Stuff you didn’t think needed to be improved…just got a little bit better.
A better iPod
Introduced in 2001, Apple’s iPod revolutionized the way people listen to music—thanks to this and other digital music players, thousands of songs are stored as computer files on a pocket-sized device. But there’s one group who doesn’t like the easy access to music offered by the iPod: audiophiles. In order to get that much music on an iPod, the files are compressed, leading to some loss of layers and nuances in recordings. But a new high-definition, high-sound-quality music player called Pono is on the way—and it was invented by legendary rock star Neil Young. “We’ve liberated the music of the artist from the digital file and restored it to is original artistic quality, as it was in the studio,” Young wrote on Pono’s facebook page. Young announced the Pono player on The Late Show With David Letterman in 2012, and recently said that the player will be for sale in early 2014.
More convenient soup
One of the most popular new kitchen appliances in the past new years is the single-cup coffeemaker—17 million American homes and offices now have them. Keurig is the industry leader in these devices, which brew one cup of coffee—or tea, or hot chocolate—at a time. Consumers buy packages of individual “K-cups” full of ground coffee, which is placed in a chamber in the machine, where it’s then steeped in hot water, producing a hot beverage in about a minute. In September 2013, Keurig owner Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announced that it had made a deal with Campbell’s to produce K-cups…of soup. In 2014, consumers will be able to buy the two-step soup kits: a K-cup full of dried broth is placed in the machine. Hot water turns the dried broth into liquid broth, which is then poured over an included pack of noodles.