12 Revolutionary Innovations Win 2009 Wall Street Journal Technology Awards

4. The WSJ 2009 COMPUTING SYSTEMS Technology Innovation Winner: Organic Motion, U.S. For Organic Motion Capture Technology


Organic Motion is a revolutionary motion capture system which replaces the need for body suits and incessant retakes of actors for animation capture. Organic Motion also makes film capture much less costly.  It has applications in motion analysis for sports and medicine, digital-motion games, animated films, and any virtual reality environment.

Fourteen small cameras surround the "stage" simultaneously capturing the actor from all those angles.  Just tell the actor what to do and you've captured the action from all sides.  Done!





5. The WSJ 2009 CONSUMER ELECTRONICS Technology Innovation Winner:  Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan For The fleXpeaker



A paper-thin technology that has a bright future expanding audio possibilities.  The "paper" speaker actually does recreate sound, although now, according to Engadget, it's in need of some sub-woofers. Though the speaker shown is larger, the aim is to have the fleXspeaker available in a standard 8.5 x 11 sheet for $20 each.  You'll be able to paste these to the ceiling and doors of your cars, or the walls of your room, and truly get "surround sound."

Listen to the short demo below.  Yes, it does shriek a bit, but remember that it's just a prototype!




6. The WSJ 2009 ENERGY Technology Innovation Winner: SFC Smart Fuel Cell, Germany For The SFC Fuel Cell




Why is this fuel cell so smart?  The SFC produces power from methanol rather than hydrogen, so the fuel can be stored in lighter weight cartridges which makes the whole cell lighter and less expensive.  The SFC's are currently being used by the military to power night-vision equipment and various equipment aboard military vehicles.  Also, as you can see in the photo above, there's plenty of SFC's dedicated to recreation.