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Top 10 Utterly Pointless USB Devices

by SaraB
fact checked by Alex Hanton

When it was developed almost 11 years ago, the USB port, which stands for Universal Serial Bus; creators envisioned it as a way to make it easy for users to attach devices to their PC’s. By simplifying things for product developers and users, this new and simple format gave way for not only these developers, but for budding designers to have a new medium to come up with any kind of wacky device they pleased. An increasing number of oddball peripherals have appeared in recent years, and with that some corporate cadavers have taken on to collecting these strange USB gadgets. Chances are, one of them works in your office, showing off his collection of eyesores valiantly on his desk.


USB Fridge


The time has come to stop forcing yourself to drink tepid Pepsi while forgetting yourself in the mountains of work at your desk! Plug the USB Fridge into your computer while you are working, place a beverage inside and get ready to enjoy your choice of tasty liquid at a cool 47 degrees Fahrenheit.


USB Monitor Smasher


As useful and compliant as your PC may be, at some point you probably just want to clobber it into a million tiny pieces. Here we introduce the device that will save you thousands of dollars and hours of cleanup time. The ScreenSmasher is a foam mallet that comes with a USB sensor. Take the stress relieving smack at your screen and your Windows Desktop will automatically display the image of shattered glass – also with a realistic crash sound effect.


Gold Flash Drive


True, the flash drive is a far cry from a bizarre USB device – but it is the price tag of this attractive accessory that puts it on this list. Introduced at the CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany, this exclusive USB key seems to be marketed mainly for its exquisite exterior – as its memory capacity wasn’t even mentioned at its premiere. It was later released that capacities will include 128MB, 256MB, 512MB and 1024MB. This gold-plated, diamond-encrusted USB memory stick is also adorned with a hefty price tag of 2,950-euro or $3,500!


Hampster Wheel


Tired of your monotonous office work day after day, caught up in the rat race of the working world? Ready for the perfect way to lift your spirits and send laughter tearing through the office? Introducing the USB Hampster Wheel! Just plug it into your USB port, load the software provided and watch your furry friend as you type: the hampster gets running and spins the wheel around in the process, spinning even faster as your typing speed increases!


USB Exercising Dog


You’ve got to do something with your unused USB ports, so why not fill it up with something totally useless like these USB dogs? A more family-friendly version then its “humping dog” predecessor, you can watch the USB Exercising Dog as he works his washboard abs to perfection!


USB Ghost Radar


For the multitasking, facebook-addicted Ghostbuster, here is the USB device you’ve been searching for. The USB Ghost Radar supposedly does just as it says, detect ghosts. This gadget is actually quite complex. Using sensors and alert lights, and an algorithm it detects any paranormal activity – all the while factoring in biometric feedback from your skin, along with many other features. Plug in the USB Ghost Radar and it will beep in rhythm with specific light patterns depending on the paranormal activity around you. The volume and intensity of the beeps supposedly indicates how close your ghost is. The lights help you figure out the ghost’s position, movement, and the risk possibilities.


Mr. Tengu


Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little buddy that could just sit right next to your computer and make stupid faces? Plug Mr. Tengu into your USB port and he will sit contently at your desk making weird faces with changes in sound, and will take naps when his daily face making routine becomes too exhausting.


Coffee Mug-Mouse


Now I know what you’re thinking…. “Besides the high ‘coffee-spilling-all-over-the-desk’ chances, isn’t that going to be tough to use?” In fact, the MugMouse was created with the deliberate intention by SLOWEB Peripherals “to provide an alternative to the fast global flow of information”. This infrared mouse follows your movements and the mouse button at the bottom of the mug is clicked by pushing the whole mug towards the table; And as an added bonus, this handy mug not only holds 150mL of your favourite hot drink, but keeps it steamy with the built-in heater. So for those who are looking for a speed reduced computer mouse that doubles as a coffee mug – this little diddy is for you!


Bowling Ball-Flash Drive


Though this “heavy duty” memory stick is not yet patented and ready to sell to the public – I can’t help but applaud this device’s creator Chris Spurgeon for attempting to find the solution to our age’s miniature flash drives going missing. Converting his 16 pound bowling ball into a memory stick he asks himself “Let’s see if I send that through the laundry by mistake!” On the practical side though, I hope when using it he doesn’t attach it directly to his laptop…


USB Scan Toaster


Ever wonder what it would feel like to see your face on a 5 dollar bill? A postage stamp? How about a piece of toast? A finalist in the 2008 Electrolux Design Lap competition, the USB Scan toaster uses hot wires that rotate within a 30° radius to “burn” anything you want onto your piece of toast; the news, weather or snapshots – the delicious possibilities are endless!

fact checked by Alex Hanton