If you've thought about it, seen it or own it, someone else has gone and stuck a USB cord to it. You can pretty much get anything in the world as a USB gadget, from fun office games to foot warmers — even USB-powered friends. The best part? They're usually cheap, and they all plug in the same way.
USB. One plug to rule them all.
Follow the link to get this party started.
1. Dance Mat
USB version of: Disco balls, suede shoes, "moves"
What it does: If you can't dance, let your fingers take over on this pint-sized dance mat. It has a DDR-style layout and a little cutout "Disco Diva" you can slip onto your fingers. Dances last between 30 seconds and a minute, but that doesn't mean you can't go all night!
2. WowWee Chatterbots
USB version of: Your internal monologue
What it does: WowWee's Chatterbots let you have your emails read by a blue devil with angel wings, a gruff bulldog sitting on a cat, or the, uh, "fairy godfather." The little 'bots even go a step further, commenting on your Internet activity, from reminding you to be careful what you say in emails, to asking if you've ever Googled yourself. These little guys can be pretty verbose, but luckily you can adjust how much you want to hear from them.
USB version of: Professional bodyguards
What it does: Activate this USB-powered bouncer whenever you leave your computer and he'll keep it safe. As best he can, anyway, which may not be much if the intruder isn't easily scared off. Like old car alarms, the bouncer will shout all kinds of threats when his motion sensor is tripped, such as, "You're not welcome here," and, "You're cruising for a bruising!" All right, so maybe it'll just keep your cat off of your keyboard.
4. Realistic-looking Food Drives
USB version of: Your practically shaped USB drive
What it does: What started as a cute idea just got crazier and crazier and now turning fake food items into USB drives is pretty much an art form. Just like Forest Gump and his never-ending kinds of shrimp, you've got watermelon drives, biscuit drives, overpriced pizza drives, fortune cookie drives, baguette drives, sneaker drives, squid squid drives, fried crab claw drives
Price: Click the links to check them out.
USB version of: Your nightmares
What it does: Hey, a Snowman! Well, that's pretty cool. Look at his blue eye shake back and forth when I turn him on. Boy, that really is a weird noise he's making. It's giving me the creeps and, oh... Oh, his eye just turned red. A-a-and now his cold, metal claws are shaking back and forth. That's no Snowman. That's a Cylon.
6. Airplane Fan
USB version of: Outlet-powered fans, a gentle breeze, your hand
What it does: When we first saw the USB Airplane Fan, all sorts of silly images popped into our heads. We saw it slowly humming across a desk, approaching your fingers as you click the mouse unknowing of your hands impending doom. We saw it flying through the air in circles while tethered to the computer by its cord. Instead, it just sits there, blades spinning away, but it'll keep you cool at the very least.
7. Foot Warmers
USB version of: Slippers, socks, smallish domesticated animals
What it does: Plug these puppies in (disclaimer: unfortunately they are not puppy slippers) and they'll keep your tootsies warm for as long as you stay by your computer. Once you power your machine down then you're on your own, though you could certainly walk away wearing the foot warmers. The warming pad is removable so you can wash the slippers.
8. Air Conditioned Shirt
USB version of: Your fashion sense
What it does: Hot day ahead? No matter how you dress, sometimes it's just impossible to beat the heat. That is, until the invention of USB technology. Now you've got a
9. Homer Desk Lamp
USB version of: Sensible lamps, good lighting
What it does: True to form, Homer doesn't work very hard even in desk lamp form. It's questionable whether or not the light he provides is even worth one of your precious USB ports. At least the 10-inch-long cord holding the lamp is bendable, so you'll be able to guide Homer's meager efforts. Other than that, he'll just kick back in his comfy chair, eyes at half mast and a mind, no doubt, filled with donuts.
10. Think Light
USB version of: That fuzzy feeling that you've done something brilliant
What it does: How do you measure a good idea? This Think Light really is a product of these modern times, because it keeps track of how fast you're typing, and responds by getting brighter. Nothing but raw productivity here. You could keep one by your desk to light a room with nothing but the speed of your fingers, or bosses could install one atop every cubicle to make sure all of the workers are doing something.
