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Gadgets of the Future|未来小发明

Ever Wonder What the Future Hold?
Will we use jet packs and flying cars? Or live on other planets and have robot friends? With technology advancing by leaps and bounds1, it seems practically anything is possible—and you don't even have to look that far ahead to find some pretty amazing ideas. Here's a peek2  at a few gadgets3  that already exist, though you won't find them at the local mall just yet—these things take time!

Starring... You
When you go to the movies, do you wish you were on the screen? At the World Expo 2005 in Japan, members of a movie audience became part of the cast. Visitors' faces were scanned by digital cameras as they entered the theater, and the images were then inserted into the film. Only two real actors appeared in the movie—all the other roles were played by digitally-animated4  versions of the audience members. Just think: Someday you could make your movie debut5, without even having to learn your lines!

Sun Inspired
Sunglasses may be a thing of the past! How would you like to wear special contact lenses6  that protect your eyes from the sun's damaging glare? Professional athletes are now testing lenses by Bausch & Lomb7 that block the sun's rays by tinting8  the wearer's eyes a reddish-orange color. By reducing the amount of blue and green that your eyes can see, the lenses make it easier to block out harsh9  light and allow you to keep your eye on the ball during a bright, fast-moving game. Let's hope they invent a clear version, though, because the red eyes make people look pretty creepy10 !

The Quietest Conversation
Wouldn't it be great if you could hold a phone conversation wherever you wanted—and without uttering a sound? If you had something urgent to tell your BFF11 , you could call her from a no-talking12  zone—say, the middle of the school library—and other people wouldn't hear a thing! Scientists are developing new technology that measures a person's vocal cord13  movements and translates them into sound. (Put your hand on your throat and talk silently—you'll feel your vocal cords moving.) These measurements are fed into a device that changes them to a computer-generated14  voice that's sent to the listener. Your friends will hear a robot voice instead of yours, but that's a small price to pay for carrying on a conversation without saying a word.

Robot Soccer
RoboCup, an international research organization, holds yearly soccer competitions for robots. For now the robots only compete with each other, but RoboCup hopes that by 2050, their soccer robots will be good enough to beat human soccer champions. Wherever you are in 2050, remember to mark that game on your calendar! RoboCup isn't always about fun and games, though. The technology used to make the soccer robots is also used to build search-and-rescue15 robots that help save lives in emergencies16 .

Say It with Style
Do you like sharing photos and funny messages by email? How would you like to do the same thing on your clothes? A few companies are experimenting with shirts and jackets that feature flexible17, programmable18  displays. Think of the possibilities: If you were feeling shy about meeting new people, you could set your shirt to display a friendly message or flash a greeting. While you're riding a bike, your flashing shirt could signal turns. Or someday you may be able to program the pattern on the fabric19 , then change it anytime for a different look!

Home-Grown Nuggets20
You know how some people have bread machines in their kitchens, and can bake a fresh loaf in just a few hours? Someday, you might have a meat machine on your kitchen counter that works the same way. NASA has experimented with using animal tissue21  to grow meat in a lab so astronauts can make their own meat during long-term space journeys. As the technology develops further, it could reach the general public, so instead of coming from a farm, the chicken nuggets of the future might grow right in your house. It may sound freaky22 , but you won't know how good(or bad!) they are until you taste one!

A Fantastic Feat
Hungry? Maybe your computer can help. Homaro Cantu, a chef in Chicago, has a menu of ideas for creating exciting and futuristic dining experiences. When he wanted printable food, he used edible23 , flavored ink in his printer and printed on soybean24  paper. If edible paper doesn't tempt your taste buds, how about inside-out bread? Cantu wants to use a high-powered laser to try new ways of cooking, like heating bread from the inside so the crust25 stays hidden in the middle. This creative chef knows it's important for food to be fun, too, so he's also experimenting with using nitrogen26 and helium27  to make your meal float in front of you. (Just don't let it get away!)

Anything Is Possible...
Who knows? Maybe you'll invent a new technology that helps or inspires people around the world. Your daydreams and drawings may lead to a useful gadget or a new kind of clothing. Keep thinking and dreaming, because your ideas could help make the future an exciting place to live!

我们将来会使用喷气背囊和飞行汽车吗? 抑或生活在别的星球和拥有机器人朋友?随着科学技术突飞猛进的发展,事实上似乎一切皆有可能。你大可不必过于超前去寻找一些令人惊异的想法。现在让我们看看已经存在的几件小玩意儿,尽管目前在当地的销品茂还不能看到它们——这些东西的普及还需要一定时间!










 1. by leaps and bounds 突飞猛进地,迅猛地
2. peek  n. 一瞥,很快的一看
3. gadget  n. 小玩意儿,小装置
4. digitally-animated 数字动画的
5. debut  n. 初次登场
6. contact lenses 隐形眼镜
7. Bausch & Lomb 博士伦公司
8. tint [tint] v. 给…着色或染色
9. harsh   adj. 刺目的
10. creepy   adj. 毛骨悚然的
11. BFF: Best Friends Forever的缩写形式
12. no-talking 禁止交谈
13. vocal cord 声带
14. computer-generated 电脑合成的
15. search-and-rescue 搜救(工作)
16. emergency  n. 紧急情况,非常时刻
17. flexible  adj. 灵活的
18. programmable  adj. 可设计的,可编程的
19. fabric   n. 织物,织品
20. nugget  n. 小块,鸡块
21. tissue   n. (生物)组织
22. freaky  adj. 捉摸不定的
23. edible  adj. 可食用的
24. soybean   n. 大豆
25. crust   n. 面包皮
26. nitrogen  n. (化)氮
27. helium  n. (化)氦