#THROWBACK2013 | Year in Review: Top Technology Moments

10. Virtual reality windshield


To help us when we get stuck behind a bus or transport truck that's lumbering up a narrow country road, giving us no opportunity to see if it's safe to pass them, researchers at the University of Porto in Portugal have designed a new 'virtual reality' See-Through System for your windshield. Cameras on the front of these big vehicles send images to the See-Through System, letting you see what's in front of them and when it's safe to go around. 

9. Strawscaper


Self-sustaining buildings that generate their own power are a dream of city planners and engineers, as they cut down on how much electricity the city's power grid has to handle. The Söder Torn tower in Stockholm, Sweden, called the Strawscraper, will use rows and rows of piezoelectric strips that will generate electricity just by blowing in the wind, while at the same time giving the city just a touch of the alien design aesthetic it may have been missing. 

8. Robots that can anticipate our needs


Researchers at Cornell University have developed a new robot that can recognize its surroundings and predict where the objects and people around it will be in the near future. 

7. Grasshopper rocket


With the growing problem of space junk in orbit around our planet, Elon Musk's SpaceX team has come up with an excellent solution that seems to reach back into early sci-fi for its inspiration. Their reusable Vertical Takeoff Vertical Landing (VTVL) rocket, called the Grasshopper, represents a design idea that will have rockets deliver satellites and mission capsules to orbit and then return to Earth for a soft landing.

6. Smart traffic lights


Our cities are increasingly becoming more congested with traffic, so Samah El-Tantawy of the University of Toronto designed 'smart traffic lights' that use artificial intelligence and 'game theory' to ease that congestion. 

5. iPad Air


You have to hold iPad Air to believe it. It’s just 7.5 millimeters thin and weighs just one pound. The stunning Retina display sits inside thinner bezels, so all you see is your content. And an incredible amount of power lies inside the sleek enclosure. So you can do so much more. With so much less.

4. Galaxy Gear


It's a smartphone accessory that can pick up notifications, control music playback, and keep time with a rich variety of watch faces, but Samsung takes it a few steps further by integrating a 1.9-megapixel camera, a speaker, and two microphones — allowing you to shoot short 720p movies and even conduct phone calls with the Galaxy Gear.

3. iPad mini 2


Only a year after the release of the first mini tablet offering from Apple, the iPad Mini 2 is now avaliable to buy from the web store.

2. Terrafugia personal flying car


Terrafugia is working on a full-on futuristic flying car, the TF-X, which it expects to start selling in the early 2020s. Think of it as a cross between a Google self-driving car, a helicopter and a plane. The carbon-fiber vehicle takes off vertically, right from your driveway (presuming you have 100 ft of clearance), using electric-powered rotor blades mounted on each side. 

1. iPhone 5s and 5c


At an event held at its Cupertino headquarters, Apple revealed two new designs for the iPhone 5, the first of which is the iPhone 5C.   The iPhone 5C comes in 5 colors: green, white, blue, pink, and yellow. It sports a glass front and a hard-coated polycarbonate body with a steel reinforced frame, with the frame housing the internal components and doubling as the multiband antenna. The iPhone 5S is made of high-grade aluminum, with edges that are diamond-cut and chamfered, much like the current iPhone 5. It comes in silver, gold, and space gray.

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