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AppTag Laser Blaster

What can't smartphones do? Mark laser tag off the list. The AppTag Laser Blaster ($35) promises to turn your phone (or iPod touch, we suppose) into a laser tag gun/shooter that works via IR and high frequency sound to let app developers create nearly any kind of multiplayer shooting game you can imagine, all without needing to block the headphone port or eat away battery via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Six buttons — including a pressure sensitive trigger and a oversized reload switch — enable plenty of real-world interaction, and compatibility with most Nerf and Buzzbee toy guns serves as icing on the geek-flavored cake.

  • Nano Air Vehicle

    Like most DARPA-sponsored projects, the Nano Air Vehicle ($TBA) isn't the easiest item to describe. Under development by AV, it's designed to be used in urban surveillance and reconnaissance missions, mimicking the biology of a hummingbird to achieve impressive statistics such as a hover endurance of eight minutes with no external power source, the ability to fly indoors and out, transitioning easily between the two, the ability to be controlled using nothing but the live video stream from the aircraft, and the ability to fly in windy conditions. Oh, and it looks a lot like a real hummingbird — you know, just in case the whole "robot animals spying on you" bit wasn't creepy enough.

  • MakerBot Replicator

    The personal printing revolution is upon us. No, not picture printing — 3D printing. The MakerBot Replicator ($1,750) is a home-sized 3D printer with your choice of single or dual MakerBot Stepstruder MK8 extruders, an on-board LCD, control pad, and SD slot for loading your models, and the ability to print objects up to roughly 9" x 6" x 6" in two different colors or materials. All you need now is something to make.