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Topic: About Gadgets

Types of Gadgets ( Classification )

Oct 07, 2006
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Everybody knows what a gadget is and what functions it has. However, the topic of functions might be a blurred one, as there are myriads of gadgets with different functions and methods of usage.

The Meaning of the Word

Back in the past a gadget used to mean a device, which was meant to do something extraordinary (or at least it looked not like other devices). Today there are so many devices of this kind that it's impossible to tell, where the boundary between a gadget and a device lies. For example, a digital camera is mainly called a device (or just a camera), though a new and a cool mobile phone with many modern applications and functions would be called a gadget. The line between the two terms became really unclear.

The word 'gadget' could be defined as a new, unusual device, mostly used for entertainment; yet also for household and security. Whereas a 'device' means any tool or instrument used during a particular work to achieve the desired result.

In some ways the only difference between these two words could be defined as they have almost the same meaning, though a gadget is always a device, but a device is not only a gadget.

Classification of Gadgets

Back to the main topic of this article! After the technological boom in the last decade of the last century the manufacturers and amateurs have assembled numerous gadgets for various purposes. It was actually impossible to categorize any of them as everyone, especially the amateurs, built them for their personal needs.

Grouping gadgets in categories is quite a task, because of their great number and diversity (as already mentioned). However, there are a few main categories, which can unite gadgets having the same characteristic features.

The USB-based Gadgets

The main and the most numerous is the category of USB gadgets. The USB-based gadgets are so numerous these days that the diversity of their usage is actually a matter of individual fantasy.

First of all, why USB? This is quite simple. After the Universal Serial Bus Port became available on computers, the computer geeks have felt there were people, who think about them. The USB enables the users attaching various devices to their computer without having to shut it down or reboot. This is a great advantage of this port. All they had to do is plug the device in (whether a printer, modem or scanner) and wait until the OS finds and installs the necessary drivers. Additionally, the power usage of USB-based gadgets is very low. This way developing and afterwards manufacturing USB-based devices has become a priority for many companies.

Today there are lists of best, weirdest or stupidest USB gadgets. This trend of producing this variety of gadgets is determined by those young people, who are striving to look unusual and to have unusual things surrounding them. Thus the series of these gadgets begins with a simple USB Flash Card (as a portable device for copying files from one computer to another) and to USB Heating Gloves, Flower Pot Speaker or a USB Self-Destruction Button.

As a matter of fact, the most usual USB Flash Cards are now being reconceived, because even designers are trying to personalize these devices. It becomes something every person familiar with computers should have.

The main advantages of the USB-based devices are the following:
  • compatibility with any computer with an USB 1.1 or higher;

  • low power requirements;

  • portability and mobility;

  • fast access via the computer;

  • use it at everywhere, where a computer can be found.

The Family of iPod Gadgets

Another group of gadgets was determined by the insane popularity of the Multimedia Player from Apple – iPod. People, who love traveling or just listening to music, have fallen in love with this player, as it is able to store up to 60 GB of music or other media files. The time of continuous playback is also quite impressive: the 30 GB 5th generation iPod provides 8 hours of playback. It depends of course mostly on the model.

This gadget became so popular that some manufacturers started producing mini gadgets to be attached to the player or the player itself could be attached to. The diversity of these gadgets is also rather impressive, though not as much as that of the USB-based devices.

Just to make a general picture of what kind of gadgets the iPod can be compatible with, here is short list of examples:
  • portable mini audio systems to be attached to iPod;

  • - TV sets for viewing the favorite movie on a big screen with a special iPod-compatible slot;

  • big audio systems for home for enjoying the loudness of the favorite music with iPod-compatible slot;

  • small anti-pick-pocket locks with codes, to prevent your iPod from being stolen;

  • special hand-bags with speakers with an iPod pocket to connect the speakers to;

  • there are also rumors of integrating the iPod Nano into shoes.

All these examples prove the extreme popularity of iPods and the wild desire of some companies to complement the series of for-iPod gadgets with a new revolutionary idea, as for example a vibrator, which vibrates with the rhythm of the particular song played at the moment.

Thus the additional gadgets for iPod have made it from a multimedia player, to something one could really have a lot of fun with.

Spy gadgets

This is the most sophisticated gadget sphere in the world. Why? Because, there are so many spy gadgets available today that you can keep track of somebody's life without even seeing him in real life. It is both scary and useful for your own protection.

First, just so that you get how many spy gadget are out there we will divide them into several categories and here are some examples:

  • Spy cameras, night vision cameras etc.

  • Night vision binoculars, infrared binoculars etc.

  • Voice recording, listening and other audio spy gadgets

  • Lie detectors, movement detectors and other spy gadget detectors

All these spy gadgets are widely used to protect our houses and to protect our personal life. However they are also used to get into people's personal lives. So what can you use them for?

Why people use them? Curiosity is one of the main characteristics of a man and very many people would like to know something about somebody else that no one else knows. Here is when spy gadgets are used.

New high tech technology has made spy gadgets very small but very functional at the same time. They have combined a voice recorder with a pen; they have created button cameras, tracking devices and many other gadgets to help people reveal somebody's secrets.

However, spy gadgets can be used for protection too. There are some gadgets that can detect spy cameras, and spy voice recorders. They have created cameras that you can install in your house so that nobody knows that you have got any. There are also many cases when you can use spy gadgets for your own privacy protection.

These gadgets have been created not only to entertain people they have been created for being used by people. That is the main direction where spy gadget industry goes.

