The 10 Most Baffling Computer Gadgets Money Can Buy

The 10 Most Baffling Computer Gadgets Money Can Buy

Even after including all of the items we actually need in our lives, computer catalogs still have many pages left to fill. Fortunately, there is an entire industry working hard to invent useless and downright asinine devices, in the hopes that someone will accidentally buy them.

Such as:

USB Mouse Jiggler

The USB Mouse Jiggler is a USB device that you plug into your computer. The device 'jiggles' your mouse around every few minutes so the sleep mode or screen saver doesn't come on, presumably so you can snooze in front of your computer and still look like you're working.

Why It's Pointless

Inventing gadgets for the lazy man is what makes America great (hell, we use Segways on our treadmills) but paying $30 for something that replaces 10 seconds worth of mouse clicking (the amount of time it would take you to adjust the sleep mode timer) is on a whole different level of laziness. This is on the level of hiring a guy to operate your TV remote for you.

USB Eye Massager

The eye massager is a peripheral shaped like two fingers ready to attempt a Three Stooges-style eye poking. So it makes perfect sense that they'd sell it as a USB device meant to be used around your eyes. It has two distinct vibrating settings: high speed, (which we're assuming is fatal since it would vibrate right into your brain) and low speed (which, while not fatal, probably causes major retinal damage and subsequent blindness).

On the upside, according to the creators, this is pretty much mankind's greatest invention ever. Not only does it soothe your aching eyeballs, it also relieves tension in the central nervous system, aids digestion, stimulates the lymphatic system and fights against infection by boosting your immune system. The creators are already working on a USB back massager that cures cancer.

Why It's Pointless

Before you enthusiastically plunge this device into you eye socket, consider this: why on Earth should you risk blindness when you could just use your own fingers to massage your eyeballs? We aren't entirely convinced by the creators' claims about the devices' supposed magical healing capabilities either. We're not saying they're lying (legally we can't), we're just saying they have something in common with Pinocchio (i.e. both are fucking liars). If you're still considering buying this, then we urge you to take the price into account. We can assure you that there is a multitude of less expensive ways to blind yourself such as peppering the eyeball or a good old-fashioned eye stabbing.

Aroma USB

The Aroma USB is a USB-powered air freshener that sends wafts of sweet scents around to counter any offensive odors. The website boasts that the device is "preloaded with fragrance" (unlike those irritating air fresheners that you have to load with fragrance yourself) and comes in an assortment of colors.

Why It's Pointless

OK, it's at this point we have to stop and ask just how many free USB ports they think people have on their machines. We've already got a keyboard, mouse, printer and a thumb drive crammed in there. Why in the world would we sacrifice another slot for a USB gadget that shouldn't need to be powered at all.

Scented candles and other air fresheners carry out the exact same task without wasting one of the limited USB slots in your computer that could be used for more important devices like that USB fondue set you've had your eye on.

The Aroma USB seems to be primarily aimed at businesses, though we think that most businesses would be more focused on making money than shelling out thousands of dollars on scented computer peripherals. The company dares to ask the question, "Isn't a scented USB stick with no RAM better than a boring normal USB stick?" And we dare to answer, "No, not in the slightest."

USB Humping Dog

The USB humping dog is possibly the most hilarious USB device ever. It's a USB drive shaped like a dog, but that's not all. When you plug it in, it begins to rhythmically thrust into your USB port in a hilarious imitation of a dog humping. It comes in two different colors: brown and black. It can also ... eh ... did we mention how hilarious it is?

As you can hear, the sound is not at all annoying and it's so quiet you can only hear it from, like, four or five cubicles away.

Yes, we can't wait until the douchebag at the next workstation over gets one of these so we can hear that mechanical clicking sound for hours on end while he giggles his ass off.

Why It's Pointless

It's actually not if your point is to trigger an office shooting spree.

Dutch Dead Bbudd Speakers

Those crazy Dutchmen have taken a break from their drug-trafficking and prostitute peddling to design some unnerving new computer devices. Here we have a speaker system described as a "little dead desktop buddy," which is a doll dressed in gimp-style black leather, with X's for eyes (typically denoting death) with speakers integrated in the soles of the feet. Hey, why not.

Why It's Pointless

The speakers actually have pretty low-quality audio, so it appears the company was relying on the novelty of a sound-generating S&M teddy bear to sell the item--a pretty frightening idea when you think about it. Actually, it's probably best not to.

The USB Ghost Radar

The retarded Japanese gadget company, Solid Alliance, has come up with the perfect solution to all your ridiculous fears of the supernatural. The Ghost Radar is a ghost-detecting computer peripheral. You heard us.

