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We're constantly in search of the next big thing, and the past year brought plenty of new inventions to make our lives easier. From a vacuum that empties itself to a pair of indestructible tights, we've come across plenty of clever products that sound like something out of "The Jetsons."
Dan Macsai, Time Magazine's Editorial Director, stopped by TODAY to show off some of the most innovative inventions of 2018.
A Suitcase You Don’t Need to Unpack
The Carry-on Closet, $199, Solgaard
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Inside this sleek carry-on suitcase hides a compressed set of shelves keeping clothes organized. When you get to your destination, simply take out the shelf system and hang it in any hotel wardrobe. Time's editors liked this one because it feels like bringing a closet on the road with you.
"When you're really pressed for time, any way to keep your stuff tidy when you're on the go is super helpful," the company's founder Adrian Solgaard told the magazine.
A Vacuum That Empties Itself
iRobot Roomba i7+, $950, Walmart
Here at TODAY, we love a good robotic vacuum. They make keeping the house clean pretty easy, but you still need to clean out the bin after each use. But iRobot's new Roomba i7+ completely eliminates that step.
"While the device is powering up, a separate vacuum inside its base charger sucks the dirt and dust from the Roomba’s innards into a disposable bag — each of which can hold about a month’s worth of gunk," according to Time.
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The company's CEO Colin Angle told the magazine it was designed to “free customers from every aspect of vacuuming, from start to finish, for weeks at a time.”
If you already have an i Series Roomba and just want the iRobot Clean Base, you can snag one at Walmart.
Reebok PureMove Sports Bra
Reebok PureMove Sports Bra, $60, Amazon
This is also available at Reebok in black and orange.
Ugh. Sports bras can be the worst. Reebok’s PureMove, on the other hand, uses Motion Sense technology to adjust to different activity levels for a comfortable fit no matter what you're doing.
"When vigorous motion strains the bra’s knit fabric, a gel-like thickening fluid activates and causes the garment to constrict and offer extra support," the magazine wrote. "During periods of light activity or rest, the fabric stretches back out for a comfortable, breathable fit."
A TV That Blends Into the Wall
Samsung 2018 55" QLED TV, $1,298 (normally $1,900), Amazon
Time perfectly described the whole problem with TVs: "When they’re turned off, they’re just lifeless black boxes."
Samsung’s newest 4K QLED TVs fix that problem. The new line features and "Ambient Mode" setting that displays decorative content like works of art, news or photos. Some have described it as the "picture frame" TV because it can integrate seamlessly into the interior design of any room.
In an even more important development, "Other design tweaks, such as moving all necessary connectors to a separate box, means owners need not worry about a cluster of wires uglifying an otherwise elegant piece of technology."
Sheertex Sheers, $99 (ships in March), SheerlyGenius.com
We're barely able to keep a pair of tights snag-free for more than a month, so when we heard about Sheerly Genius' unrippable pantyhose it felt like the heavens had opened up.
“It seems ridiculous that all these other crazy technologies are being built but we haven’t solved this super-basic problem,” Sheerly Genius' Katherine Homuth told the magazine. They set out to develop a line of hosiery made from the type of textile used in bulletproof vests and achieved a comfortable style that can last up to 50 wears.
A Jacket That Glows in the Dark
Solar Charged Jacket, $350, Vollebak
This is one invention that is both practical and pretty cool. It absorbs light during the day and glows a bright green color in the dark.
"Part of the jacket’s appeal, of course, is novelty: because it can absorb light from almost any source, wearers can, for example, trace patterns on its surface using an iPhone flashlight," according to Time. "But it’s also helpful from a safety standpoint, allowing runners and hikers to be visible after dark."
While not quite as inventive, TODAY editors found a few other light-up jackets that cost a little less:
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