Numerous watch gadgets

Ten years ago a watch was just a simple accessory that would tell you the time. This situation has changed now and gadget watches become more and more sophisticated.

Everybody has a watch on his wrist and some people thought why not built some things into his watch. This is how the first gadget watches have appeared. One of the first gadget watches was one with built in calculator, stopwatch and calendar. These where the first "upgrades" that have been made to a simple watch. However, those watches looked bulky and not very stylish.

Later on the watch has become an accessory that would mostly look good and have minimum number of built in features. That meant that watch is much better as just an accessory but not a taught gadget.

Now the situation has changed and the gadget watches are being used more often. Why? It is just because the technology has become so developed that they can now fit a mini computer into a usual watch. This way the watch gadget will both look good and have cool features built in. Just to show you how many watch gadgets are there here are some examples of them:
  • There are watches with built in calculators, calendars, timers, alarms, stopwatch etc.

  • watches with built in calculators, calendars, timers, alarms, stopwatch, etc.

  • so called mobile (cell) phone compatible ones that have Bluetooth technology built in and some other ones. There are even ones that have a whole cell phone built in, PDAs built in.

  • walkie-talkie watches that let you communicate on short distances

  • Multimedia watches that have equalizers built in, pictures music and video storing and playing functions

  • Finally, there are some with built in flash drives

There are so many types of different watch gadgets just like there are many USB and iPod gadgets.

Why people wear them? People wear them because they are small, they look cool and stylish, and they have very many features built in and just because there is a smaller chance to loose them than any other gadget.

Cell phone gadgets

Cell phones this device or accessory is one of the most used ones and most people want to have very sophisticated ones. Cell phones can be used for almost everything: gaming, surfing the web, work, communication etc. Some new ordinary models of smart-phones can be called gadgets already. New high tech cell phone is a mini PC and is very powerful.

There are two types of gadgets related to the cell phones: actual cell phones that have some weird or unusual features and gadgets that can be connected to the cell phone.

The first category of gadget cell phones is pretty unusual but not extremely amazing. You can fit almost whatever you can into your cell phone.

First there was a cell phone and it would just beep if somebody calls you. Then some things like polyphonic ring tones and colored displays have appeared and cell phones started developing really fast.

Now you can play any video, any audio or can look thought pictures on your cell phone. When a camera built into a cell phone appeared you can imagine what the quality of the pictures was. There are now cell phones with built in 10 MP cameras. This is how this technology evolves.

How about cell phone compatible gadgets? There are very many gadgets that can be connected to your cell phone from car charger to a hands free device.

You can charge your cell phone everywhere where there is some power if you have a proper gadget to do that. You can even recharge your cell phone without any power but solar one using a solar charger for your cell phone. USB chargers are also used for the same purpose.

Things like hands free accessories make receiving and making phone calls easier faster and more convenient. You do not have to take your cell phone out of your pocket anymore if you have a hands free gadget connected to it.

There is even a better technology then wires that can be used with cell phones. It is the Bluetooth technology and there are watches, hands free accessories and other cell phones compatible with this technology.

Cell phone has become a very big part of our lives and most people benefit using them. These gadget are the future of communication.

The Rest of Them

The remaining category of gadgets is very difficult to define, as there are so many of them, that recognizing their common features would be extremely difficult. The fields of their application are rather wide: from household and security, to communication and having fun outside.

Such gadgets as the biometric door locks, different PocketPC-alike gadgets for photo storages and many other gadgets with various form and function fill the life of people although many don't even notice it. Today even some sex toys could be called gadgets, because they are powered by the USB port!

It is a really difficult task grouping up gadgets, because they are so great in number and seldom alike, both in form and function. It doesn't matter what function a gadget has, for whom it was designed or for what purposes – they all are useful in one way or another.

Despite the apparent differences of the gadgets, there is one common feature, which unites the majority of them into one big category: they are all meant to make our life easier or more entertaining.

Health Gadgets
Health gadget Finally one class of gadget that has been made for a good purpose and this is a class of health gadgets. Health gadgets are just as weird, funny and high tech as other types of gadget but that have something to do with your health.

Their goal is to make people healthier if they want to but have no time or forget to take pills. There are many different health gadgets from taking pills schedulers to automatic injection ones. From head massagers to gadget that can normalize your blood pressure.

There are very many health gadgets and they become more and more popular. You can find a lot of them on the internet. Even some hospitals advise using them because they really help.

This class of gadget has been created not to entertain but to help people. So this is what they do and you can not really call them gadgets because they are more like new ways of treatment. However, everything new you can call a gadget.

Some examples of health gadgets:

  • Home thermometers, infrared thermometers that can tell your temperature in seconds and other diagnostic gadgets.

  • Portable defibrillators that can actually save your life

  • Numerous gadget for those who have diabetes

  • Gadgets for monitoring your state: blood pressure, sugar level, temperature etc.

  • Gadgets normalizing your blood pressure, lower pain, reduce head ache etc.

All these gadgets have been created by people for people. In some situations they can even save your life. It does not mean that you have to run and get one in the closest store but they really help and might be useful in some cases.

This is what health gadgets do and they are generally very small and very sophisticated so it is very comfortable to use them as opposed to other devices. For example a infrared thermometer can tell you the temperature of your body in a second however if you use an ordinary one it will take you 7 – 10 minutes to tell the temperature.

Sometimes time plays a very big role in cases like heart attack and you can use the portable defibrillator to get somebody back to life. Helping yourself to overcome some problems with hearing or seeing things will also be easier if you use a health gadget for that.

Health gadget are some of the few gadgets that are very useful and that can actually save somebody's life.

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