Top 20 Tools: Tools That Defy Convention

Top 20 Tools (PDF)

Top 20 Tools: Tools That Defy Convention

by the Editors of Motor

September 2004. The votes are in! Here are the winners of MOTOR's Top 20 Tools Awards - this years most innovative new products.


Each year, word goes out to the world's automotive tool designers, manufacturers and suppliers. The message is simple: We're looking for tools that are truly new and innovative. Show us something that makes us say: "Wow! We've never seen anything like this before." Besides knockout originality, there's only one other criterion for consideration: The product must have been introduced between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2004.

Motor's annual Top 20 Tools competition is now in its 13th year. As in years past, we were impressed by the quality and ingenuity of the entries we received. We offer our sincere thanks to all companies that submitted candidates for consideration. And now that the votes have been counted, we offer special congratulations to each of this year's winners. So without further ado-and in random order-we proudly present the best of the best for 2004.

Nomad Expert Technician System

by Microvision

Are you tired of running back and forth between your service information computer or service manuals, your workbench and the vehicle? The Nomad Expert Technician System allows you to superimpose text and diagrams from electronic service manuals directly over your workspace. Weighing only 4.5 oz., the Nomad head-worn Display Module delivers high-contrast, high-resolution (SVGA) transparent images overlaid on the user's vision. Two comfortable headgear options are available: mounted under the brim of a baseball cap or integrated into a headband.

The Nomad Expert Technician System includes a fully integrated wireless (802.11b) Windows CE.Net "thin client" computer, for simplified connection to an existing computer terminal or remote server to access web-based service content via the included Internet Explorer browser. Input and navigation are controlled through a touch pad and keypad on the belt-mounted Nomad Control Module. No programming, transfer or storage of content is necessary.