Top 50 weird gadgets of 2006 : No's 25 – 1

Gadgets, Top tens

And so our list (started yesterday) concludes. Here is a run-down of the top TechDigest weird gadgets of the last year… all the way to number one.

25. Solar-Powered Insect Theatre (pictured) – Okay I admit it, it’s the name that got me on this one, for those of you who actually keep pet insects this won’t be weird at all. For the rest of us, well we wouldn’t just have one lying around that’s for sure. Put the sun to good use before it collapses and warm up all your butterflies just the way you like them. Sorted.

24. In-Car Espresso Machine – We caffeine-fuelled gadget and gamer geeks all love coffee so naturally you’d want to have the option of a quick hit on long car journeys. I’m worried, however, that boiling hot liquid and driving don’t mix. You can’t talk on your mobile phone but making an espresso? Sure, go ahead, and make me one while you’re at it.

23. Snappy Face Recogniser – I’m hopeless at remembering passwords so when I hear that I can access a computer using nothing but my pretty face I’m a happy bunny. But what if I have a bad hair day? Will it still recognise me then?

22. Power Aware Glowing Cable – I love the fact that this cable glows brighter as you use more electricity (therefore using more electricity itself) in a dire hope that you’ll notice and end up using less. I’m no expert but surely there are better ways.

21. Flying Alarm Clock – Tired (pun intended) of that noisy old screech waking you every morning? Wouldn’t you rather rise to the sensation of helicopter blades lashing at your eyes? Yes? Then, my friend, this is for you! The flying alarm clock sends a small propeller airborne every morning to wake you from your dreams, an accident waiting to happen.

20. Zero G Wall Climber – Hours of fun ahead with this radio controlled vehicle. When you run out of room on the floor and people are tripping over the small jumps you’ve fashioned from old cereal boxes then simply take to the walls! This things sticks to them better than spiderman himself. You’ll be breaking picture frames and ripping wallpaper in minutes, yay!

19. Siemens Dressman (pictured) – This is the kind of gadget – though handy and perfect for any lazy bachelor who likes his pants crease-free – that you’d forget you had, sitting in the corner. Fast-forward to the middle of the night and you’re awakened by strange noise, the moonlight creeps in through a crack in the curtain, you scan the room, suddenly this monstrosity looms over you like some kind of hideous monster… No thanks, I’ll stick with an iron methinks.

18. Walkie Talkie Watches – We all remember the hours of fun we had as kids with nothing but a pair of walkie talkies and our imaginations. Well, the imaginations may be gone but, heck, I’ll bet I can still have a damn good laugh with a set of these, and since they’re combined with a watch no one will ever suspect me. I’m only checking the time after all… and… talking… to my hand… oh well.

17. ScreenFridge – Ah the humble fridge, we’ve been through a lot together you and me. Well get set for a lot more cause now that you’ve got the whole Internet in your bosom there’s no reason we should ever part. Even with your heart of ice you still complete me.

16. Kama Sutra Bedsheet – How could I not include this?… That is all.

15. Ride-Em Robo (pictured) – Words can’t express how completely crazy but completely awesome this looks, even The Stig from BBC’s Top Gear is having a go in that picture (albeit a slight “chunky” version of him, but…). To see one of these in action would surely be a terrifying sight. I want one.

14. Grass Armchair – Be the envy of all your neighbours with what can only be described as a gigantic grass abscess in your back garden. Number 39 from the first part of our list may have a bit of a struggle with it however.

13. Mosquito Ring Tone – I love it when a good plan falls flat on it’s face. So when this high frequency noise that was designed to repel teenagers transformed into something they then paid money for (in ringtone format) I laughed and then laughed some more.

12. Swedx Wooden Keyboard & Mouse – We’ve already had the wooden clock (number 34) and now we have these. Completely normal computer peripherals except for the fact that they are carved from wood, three varieties in fact. Termites and woodworm now bring a whole new meaning to the term “computer bug”.

11. Spinning Love Swing – Another random eBay find that had to be included. It’s not a gadget but anything that brings the people of the world closer together (while rotating them at the same time) should be celebrated and not shunned. Number eleven for you good sir.

And now folks, the top ten…

10. Nabaztag WiFi Bunny (pictured) – Cute and helpful so this little fella is the perfect companion for all those all-night web surfing sessions you’ve been struggling through. He’ll flap his little ears to let you know that you’ve received an important email and turn purple with rage when you knock him off the desk by accident. I fear any machine that’s better at Internet browsing than me. Die foul beast!

9. Handmade Beating Heart – A genuinely unsettling plush beating heart which claims to calm and relax. Coming soon: a soft-toy appendix, now with realistic bursting action.

8. Nimzy Vibro Blaster – Despite sounding like something that you’d mail-order from the back of “naughty” magazines, the vibro blaster is a really interesting piece of kit. Press it against any flat surface and presto! you’ve got yourself a custom loudspeaker. Cool.

7. Guinness Surger – My tipple of choice has gone all hi-tech. This Guinness base will help you pour the perfect pint using ultra-sonic technology. Downside is, though, that you have to buy special cans of the stuff or it won’t work, and I’ve never seen them anywhere.

6. Detox for Games Addicts – There’s been some items on this list whose “gadget” status has been questionable at best, but there’s absolutely no chance you could pigeon hole this entry as one. Still I had to include it because it definitely fits the “weird” criteria. It actually makes for some scary reading. Luckily I haven’t developed any of the symptoms, yet.

5. Segway Centaur Quad (pictured) – Not available to buy but what is basically a glorified wheely machine had to go on the list. The fact that I can’t understand – no matter how much someone tries to explain it to me – how Segway makes their products function just makes it even better. They’re clearly witches and should be burned as such.

4. H-Racer Hydrogen Car – Environmentally-friendly? Check. Aesthetically-pleasing? Check. Transparent plastic body so that you can see all the wires and crap inside? Check, check and another for good measure: check. It doesn’t fail on any counts. Just hurry up and make full-size ones already, geez.

3. On Target Urinal Game – Ladies you’re outta luck but boys, this is the game/gadget you’ve all been waiting for. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in these moments of release can often be described as “uneasy”; you can never be sure where those other eyes are wandering to. Well worry no more cause all those eyes will be concentrating fully on besting the high scores table from now on. This game should be installed everywhere, people would drink themselves silly just for a reason to go back and play.

2. Scratch ‘n Sniff MP3 Player – Ridiculous and insane, of course it was going to be included here. Available in a choice of scents (flavours?) you can now enjoy your music on the tube without the stench of stale urine and booze. As far as I know you still can’t get these over here but, c’mon, would you really buy one if you could?

And now, the one that you’ve all been waiting for…

1. Every Single Crazy iPod Accessory – It wasn’t even a tough choice to make when such things as iPod belts, iPod ties and iPod gloves are all available to buy in shops now. You can even buy yourself an iPod bed if such a thing should take your fancy. The pinnacle, however, of all the iPod tat available on the market (and there’s a lot more than I’ve mentioned here) is the abomination pictured, otherwise known as the iPod Cooking Audio Player (pictured): a dock for your beloved player that also has room for any spare cloves of garlic you may have lying around. Madness, all of it.

So what do you think folks? Did I miss anything? Why not tell us what your favourite weird gadget of 2006 was by means of post comments and we’ll see you in 2007. Happy New Year friends.

John Connelly
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