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TIME Names Natal in Top 50 Best Inventions

Time Magazine was apparently impressed with Microsoft's Project Natal during the E3 2009 demonstration. So impressed, in fact, that the publication listed the upcoming motion-sensing technology as the fifth best invention of the year. NASA's Ares rockets (1), tank-bred tuna (2), the $10 million light bulb (3), and the smart thermostat (4) all topped Microsoft's Natal.

Interestingly enough, Natal doesn't appear on the list: it's simply named as "controller-free gaming." But click on the link, and Time loads up a separate page providing a brief description about Natal. "You move your hand, and the Master Chief (or whoever) moves his hand. It's that simple. And that cool."

It's surprising Project Natal even made the list considering that it's not a final, released product. Recently a leak revealed that Project Natal wouldn't even appear on the market until November 2010, and suggested that the pricetag for Project Natal alone--without the bundled console, that is--will likely cost around $83 USD.

For those interested in the other inventions that made Time's Top 50 of 2009, here are a few crazy gadgets: the robo-penguin, wooden bones, meat farms, the levitating mouse, the edible race car, and tons more. As for the five worst inventions in 2009, Time places "The Smile Police" in the #1 spot, followed by the Jane Austen Monster Mashup novel, Snuggies for dogs, the gas-mask bra, and our favorite, computer critics.

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