Gadget Spot: Fake out
Welcome to Alive's most popular game show, Find the Fake!
This week we feature three gems sure to spark some gadget envy. However, only two of these products are real - one is lifted out of the cartoon book D.I.Y. Dentistry and Other Alarming Inventions ($11 at Barnes & Noble). In that publication, cartoonist Andy Riley imagines more than 100 clever gadgets, including a dozen or so that deserve to be manufactured.
First up: the Endless Light Bulb ($29). This product is the essence of simplicity and ecological purity. The desk lamp uses a standard light bulb that's powered by an array of solar cells rather than a wall socket. It ships fully charged and operational.
Here's how it works: the solar cells power the light bulb, which shines on the solar cells, which power the light bulb, which shines on the solar cells, and so on and so on. The manufacturer proudly points out that U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has this gadget on his desk.
Next, leave it to those wacky Brits to come up with a Gold Bullion Wireless Mouse (approximately $35 USD) in this era of financial instability. The computer mouse came of age in 1984, when Apple included a square, single-button mouse with its Macintosh computer. In a throwback to that original shape, the Gold Bullion mouse has standard right- and left-click buttons and a clickable scroll button. This gadget works with both PCs and Macs. The seller assures that "despite all appearances, the mouse is not made out of gold."
Finally, we feature the iCarta+ ($55), an iPod stereo dock that's also a toilet paper holder. This gadget is designed to hang near your toilet, allowing you to listen to your favorite songs or podcasts while sitting on the throne. The iCarta has high-performance, moisture-free speakers. A built-in rechargeable battery provides up to eight hours of music play, though people will certainly talk if you spend that much time in your bathroom. To our knowledge, U.S. Secretary of Energy Chu does not have this product in his office.
Want to buy the Gold Bullion Wireless Mouse? Go to IWantOneOfThose.com to order yours. Want to buy iCarta+? You'll find that gadget atATechFlash.com.
The Endless Light Bulb is one of the "gee-I-wish-I-could-buy-that" gadgets from Riley's book, which also includes the Pole Dancing Club in a Briefcase for the Stranded Businessman, Morale-Boosting Urinal Cakes, Swiss Army Garden Tool and Bunk Desks, which save space in the modern office.
Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org