Ever since the first wearables started appearing in the 70s we have seen various companies and people experiment with wearable technology. Some of these experiments struck gold, some didn’t quite find their market, and others failed due to being gimmicks.
However, over the years another group of items became prominent in the market. Gadgets and devices that are silly yet useful, if only for their novelty factor.
1. Tap Strap
Phone peripherals are nothing new, earphones have existed for a long time and have been integrated with every iteration of phones. Additional functionality such as smartphone gamepads and picture printers have been cropping up for a while now as well. Inside a sea of peripherals, there is one interesting concept that has recently been adapted into a product.
The wearable keyboard device, Tap Strap, brings to life the science-fiction concept of controlling touch screens remotely. An interesting addition to the repertoire of phone peripherals, Tap Strap allows you to type using any surface and even navigate touch screens with hand gestures. While tapping your fingers into empty air seems very silly it can have its uses. The speed at which one can navigate and utilize touch screens is already limited by their space while increasing the size of the screen can hamper transportability. This item allows for quick typing prowess unrestricted by the screen size as well as being a useful supplement for people with larger fingers who keep mistyping words.
2. Calculator watch
One of the main strides made in wearable technology has always been tied to making commonplace items faster to access. This is why smartwatches and fitness bands have received such a warm welcome to our daily lives. The following item does the same for those who require faster access to solving math problems.
The idea of a calculator watch is nothing novel. The HP-01 calculator watch is considered to be the first wearable device ever made and publically sold. Apart from its calculating capabilities it also included the ability to tell time, built-in alarm, timer, stopwatch, date, and calendar. Since their inception calculator watches only became more refined and accessible due to their price going down while technology progresses. Sure, they may seem like a made-up item a stereotypical nerd in a 90s movie would wear but their utility is real. Despite the concept being weird, it is the most useful item on the list and if the idea of a calculator watch interests you make sure to check out lereviewist.com for more info on these gadgets and many others.
3. Like-A-Hug jacket
Social media has brought us closer to distant cousins and friends. Apart from the ability to communicate without paying extra phone bills it also brought us the additional benefits of posting our current experiences, photos, and sharing old memories with them at a touch of a button. The next wearable takes the concept of bringing distant people together even further.
Imagine if you could hug a person simply by liking their posts. That’s exactly what the Like-A-Hug jacket does. Developed by students taking an MIT media lab course, this garment inflates to simulate a hug every time somebody likes your Facebook post. It also allows you to send a hug back to the person who liked your post by squeezing the jacket and deflating it. While a silly way of simulating physical interaction this device may be just the thing for couples and families who are frequently separated due to work, education, or any other reason.
Let’s dip back into the world of wrist wearables. These items are the most frequent in the market and have evolved to cover various uses. Some are just fun and silly, providing a unique accessory along with some functionality.
Dipping back into the world of wrist wearables, we have Ritot. This wristband wearable allows you to project images from your phone onto your skin. It can show any notifications you are currently receiving or act as a simple watch. The pico projector located inside of this item will activate when you shake or tap it, projecting the current time straight onto your hand for 10 seconds. It may not be a projection you can interact with but it has that futuristic flair to it.
Watches, earphones, Bluetooth devices, media devices, and fitness bands are all logical picks for wearable devices but as we already know it doesn’t stop there. The automatization and simplification of actions have proven fruitful for so many digital devices so it’s only logical it would be applied to clothes next.
After every meal, we have that awkward moment where we have to adjust our belt or suffer uncomfortable pressure on our recently filled belly. An obvious solution to this may be to loosen up your belt beforehand. However, one group of people decided to try marketing a self-adjusting belt as a key solution to this inconvenience. Belty is a smart belt that can alter its size depending on your current waist size. The garment is pretty silly as its sole usage is resolving a few seconds of forethought but that’s exactly why it deserves to be on this list. The concept itself sounds like a bit from a science-fiction movie and some of the early designs very much resemble cumbersome future fashion we often see predicted in such media.
Sticking to the subject of gadgets that are related to clothes let’s look into something completely based on novelty. The following example may be even more outlandish than Belty but does have a weird charm to it.
DrumPants aren’t really pants with drums grafted onto them despite the name. The true source of music comes from drumpads, flexible strips with triggers, which create sound when triggered. These can be mounted onto your legs and feet as well as manipulated with a control knob. It is more on the gimmick side of technology but the novelty of playing a tune by slapping your legs is something that may draw you in.
Cars are an expensive addition to our daily lives which is why people often take different options when it comes to personal transport. Bikes are a go-to, especially with the advent of foldable bikes that can be stored in any living space. Although, there’s a way to go even smaller and sillier with the concept, hence the following entrant. Even though it’s a stretch to call it a wearable gadget the sheer uniqueness and wackiness places it onto the list.
Solowheel is a battery-powered unicycle that you can take out and ride whenever walking seems like a less attractive option. This comes at the price of looking rather silly while standing on your electric unicycle, keeping your gravity and zooming by at 12 mph. Solowheel comes in different shapes and sizes, some of which are so cumbersome it makes you wonder why even bother with the item when foldable electric scooters exist.