11. Electronic Drum Kit
USB version of: Proper drums
What it does: Drums are expensive. Electronic drums are just as cool anyway, right? You can keep these as your practice set until you can afford the real thing. The pads are velocity-sensitive and the kit is a lot lighter and takes up less space. Hmm, if only they were even more portable
12. Roll-up Drum Kit
USB version of: Electronic Drum Kit
What it does: Well, lookie here! Another electronic drum kit, but this one rolls up. It's quite a bit cheaper, two, although you don't get the same feel as a stand-up set. This flexible kit won't turn you into a rocker, though that won't stop you from drumming up some fun.
13. Chess Game
USB version of: That finely made marble board collecting dust
What it does: If you have no one nearby to play some chess with, the USB variant of the game will let you reach out for contenders. You can play against the computer or a friend over email, and if you're in a bind the software will even suggest a move. It records high scores to stoke those competitive flames.
14. Putter Returner
USB version of: Productivity
What it does: Hey, you work hard. You deserve a distraction. Maybe you should just, you know, play a hole or two with the Putter Returner. It'll even return your ball back to you — you don't have to move. Oh, look at the time! Work's over already? Who would have thought 50 putts could take so long.
USB version of: Instant-message sounds, physical friends
What it does: The i-Buddy will bring all those silly little faces you and your friends send back on forth over MSN Instant Messenger to life (and now, since the two programs more or less merged, maybe Yahoo — but don't hold us to that), lighting up different colors to different emoticons, and flapping its wings when someone shows you some love. It'll also react excitedly to one of your contacts signing on, regardless of how you feel about them.
16. Guided Missile Launcher
USB version of: Rubber bands,crumbled paper, spit wads
What it does: The Guided Missile Launcher office toy by way of your computer and sweet 3D software. Line up your laser-pointed payload and let loose, and there's even more fun to be had with greater numbers of turrets. Defend your desk, cubicle, room, or any other place you want.
17. Retro Vacuum
USB version of: Compressed air, your breath, brushing crumbs with your fingers
What it does: This 8-inch-tall retro vac keeps your desk and keyboard clean, and looks good doing it. You can't clean too far away from your computer with it and we imagine it clogs easily. Clean it out by open the pod attached to its stalk. Now only if you had an 8-inch-tall maid, too.
18. HDTV Receiver
USB version of: TVs, idiot boxes, boob tubes
What it does: Bam. High definition television provided by the miracles of USB. You don't even need a television anymore. This this will allow you to have full control over what you're watching, save it, take screenshots and still has TV-esque functions like a program scheduler and a timer.
19. U Cast - Pod Cast Kit
USB version of: The free time of people you don't know
What it does: Set up your little podcasting station and start talking. About what? Why, anything at all. Upload your sound bites to the net and you're bound to get a few people listening to you because, really, we all have nothing better to do. Still, kits like this give you the mic, software and sometimes some free storage right off the bat.
20. Connectivity Travel Case
USB version of: All those cables you keep losing
What it does: If James Bond used USB gadgets, he'd carry around a case like this. You'll be able to connect pretty much any kind of USB device, and with neat, retractable cords. You also get a mouse, and a little 4-port hub.
21. Body Massager
USB version of: Expensive masseuse visits, loving hands
What it does: Who wants a body massage? Maybe a better question would be: Who doesn't? Plug this nub-studded, palm-sized massager in and it'll vibrate against whatever you want. It has variable speeds to boot.
22. Retro Skype Phone
USB version of: Computer mics, cell phones, cell phone bills
What it does: Just because you're making a free call doesn't mean you can't look swank at the same time. The Retro Skype Phone recalls a more elegant age of the telephone, and yet you're talking over the Internet — how modern! You'll save enough on calls to pay for one of these things, too.
23. LED Beverage Cooler
USB version of: Refrigerators, mini-fridges, getting out of your chair
What it does: The LED Beverage Cooler is a mini-mini-fridge with room for one. One can of soda, that is. It's even got a blue LED inside that'll light up when you open it, simulating its larger cousins.
