai tai. The product of years of research and testing, Spyfish is elegant and streamlined but rugged enough to withstand depths of 500 ft. and conditions too cold or dangerous for a human diver. INVENTOR H2Eye AVAILABILITY Late in 2003; around $14,900 TO LEARN MORE www.h2eye.com
If you're skiing, you're probably on vacation, and if you're on vacation, you're probably tired of using your head. Why not think with your feet for a change? Head's new i.C 300 skis are made from a special material that reacts to physical stress by generating electricity. Each i.C 300 ski has a computer chip in it that monitors its electrical output, thus allowing the ski to make an educated guess about the condition of the snow you're skiing on and how hard you're turning. The chip then feeds that signal back into the ski, which reacts instantly by either relaxing or stiffening. Result: you get more control and a smoother ride. INVENTOR Head NV AVAILABILITY Now, $750 TO LEARN MORE www.head.com
Scuba divers have always had a soft spot for high-tech accessories. Take, for example, these bizarre-looking fins, designed to let divers fine-tune the position and even the flexibility of their blades. The Oscillating Propulsion System, above right, whips through water like an eel; a little weight inside the tip helps build momentum so you can cover long distances faster without working too hard. The Twin Foils are better for maneuvering in tight spots, reducing the chance that you'll kick the coral. The two fins share a common foot pocket, so you can quickly swap one for the other. INVENTOR Bob Evans AVAILABILITY Now; $135 for a pair of foot pockets; $150 to $220 for a set of blades TO LEARN MORE forcefin.com
LET'S GO SURFIN'