New year brings giftable gadgets
Normally at this time of year, we'd be taking a look back at my predictions for 2007 to see how many came true. But this year, I decided, why make it about me?
Sure, almost none of my predictions came true, but that's not the point (aliens did not land on Earth to deliver a cure for cancer, an endless source of free energy and 16 pairs of underwear for Britney Spears -- turns out, that was wishful thinking all around).
The point is, a lot of us still haven't bought holiday gifts. Still others expect brand-new stacks of cash and/or gift cards under the tree and need ideas on how to blow them. So here's a review of some of the most unique gadgets we covered in 2007:
GasBGon (GasBGon.com, $25): This cushion has special filters that take both the bark and the bite out of those six hot dogs you ate for dinner. Since studies suggest the average person passes gas 14 times a day year-round (not counting Oktoberfests), the site claims the cushion's replaceable carbon filter will last six months for a woman and about three months for a man -- or, by my math, about half of Super Bowl Sunday. Yeah, that sounds about right. Update: GasBGon is now also selling underwear.
Battery-Operated Blender (smarthome.com, $60): No matter how close your hotel is to the beach, it's doubtful the concierge can hook you up with an extension cord long enough to mix your own umbrella drinks at sunset. But this handy rechargeable appliance offers a solution. Juice up this juicer at home or in your car en route to sandy shores using one of two adapters. Customers report it's powerful enough to crush ice and merge anyone's Triple Sec with tequila and lime.
NuPower Video+ (newertech.com, $50): Ever try to resuscitate a battery-depleted iPod on the beach? When it comes to public facilities at the seashore, the only thing harder to find than toilet paper is a USB port.
But the good folks at Newer Technology have an answer with their rechargeable battery pack for the video iPod. Once this slim device is, itself, fully charged via the iPod's computer cable, it can hit the road and refuel your MP3 for 80 hours of music or 16 hours of video.
That's 16 episodes of "Ugly Betty," 32 episodes of "The Office" or one episode of "Lost" viewed 16 times, because that's the only way it even begins to make sense.
Keychain Solar Flashlight (thinkgeek.com, $10): Tiny flashlights on key chains are a great idea. Unfortunately, as useful as they might be, once their batteries fade, so does our memory that they ever worked in the first place (if "replace key chain flashlight battery" ever makes it to the top of your to-do list, then someone at the group home should adjust your medication).
But this gadget solves the problem we would never bother to solve by storing and using energy from the sun -- it works when we're intoxicated at 2 a.m. this year and then works again when we're intoxicated at 2 a.m. next year. If only we could say the same thing about our hand-eye coordination.
Next week: More best gadgets of 2007.