Top ten gadgets every designer SHOULD live without

Posted Friday, 12 October 2007 in Entertainment, Design, Technology
As a designer, you’re probably familiar with all these gadgets that are available in various online stores – some are useful, some quite brilliant and a few downright indispensable.

And then there’s the opposite side of the spectrum. Let’s just say that the world's stupidest gadgets came in for review today.

Humping USB Dog

USB humping dog
They could easily have shoved a gigabyte or two of storage into this and marketed it as a novelty flash drive, but no, don't let the shiny plastic casing deceive you into thinking that this fella can do anything marginally useful.

This is purely and simply a dog that plugs into your USB drive and humps away. Bizarre and unashamedly pointless, it should come as no surprise that this is another Japanese contribution to the world of gadgetry.


Pee Powered Battery

Pee Powered Battery
This new environmentally friendly liquid powered battery has just hit the shelves in Japan. We hasten to add that you could use pretty much any liquid to recharge this battery, but unsurprisingly 'pee-power' is the phrase that has captured people's imagination. And 'NoPoPo', in case you wonder, stands for 'Non Polluting Power'.

"Doing your bit for the environment" suddenly took on a whole new connotation – I find the mental image of this principle expanded to power-plant proportions pretty hard to erease...


BackpackShield Bulletproof Backpack

Backpack shield
Designed for "college students, high school students, concerned parents, and commuters", I'd seriously consider moving to a better neighbourhood if buying this kevlar re-inforced backpack, capable of stopping a .44 Magnum bullet, seems like a sound investment.

The manufacturer reminds us that "It's a major survival advantage versus not having any protection at all and being shot with a couple of 9 mm/44 Magnum rounds." – Somehow that's never been particularly high on my list of criteria when I go backpack shopping – until now.


Mini Desk

Mini Desk
Well okay, it's kind of funny, but could you see yourself working at this desk for years on end? Once the novelty wears off, the $4400 you spent on it is probably going to be the first thing you think about when you set to work.


Tempo Wireless Trashcan

Wireless Trashcan
This 'trashcan' is put forward as a "unique hard drive storage device" which claims to rescue files from accidental deletion by, well, storing them. That sounds quite similar to what my non-trashcan shaped external harddrive has been doing for years.

Does the marginal usefulness of this product warrant the desk space it uses? Not in my mind. Clutter, pure and simple.


Velcro Socket Faceplate

Velcro socket
Keeping things tidy in the office is never a bad idea, but do you really need your unused plugs velcroed to the side of the sockets to find them again?

The concept claims to have energy conservation credentials, given that "The 'Attach' design serves as a strong reminder to the user to unplug the plug." How this is supposed to work if your wall sockets happen to be under your desk, is not elaborated upon.


iPod Toilet Roll Holder

Ipod & toilet roll holder
I remember thinking that all is fine in the world after all, when I found out that the iToilet was just a joke. I'm unsure which is the most silly, the iToilet or this iPod toilet roll holder docking station, but the fact that the latter is for real and can be purchased for $199 just made me a little more worried about the state of the world.


The Beerbelly Beverage Bag

The Beer Belly in action
For all those who despite lots of hard work (down the pub) just aren't able to build that coveted beer belly, here's quite literally a beer belly to sling across your neck! The key selling-point is that it'll enable you to smuggle beer and booze past the most vigilant bouncers at gigs, games etc. As long as you don't mind the weird looks you'll be getting once people nearby hears the splashing noises coming from your 'belly', that is.

For women who find the beer belly look hard to swallow (no pun intended) there is also a female Wine Rack model in production, which puts the bulge(s) in a more flattering position.


The Funtrak Paintball Tank

Paintball Tank
Quite possibly the ultimate boy's toy, bringing this $16000 custom built beast to bear on your office nemesis at the next paintball game will not only secure your victory, it also gives you a very strong change of getting fired, maybe even jailed!

On the other hand; judging from this guy's big grin, the warm feeling you get inside when driving one of these around is simply priceless.


Toshiba 360 Gaming Helmet

Toshiba gaming helmet
I always figured that sleek, 360 degree motion controlled goggles would be the next big thing in computer/television output, but then Toshiba pulls a stunt like this. Instead of a cool set of wrap-around goggles, they hit on the idea of strapping the freak brother of an old-fashioned CRT television onto some poor girl's head. If using a mouse or gamepad doesn't already give you repetitive strain injury, this 2.7kg monster is a safe bet.


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Humping USB dog
By Doghumper on Friday, 12 October 2007 11:48 AM
What an awesome gadget! I'm getting this ASAP.
Tempo is a concept...
By Todd Aspeotis on Saturday, 13 October 2007 3:58 AM
The Tempo Trashcan is a concept, it says so on its website...
By Hoogy on Saturday, 13 October 2007 4:24 AM
That helmet is so huge, I wonder if it is just for comedic effect because it made me chuckle.
By Dracomantis on Saturday, 13 October 2007 4:27 AM
So true on all of these....

And the to the previous posters...