24. Crossbox Data Transfer
USB version of: A whole lot of hard work
What it does: One to get data from one computer and onto another one? USB magic saves the day again. A crossbox helps you get the job done quick and easy. Just plug the two machines into one another and use the built-in software to navigate your files.
25. Mini Digital Photo Frame
USB version of: Boring 1-picture-per frames
What it does: This mini digital photo frame isn't as fully featured as its larger cousins, but it's small, cheap and can run entirely off of USB power — meaning you can keep it right there at the computer and watch a mini slide show of 50 or so images as you work.
26. Humping Dog
USB version of: A void you never knew existed
What it does: The infamous Humping Dog USB Drive does more than just store your data. Once plugged it, it'll show you exactly how it got it's name, and it'll keep showing why for as long as it's got a hold of your computer. See how long you last! There's also a sportier, stomach-crunching version.
USB version of: The monster in your closet, under the bed, and in your head What it does: SolidAlliance, creators of the GhostRadar, normally crank out ridiculously detailed USB food drives. The Radar is something of a mystery. It allegedly blinks red and beeps when it detects "unusual" magnetic waves, body heat, or sweat. Ghostly sweat, of course.
Price: It's a mystery
28. Anything Hello Kitty
USB version of: Your dignity
What it does: The list of Hello Kitty-themed USB products is longer than this one. You could buy a Hello Kitty mouse or USB hub, flash drive, foot warmer, lap warmer, and — who could have guessed? — even an aquarium. That little cat is out to paint the tech world pink.
Price: Prices vary, check out the links.
29. Hitch USB-to-USB Bridge
USB version of: Your computer (egads!)
What it does: A USB device sans computer? That's just what this is. It'll let you connect various data-holding USB devices such as hard drives and cameras and allow them to interface without a computer. Its LCD lets you navigate your data.
30. Illuminated Mousepad
USB version of: Your dumb mousepad that has a picture of a cat on it
What it does: Mousepads have been on easy street for way too long. It's time to put them to work. This 4-port hub not only lets you connect more delicious USB goodness up to your machine, but it's got a blue LED drop light as well.
31. Breathing Mask
USB version of: Bandanas, tissues, gas masks
What it does: We're not quite sure what this mask does, but it does have a mysterious fan at the end of the nose cone. It looks as if it simply helps you breathe by improving the airflow around your nose and mouth. If you're a germaphobe who can't get away from their laptop, maybe a breather like this is just what the (imaginary) doctor ordered.
32. Tape Dispenser Hub
USB version of: Tape dispensers that aren't hubs
What it does: Somewhere, at sometime, someone looked a tape dispenser and then at a USB hub and, lo, the Tape Dispenser Hub was born. It's got four ports for other gadgetry to get plugged in, with the added bonus of having a roll of classic tape handy. Just think, you could tape everything you plugged into it together.
Price: $8 (It's on sale!)
33.Autobot Logo USB Hub
USB version of: Your lack of more USB gadgets
What it does: Just like you knew it would be, this Autobot logo is more than meets the eye. It's a USB hub, too. A modest, 4-port one, that's less than five inches wide and long. Now if only it'd transform into a crazy gadget of its own.
34. Darth Vader USB HUB
USB version of: Your disturbing lack of faith
What it does: The Darth Vader hub is better than just a movie tie-in gimmick. Plug something in and he'll start up with that characteristic breathing while looking around. His eyes light up an erie red, too, and he'll also make lightsaber noises.
35. Ash Tray
USB version of: Obviously your ash tray isn't good enough
What it does: Whoever made this really missed the mark. They need to put these into people's lungs, instead. It promises to keep your ash tidy and filter the smoke from your cigarette, blowing out clean air from a vent. It can handle four cigarettes at once, and requires some cleaning from time to time.
Price: Call for pricing.
36. Christmas Tree
USB version of:
What it does: The USB Christmas Tree is either awesome (no time wasted setting it up) or sad (your Christmas festivities involve sitting there at your computer), depending on how you look at it. It's got four different colors, and it's advertised to work even with the PlayStation 3. Merry X-mas, Sony!
37. EMS Muscle Mouse
USB version of: All of your fat!
