We've picked out a few products that appeared in Technology Review's "To Market" section in 2008 and could make good last-minute presents.
The April 2001 issue of TR devoted an entire feature to a new display technology called organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), which left even "grizzled veterans of the flat-panel industry . . . goggle-eyed." By the end of 2006, we were reporting on the increasing use of OLEDs in handheld devices, but as late as April 2007, we were still saying that OLEDs were "limited to use in small displays, such as those in mobile phones."That changed with Sony's XEL-1 OLED TV. The screen is still relatively small--only 11 inches diagonally. But for some film aficionados, its vivid color, wide viewing angle, low power consumption, and high contrast (unlike LCD screens, OLED screens are capable of true black, rather than the dark gray of a blocked backlight) have been enough to justify its $2,500 price tag.