For extreme sports types or those who just like to take every precaution, Swiss company Snowpulse developed Lifebag. Like an airbag, it's designed to protect the head and thorax while keeping you afloat during an avalanche.
Manually deployed similar to a parachute, the 150-liter shield inflates in less than three seconds and deflates after 90 seconds. Should you get buried, when the bag deflates you'll at least have a small air pocket to breathe, scream and hope to be found.
Though it's hard to take seriously from the looks of it, it has reportedly saved dozens of lives already. All it requires is the presence of mind to find and pull the handle while it's all going down.
Priced at $1,100, it won't be available in the States until December 2008. More info at Snowpulse.