In the pipeline

What's new and maybe useful

Beds on the go

Inflatable mattresses have long been used inside a summer cabin or to accommodate an unexpected visitor. But now Aerobed has come out with a raised version that looks more like a permanent bed.

Using a pump that plugs into the wall, a twin-size mattress can inflate in three minutes and deflate in one minute.

The twin is 24 inches high and supports up to 450 pounds. The company also sells inflatable raised beds in full and queen sizes. Each comes with a mattress cover, dust ruffle, and duffel bag for storage.

Suggested price for twin: $200.

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Leveling with lasers

Standard bubble levels help people hang pictures with relative ease. But making sure the bottom of one picture lines up with the top of another, or is symmetrical with items across the room is often guesswork.

New laser technology has made such symmetry possible. Laserpro's 16-inch aluminum Laser Level uses a laser beam that projects a straight line up to 1,500 feet. The level is inscribed with a ruler and includes a tripod mount.

Suggested price: $30

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Kids' music – for one

Parents often rely on cassettes and CDs to entertain kids on long car trips. But few parents delight in listening to hours of Barney or Blues Clues tunes.

The QuietRider Sound System may be the solution. The soft denim headrest folds over the back of a car seat and is secured with a Velcro connector. A set of stereo speakers imbedded in the bottom of the pad are positioned at about the height of most children's ears.

The audio sounds like a whisper in the rest of the car, according to QuietRider. A 10-foot extension cord connects the pad to headphone jacks now found in the back seat of many cars, or to portable CD players and radios.

Suggested price: $30

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