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COOL HUNTING

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Roads that produce electricity from the kinetic energy of cars, DNA-scanning ballot boxes to wipe out voter fraud, superbly energy-efficient houses (pictured right) to stave off the impending energy crisis... these are some of the entries vying for the $20,000 prize offered by NASA in the Create the Future Design Contest

While the entry date has come and gone, there are literally hundreds of concepts to view. Many are blatant pipe dreams, others have some commercial appeal. None of them have been developed or are sold on the commercial market—that's one of the rules of the contest.

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Cool Hunting thanks Jake Zien, Carnegie Mellon University student from Milwaukee, who brought NASA's initiative to our attention. We liked his entry, a power strip design that eliminates “power bricks” in which the individual AC adapters crowd each other out making a seven-plug strip only able to handle three or four. (Pictured left.)

NASA has opened the prizes up to designers from around the globe (except for the world's most populous nation—why are they so afraid of China?) and the winners are scheduled to be announced the week of 20 January 20 2008 by the publishers of NASA Tech Briefs magazine.

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