So, Altoids aren't just for your breath any more, huh?
I think you should have a column for what we can design into an Altoids box. That would be fun. I can see it now, "Engineers design first home generator in an Altoid box. Altoid stock rises fast!"
Charles, you're right on the mark! The LEGO NXT has wealth of free programning tools like NXC (NXT Not Quite C) and Python. The traditional programming tools like LabView, VB, and Visual C allow rapid prototyping of a variety of cool and innovative gadgets only limited by one's imagination.
This gadget freak review highlights some new mobile technologies. Google's Project Tango is building 3D models of the space around you, and the Loop is a virtual wallet that allows you to pay merchants by transmitting your card data.
This Gadget Freak review looks at a simple device for sealing gunshot wounds, an open-source construction set that uses straws and cardboard to build shapes and objects, and a hidden electronic safe built into a wall.