It would be fair to say that the modern world is awash with gadgets. We’ve got gadgets that scratch our backs, charge our phones and even fold our clothes. But it’s not just in the home that we’ve seen a proliferation of new toys. It’s in the workplace too.
Learning about gadgets is a little bit like being Alice In Wonderland. You’re never sure just how deep the rabbit hole goes until you start climbing down. And when you finally find out what’s on offer, there’s something a little Mad Hatter about it. With that said, gadgets are making waves in the office. Here’s some of the best.
Solar USB Charger
Solar panels have come down a lot in price recently. And so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they’ve found their way into all sorts of applications. One area they’re needed the most is keeping your phone alive while you’re at the office. Now you can buy a little solar panel with a USB cable that plugs into your phone. Just stick it on the office window and it’ll start charging your battery. No, it’s not as fast as a regular charger. But the good news is that you can still use it on cloudy days.
Most people can get by okay with the constant sound of typing and clicking in the office. But for some people, it’s a major hassle that can wreak havoc on their concentration. Not to worry. Now a company called Nexus has taken the sound out of mouse clicks. The cool thing about their no-sound mouse is that it still feels tactile, like a mouse. But it has entirely different sound properties. What’s more, they’re not actually any more expensive than a regular, high-quality mouse. Prices range from $30 to $50.
You’ve heard about standing desks, but what about treadmill desks? These desks are for the people who are extremely serious about their deep vein thrombosis. Only recently have standing desks become widely accepted in big offices. That was all thanks to some rather clever marketing on the part of companies selling them. But it’s going to be a while before treadmill desks become commonplace in large offices. In home offices? Well, maybe their time has come!
Back in May, we got the news that developers in Dubai had 3D printed an entire office. And, interestingly, many of those offices contain 3D printers. It’s like the whole chicken and egg thing all over again.
But seriously, what can you do these days with an office 3D printer? Well, it turns out that they are actually useful for an awful lot. First off, if you’re any kind of design company, 3D printers are going to slash your R&D costs. We’ve seen automotive, music and food companies all benefit. Prototypes can now be shuttled out very rapidly indeed.
But printing is also useful for a range of other office applications. For instance, some companies are now printing out their own office chairs. Others are using them to replace all manner of broken office equipment, like keyboard feet.
It’s all been made possible thanks to increases in usability. For instance, you can now get 3D printing material closed in a cartridge. And this cartridge will actually communicate with the printer itself, telling it what materials it has left and what color they are.
Here’s where things start to get a little Mad Hatter’s tea party. Most of us would have gone through life accepting the fact that we would always have to stir our hot drinks. But not the makers of self-stirring mugs. No, they wanted to take the effort out of that entirely. So how does it work? Well, on the bottom of the cup there’s a little propeller. This propeller is activated by a button on the handle of the cup. So when the button is pressed, the propeller spins and a vortex of tea is created. Hopefully, the company behind it are working on a cup that walks itself to the coffee machine and fills itself up. Now that would be good.
USB Floppy Disk Stick
We all love going retro from time to time. So why not go retro by helping yourself to a USB drive in the shape of a floppy disk? Of course, none of us want to relive the shockingly small memories and slow load times of our old 3 ½ inch friends. But the 1980s and 1990s are often looked back upon with rose-tinted glasses.
Many USB floppies also double up as vinyl coasters, which is good if you decide to get yourself a self-stirring mug.