This Post >
Bill Hartzer
By Bill Hartzer on Saturday, 13 October 2007 4:28 AM
I just love that paintball tank. Very cool. I bet I could build one a lot cheaper than that, though.
paintball tank
By rayboy on Saturday, 13 October 2007 4:41 AM
wasn't that Mike Dukakis?
The wireless trashcan
By coprolal1an on Saturday, 13 October 2007 5:07 AM
Actually, that sounds like a great product. Clutter? That things tiny. Far less clutter than an external hard drive :p

I'll buy one should they make it.
The iPod Toilet Roll Holder Dock
By benoftroy on Saturday, 13 October 2007 5:23 AM
I'm sorry folks, I think I'd use this one...every single time. And not just for sitdown visits. What about brushing my teeth, washing my face, and other bathroom tasks? Just saying...
Use the swartz!
By Josh Allen on Saturday, 13 October 2007 5:30 AM
That helmet reminds me of Dark Helmet's ... helmet from the SpaceBalls movie.
By wish on Saturday, 13 October 2007 6:07 AM
I've owned one of these for about two years now, and I fill it with liquor and hand out shots to every sporting event / random party I go to, frickin thing of beauty
dont buy it
By vic on Saturday, 13 October 2007 8:54 AM
if people buy them people will sell them
By fatabbot on Saturday, 13 October 2007 10:53 AM
Lol at that helmet
By David on Saturday, 13 October 2007 11:18 AM
I like the trash can external hard drive idea. It would be really useful if all items in the recycle bin in Windows or items permanently deleted went to the external trash can and could store a few gigabytes of data at least. It would be a constant reminder of there always being backup and a bit of a lifesaver as well!
By mike on Saturday, 13 October 2007 11:59 AM
David: if you think you'll need a file just don't delete it. Or move it to a folder "to-be-deleted-later-maybe". When the hard drive is full, review the folder and delete it if there's nothing you want to keep.
By internet splash on Saturday, 13 October 2007 2:11 PM
People must be buying these though, or they wouldn't really be available.
Humping dog rules
By Jenny on Saturday, 13 October 2007 3:27 PM
Humping dog rules :))
By paul on Saturday, 13 October 2007 3:41 PM
I can't believe that's in the top ten.
Water powered battery is awsome!
By Stefan Lasiewski on Saturday, 13 October 2007 4:26 PM
A water power battery could be very useful for an emergency supply kit. I have a couple of emergency flashlights in my car, and the batteries are often dead by the time I use them. Sometimes the batteries explode and leak in the glove compartment. Squeeze lights and shaker lights are impractical when doing emergency roadside work at night.

These batteries would solve that problem. Do they work?
humpin dog USB
By Amir A. on Saturday, 13 October 2007 7:37 PM
if they made a humping dog that was also a flash drive i'd buy it.
Bullet proof backpack unnecessary
By Scott on Sunday, 14 October 2007 6:19 AM
That’s completely unnecessary if kids carried around the books required all day long. Hell, my calc text book plus the C++ book and binders would probably stop most projectiles under 50 cal.
Im going to buy all of these...
By Peter Griffin on Sunday, 14 October 2007 6:33 AM
these are freak'n great!!!!
Ipod dock/TP holder
By Vinney on Sunday, 14 October 2007 6:52 AM
I bought that for my roommate for Christmas. He LOVES it.
By Ruthers on Sunday, 14 October 2007 9:33 AM
That 360 helmet makes her look like a big daddy from bioshock!
By Yuta on Sunday, 14 October 2007 2:03 PM
the batteries would help so much and they actually work really really well.
beer belly
By Jack on Sunday, 21 October 2007 5:16 PM
I've actually seen people use that beer belly beverage thing before in college football games. I think its a great idea!
By Nathan on Sunday, 21 October 2007 6:26 PM
The helmet reminds me of the robot off of FLCL(Japanese anime). I wouldn't be suprised if they specifically designed it to look like that.
Toilet roll holder rocks
By izabael on Friday, 26 October 2007 1:03 AM
It's not like you just have to use it on the toilet. it's great to be able to play music in your bathroom while taking a shower or getting ready.
The Backpack
By Covarr on Friday, 2 November 2007 2:09 AM
Why is the Eastsport logo on that backpack blurred out? Additionally, why is this company reselling Eastsport's backpacks as their own? The addition of a small bulletproof insert, though mildly cool, is not enough for them to claim credit for the design of the backpack in those photos.

If you ever are going to purchase a new backpack, though, the one pictured (minus the insert) is a pretty good one, and has served me quite well over the years.
By Carissa on Monday, 5 November 2007 3:08 AM
I love that pee powered battery!
They remanufacture.
By Spooky on Wednesday, 7 November 2007 2:56 AM
Check their site ( and you will see--they will build their shield into the backpack of your choice.
the humping dog
By Random on Wednesday, 7 November 2007 7:14 AM
i've got one, and it's by far the most interesting thing i own for my computer. that includes games. i plug it in before anyone comes to my house and WHAM instant conversation
Gizmos rule
By ChrisMarch on Thursday, 22 November 2007 4:11 PM
I love the japaneese people , they have a gizmo for every occasion, even the ones you'll never end up in..
Pee batteries ?? what is there not to like about it.?
and the 3d helmet :) :) :) crazy japaneese people.. in other countries this would never have left the drawing table, in japan - big production.
and everyone has played paintball with a bastard that is completely invinsible.. here is the gadget to help you.
as for the car-desk thingy - where do you put something like that ?? in your garage ? ?!
but i have to agree with the others on the thrash can : ME LIKES :)
Bulletproof backpack ? who will shoot a little kid in the back?? get him a vest if you really care.
the beer belly : if you like your beer to be shaken and stirred before you drink it- or maybe you just love to bring plenty of vodka martinis .. ?
toilet roll ipod : if you have to play music every time you need to take a wizz i guess you also have a big surrond system in your house.

THE HUMPING DOG : only in Japan !!! sex is very big over there , either it's dogs humping computers or any thing else . if it humps- it's going to sell.

By defekt on Tuesday, 4 December 2007 4:37 PM
Christmas is here hah ah ah col stuf
Mini desk
By Matt on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 10:37 PM
id love a Mini desk!! would be perfect for em to play Race 07 on :)

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