There's no more emphatic an expression of America's high-tech dominance than The Sharper Image. Some pics from my visit to the chain's Boston store:
Microsoft coffee: 10-cup brewer with LCD screen displaying a real-time weather forecast, courtesy of MSN.com.
Oregon Scientific Action Camera ($US129), which can be strapped to your head while snowboarding or similar to capture VGA-quality video.
This R2D2 robot can navigate by sonar and respond to voice commands. Or at least that's the idea. Out of the box, it refused to follow any human. Note the well-toned Sharper Image rep in red.
Speaker phone with iPod dock.
An alarm clock with wheels, the better to escape when its motion-sensor detects you're trying to turn it off.
A turntable with a USB port, the better to rip your vinyl to MP3 (I've seen these from time to time at Dick Smith back in NZ).
This season's look in golf ball-finding eyewear is blue, and suddenly sophisticated.
Unhelpfully I didn't put anything in this shot for scale, but this Pocket Mod Vapor Electric Scooter is the size of one JD rides in Scrubs. Like the bike, the price is amazingly low: $US289.
Left the store now. This baby was on display at the JFK Library. It's Bobby Kennedy's actual phone, as used in his office when he was Attorney General back in 1962. Very boss it looks too. This was in the days before conference phones had iPod docks, of course.