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Popular Science March - April 2016

This is the most exciting time to be alive in history. Get Popular Science digital magazine subscription today and see why. By taking an upbeat, solutions-oriented look at today's most audacious science and revolutionary technology, we forecast what tomorrow will be like. We deliver the future now.

United States
Camden Media Inc.
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min
create your future

In technology and startup circles, there’s a saying people like to toss around: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” No one really knows who said it first. Some people attribute it to Abraham Lincoln, others to the business guru Peter Drucker. But that doesn’t stop it from showing up on mugs and T-shirts and in cheesy Keynote presentations. As an editor, my tolerance for campy, prepackaged one-liners is more or less zero. It’s as if two pieces of Styrofoam are rubbing together when I hear them. But at the risk of sounding clichéd, I kind of love this quote. I love its spirit. The future, it says, doesn’t have to arrive by chance. We can purpose-build it to our needs. The advice applies to individuals. You know,…

1 min
why should you sign up for our newsletter?

REASON #32 Our perspective on science is unique. Like you. Sign up for the Popular Science editorial newsletter and each week you’ll get the latest and greatest in tech reviews, science news, video, photography, and special offers. GET THE LATEST CONTENT FROM OUR DIGITAL EDITIONS THE FUTURE NOW PopSci.com’s news-reader app delivers all the content from PopSci.com in an easy-to-read format on the go. Get up-to-the-minute news on cutting edge scientific research, gadgets and green tech. Save the stories to read, even when you’re not connected, and filter them by your favorite topic. STAY CONNECTED TO THE POPULAR SCIENCE COMMUNITY Sign up today: POPSCI.COM/NEWSLETTER…

2 min
the motor-hoop of the italian speedway

DECEMBER 1924 Ninety-two years ago, Popular Science featured a “strange vehicle” that whirled around the speedway in a motorcycle race before the National Stadium in Rome. Spectators “gasped with amazement...when they saw a huge wheel, driven by a motorcycle engine, careening at high speed around the track like an overgrown toy hoop.” The policeman who invented the “motor-hoop” had ridden it from Milan to Rome on a bet. Though he believed its potential for speed and utility were “almost limitless,” the motor-hoop disappeared from our pages—and the world’s roads—never to be seen again. Science, Visualized On page 66, we feature the winners of the 2016 Vizzies, a contest that challenges readers to visualize a scientific idea, concept, or story in an arresting way. Go to popsci.com/vizzies to see all of the finalists, including…

2 min
6 ways to play

We’re calling it: We live in a golden age of remotecontrolled gadgets. Technological leaps in sensors, batteries, processors, and motors. Of all the vehicles you can operate from a distance, here are six of the best— by air, by sea, and by land. TAKE FLIGHT 1 YUNEEC TYPHOON Q500 4K DRONE $1,199.99 Who cares about federal drone regulations? The Typhoon Q500 always knows where it is and will stay within legal airspace (under 400 feet). It shoots 4K video and streams live to the controller’s monitor (so you don’t have to use your phone’s spotty Wi-Fi connection). You can also remove the camera and attach it to a handheld gimbal for stabilized ground video. DIVE DEEP 2 PARROT ORAK HYDROFOIL DRONE $159 The Orak is a hybrid drone that’s just as capable in the air as it is…

2 min
hit list

1 BEVEL TRIMMER Not much has changed in the electric-clipper space—your barber likely uses the same tools as the one before him. Bevel’s Trimmer looks and works like it’s from the future: a cool blue LED, reduced vibration, and a dial to adjust blade alignment. Timeless tool, meet modern age. $180 2 AXEL AUDIO We all have our favorite genres of music. Axel Audio’s line of headphones is tailored to your preferred style: Deep for the bass lover, Pure for the instrumentalist, and Core for the balanced pop enthusiasts. From $145 3 NONDA ZUS CHARGER Lots of smartphone chargers attach to a car’s cigarette lighter. But few offer a second USB charging port for passengers. Fewer still can help you find your car on a map via smartphone—this does both. Never go hunting for your…

1 min
party on autopilot

The impending arrival of autonomous vehicles has a lot of engineers wondering: What will the interior of a smart car look like without the steering wheel, pedals, and gauges? And what will we do with ourselves if we’re not driving? Mercedes-Benz has a feeling we’ll hang out like we’re on a futuristic party bus. The company’s Vision Tokyo concept car, unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, is aimed at drivers who love their digital toys. A circular leather couch that seats up to five people dominates the interior space. It wraps around what designers say will be a holographic display, capable—in theory—of projecting maps, games, music choices, and other apps that passengers can use as they ride along in electric-car silence. The car’s single door takes up the entire left side and swings…