What it does: The EMS Muscle Mouse system stimulates your muscles with every click. Click, shock, click, shock — and somewhere along the line you'll be ripped. If it worked, bloggers and Diablo players would double as supermodels on the weekend.
Price: Call for pricing.
38. Gold Ingot USB Hub
USB version of: Real money
What it does: Yarrr, me hearties! Even pirates need somewhere to plug in their USB gadgetry. Now they can attach up to eight more devices with this golden hub. The website, curiously, cautions you not to eat it.
Price: Call for pricing.
39. USB AC Charger
USB version of: Computer dependency
What it does: Possibly the most dubious USB device of all, the USB AC Charger removes the middle man. That's right, no computer — you can go free with your gadgets. Enjoy your USB goodness anywhere.
Price: Call for pricing.
40. Aroma Diffuser
USB version of: Air freshener
What it does: We're not saying why it smells kind of funky by your computer, we're just saying. It doesn't have to. Plug one of these into your USB ports and enjoy clean, refreshing air while you do whatever it is you're doing. I mean, you're probably just checking your email, right?
Price: Call for pricing.
41. Digital Microscope
USB version of: Magnifying glass, boring microscopes without USB ports
What it does: With the Digital Microscope ready, you'll be able to scan your keyboard and the area surrounding your computer for all those microbial terrors that are lurking around. It's got can magnify things by 10x magnification, up to 200x, and uses four LEDs for illumination.
42. Wireless PC Lock
USB version of: Windows key & L, screensaver passwords
What it does: Leave the schematic for the next amazing USB device open on your computer? (Ha, like there's anything left.) Well, lock it down. With a transceiver in your pocket, and a USB receiver plugged into your computer, any time you step away from it it'll automatically lock - and unlock when you come close enough.
43. Rechargeable Shaver
USB version of: Razors, scissors, proper grooming in general
What it does: This rechargeable shaver is clearly targeted frequent travelers, road warriors, bloggers and the like. After all, I find I usually have a USB port closer than an outlet at any time. No way to get at the beard, but you'll probably only use this in a pinch anyhow.
44. Aromatherapy Oil Burner
USB version of: Patchouli, incense, air freshener
What it does: Even hippies have computers these days. With the Aromatherapy Oil Burner, they'll be the best smelling laptops, too. Add a drop of the provided rose oil, plug the burner in, and let the good times roll.
USB version of: Whack-A-Mole arcade cabinets
What it does: The power of USB can even revive old arcade classics. It's designed to only distract you for a minute at a time, though the scores displayed on its LCD will probably entice you into coming back for another round.
USB version of: Pets, sleep aids
What it does: Say, with all these hubs we've shown you, you could spring for that does nothing at all. I've got just the thing, too: an owl. It'll sit sleepily atop your monitor, glance around dopey-like, and generally do nothing. USB power!
47. Phone Call Recorder
USB version of: Trust, love, any other evidence
What it does: Either you're a spy or an overly paranoid spouse, but you love USB gadgets so you're all right with me. Plug the recorder into your computer and your phone and you'll be able to capture everything that was said for playback later.
48. R2-D2 w/ USB Lightsaber Phone
USB version of: Carrier pigeons, telephones, crappy webcams
What it does: R2-D2 will relay your messages to your friend just like in the movies, and comes with a sweet lightsaber-shaped, USB Skype phone on top of that. Artoo can zoom in on you, run on standby for 14 days off its batteries, and you can active the droid remotely, in case you want to see what's going on back at your place.
49. AC Necktie
USB version of: Other ties, a tie rack (unless it's USB-powered, of course)
What it does: You can't run out with an air conditioned shirt and leave your neck exposed, can you? This AC Necktie is a little trickier than it looks. When you start getting hot, pull down on the knot of the tie, which will reveal a fan that sucks cool air in against your neck and inside your shirt.
50. Solar Charger
USB version of: All that is right in this world
What it does: This solar charger wants to pretend it's for cell phones and MP3 players and the like, but we know it'll come in handy when you're between places and need to run your AC shirt or fire up your Hello Kitty USB toys. This is it, the pinnacle of USB-enabling technology. It keeps your gadgets working wherever the sun shines, and it's green to boot.