Look around any shopping mall, office, school....or really anywhere
and it's blindingly obvious- we love our technology, especially
accessories. With peripherals, computers can do more and more-
performing tasks that weren't necessarily intended for them at their
inception. At the end of the day, what this all boils down to is
convenience. With that in mind, here's a few convenient USB addons
for the house or the office.
Something like this would be perfect for a guy like me- I can't count the number of times I've been engrossed with something on my computer, only to reach over and discover that my tea/coffee/hot chocolate has gone cold and thus somewhat taken on the flavour of swamp-water.
This device plugs into your computer and draws power to keep your drink warm and toasty- even if you forget it's there. Sadly, Vat19, the company responsible for this mug, has no plans to make further models of it. You might be able to find it on eBay, though- it usually goes for somewhere around $19.00
Ever get a craving for some ice cold water while at your computer, but can't be bothered to go and grab some ice cubes for your cup? Plug in the USB beverage chiller. It'll cool your drink down to seven degrees celsius(forty five Fahrenheit) and keep it there. Might want to get a lid for your cup though. The Beverage Chiller, made by CoollT systems, its price sits somewhere around $40.00-$60.00
Here's another tech toy for the summer months. The USB AC Ally 2 is a neat little device that keeps the entire area around your computer clean. How it works is by insertion of a bottle of frozen water into a slot on the air conditioner's back. Once the bottle is inserted, all you've got to do is plug the AC Ally in and you're good to go. Standing at only a few inches tall and wide, the AC Ally 2 is portable and compact. And at a price of $40.00, it won't break the bank.
The Anion Air Purifier, developed by Brando, both cleans and deodorizes the air around your computer or laptop. As with the other products on this list, all you really have to do is plug it in. It's fairly light, weighing in at a little over one hundred grams, and only takes up a small space on the desk. It evidently generates negative ions which clean harmful and irritating particles from the air in a space of around twenty square meters. I'm not sure about how it works, but what I do know is that you can't argue with the price tag- a paltry $19.00.
HumidifierSo long as we're on the topic of climate control, Brando's got another useful product- a humidifier. It works for around forty five to ninety minutes, and can even have scented oils poured into it, to give the area around your computer a nice, fresh smell. You can either run it off its batteries, or plug it into your computer. It can also be set to spray continually, or occasionally. Quite nice, and like the air purifier, goes for around $40.00.
Dishonourable Mention: Eye Massager
I...um....what? At first glance, this sounds like an absolutely horrid and/or useless idea. But just stop and think about it for a moment. Have you ever sat on a computer for hours at a time, and then turned it off only to feel a lovely, throbbing pain in your sockets, like there's a vise on your eyeballs? Plug this nifty little tool into a USB port, and it'll immediately power on- it can be toggled between 'high' and 'low' settings. Then you just...well, massage your eyes. Gently, of course. This is one of those "Be careful or you could put an eye out" scenarios, methinks.
It's...useful if you don't want to, y'know, just take a break from the computer for a while. It's only around $3-$5 for one of these devices. I'm not really sure how-or if- it works. I believe I'll pass on finding out.