Connected via USB, this device is supposed to detect ghosts, spirits and other things that aren't real. It uses complex algorithms and analyzes data such as your skin's biometric feedback and makes lunar-cycle adjustments in order to detect if there is any paranormal activity within the vicinity. It then discards all of this information and tells you that there is a ghost in the room. This allows you valuable time to perform an exorcism/cower underneath your desk in fear/thank Solid Alliance for making such useful gadgets.

Why It's Pointless

The value of this item depends almost entirely on whether you believe in ghosts or not. Personally, being sensible and logical people, we don't. The only ghosts in our machines are the countless viruses obtained by foolishly clicking on those penis enlargement emails (not that we need them or anything, we were just curious).

The website claims that the gadget is supposed to comfort people but, if you believe in ghosts, we're not sure how comforting it would actually be to be told there is a demonic manifestation of a murder victim floating around your room.

The creators have been quite clever in producing a device that's impossible to accuse of not working properly. Because ghosts are either non-physical or non-existent it is impossible to tell if it's really detecting a real ghost, really detecting an unreal ghost or just really weirding out your co-workers.

USB Pencil Sharpener

The USB pencil sharpener is an electric pencil sharpener that's connected to your PC for some inexplicable reason. Thankfully, unlike other power-draining pencil sharpeners, this device uses low-power consumption. There's no need to be worried about the irritating installation procedure necessary with manual pencil sharpeners either--this one's plug n' play.

Why It's Pointless

If you're close enough to a computer to use this thing, you do not need a pencil. You have the computer right there. This is like selling a phonograph that can only be powered by an iPod.

Really the only reason this is connected to a PC at all seems to be to power its colorful lights. Placing colorful lights on useless items has become a staple in the gadget world, presumably increasing sales to people who are so easily distracted that it doesn't seem like they'd be able to use a computer in the first place.

Roll-Up Keyboard

The Roll-Up Keyboard is designed out of flexible materials (usually some type of rubber) that can roll up in a moderately tight bundle, allowing for ease of transport--perfect for those who tire of lugging their keyboard around with them all day. It's also water poof, if submerging electronics in water is your thing.

Why It's Pointless

Why exactly do you need a portable keyboard? Laptops have their own keyboards, and if you don't like the laptop's keyboard for some reason, you're sure as fuck not going to like typing on this floppy thing any better. Try putting it on your lap, and watch as your fingers chase keys that are now draped over your thighs.

The only conceivable situation where this would be useful would be if you plan on doing some emergency underwater typing, but we can only think of seven or eight situations where we've had to do that.

USB Heating Slippers

Do your feet ever get cold when you sit at your PC? Don't panic! The Japanese electronic company Thanko has designed a pair of USB Heating Slippers that will help keep your feet toasty while you're working near the computer in a cold environment, such as a meat freezer or arctic research lab.

Why It's Pointless

It's hard to tell what market the creators were going for with this device (people who wear slippers or people who use computers), because these two groups rarely cross over. Even if you're such a person, it's unlikely these slippers will be much use outside of your home life.

Should you decide to use it at home, you'll be hampered by its very short wire, and most of your time will be spent lunging toward various items around the computer. Worst of all, it takes up two USB slots (one for each slipper) allowing few remaining slots for the rest of your USB-powered attire.

USB Bouncer

Don't you just love bouncers? Insulting your hairstyle and refusing you access to the hippest clubs? Well now you can have your very own USB-powered bouncer, in case your self-esteem wasn't already low enough. The device is supposed to protect against people stealing your things, and boasts of three unique phrases to scare off thieves, such as "You're not comin' anywhere near here lookin' like that" and "You're cruising for a bruisin'."

The idea being that if some scoundrel should sneak up to your desk when you're away, the device will detect his presence and shout a preprogrammed line at him, thereby shattering his confidence, leaving him to skulk off in shame.

Why It's Pointless

Where do we start?

The creators are apparently relying on the bouncer to intimidate the thief with his 8-inch frame or perhaps with his impressive knowledge of 1950s slang. Obviously this is a ridiculous assumption. In fact the thieves will probably just steal the device itself (we hear criminals are big fans of irony).

We're guessing the device works by means of some motion-detection system, meaning it can't differentiate between possible thieves, random passers-by, and its owner. So if a thief does happen to skulk past your cubicle without noticing all of the highly important spreadsheets you've left open, your handy anti-theft device will helpfully get his attention by yelling insults at him. Just be sure to get your bouncer soon. The price will likely go up once they install one on every computer at the CIA Headquarters in Langley.

If you enjoyed that, but wish the products were deadlier, check out our rundown of The 13 Most Irresponsible Self-Defense Gadgets Money Can Buy. Then, find out about a USB device that's more helpful than the above, though less helpful than Steve Jobs would have you believe. Then, head over to the blog for a video that may be the most embarrassing non-Vista related product that Microsoft has ever produced.

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