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George Little: Inventions could benefit outdoorsmen and women

January 09, 2011 at 07:26 AM

The State Journal-Register

New inventions make our lives safer, easier, more interesting.

Some of them, like the smart phone, enter the mainstream quickly and become part of daily life.

Some, like Red Dye No. 2, seemed like a good idea at the time. Some, like the nasal hair curling iron, don’t hang around long enough to be banned.

A recent issue of Time magazine listed the 50 best inventions of 2010. Some of them, if they become widely available, could be valuable to outdoor enthusiasts.

A Salt Lake City company has developed an Iron Man suit. The magazine calls this the “Most Awesome Invention” in its Top 50. The suit will enable even the weakest wearer to lift 200 pounds and “punch through slabs of wood.”

While the suit does not allow the wearer to blast off and fire photon torpedoes like Tony Stark, it would enable just about anybody to pack out their own deer or quarter their own elk.

The first models are being developed for the military. The consumer version is still over the horizon. It’s probably a good idea to keep hitting the weight machines.

Mosquitoes are responsible for half a billion cases of malaria and more than 1 million deaths every year. Besides that, they are generally annoying. The Mosquito Laser sends mosquitoes down in flames by targeting their size and signature wing beats and transmitting a tiny, focused laser beam that dispatches them.

The laser does not harm other insects or humans and could be an added attraction to a campsite. When the conversation begins to drag, laser tagging a few mosquitoes could liven up the evening.

Just when you thought there might not be enough video of deer that are harvested, fish that are caught, or four-wheel drive trucks stuck in mud up to the running boards, there is a new and more versatile option to capture video.

The Looxcie is a hands-free camera that records what the wearer sees for up to five hours. The device is worn over the ear. As an added benefit, with just the press of a button, the Looxcie will send the last 30 seconds of video directly to a Facebook page.

Forgetting to remove or shut off your Looxcie at the appropriate time could get you in a peck of trouble. Anyone showing up at a deer cabin with one of those might lose an ear after the first Facebook posting.

My personal worst of the new invention litter is software invented in Israel that is designed to spot sarcastic comments in product reviews. In the early stages of product testing, this amazing software correctly detected sarcasm 77 percent of the time.

That’s way better than even the most sarcastically sensitive human being can do. Universal sarcasm detection could be right around the corner. What a deal! Before long, computers will be able to check spelling, suggest synonyms and interpret the sincerity of the writer.

That could be more dangerous than Red Dye No. 2 and more painful than the nasal hair curling iron.

Contact George Little at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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