Web Culture

5 Crap USB Gadgets the World Has Never Needed and Never Will Need

Tim Brookes 20-01-2012

crap usb gadgetsIt is remarkable just how much cheap crap we, as a planet, produce each and every year. The environmental impact is worrying, landfills are swelling Help the Environment: Places Where You Can Donate Old Computers Electronic waste, or e-waste as it is more commonly known, is a huge problem facing both the developed and undeveloped world. Many old computer parts contain materials that are hazardous to the environment and burying... Read More and carbon emissions must come down – yet more and more junk continues to roll out of the factory. In addition to this, many seem to think that adding USB connectivity (usually for a small amount of power as opposed to real interfacing) to aforementioned plastic junk instantly makes it more saleable.


So, would you spend your money on these peripherals?

USB Tie Fan Cooler….Thing

Feel like you’re tied to your desk all day and looking for the ultimate way to cool off? Look no further, all you need is the USB tie cooler from Thanko. Somewhat resembling the collar-bombs worn by imprisoned schoolchildren in the 2002 film Battle Royale, the fan clips to your neck and is then covered up with the included silk tie.

crap usb gadgets

Of course, it’s USB powered – so it’s completely useless (yet still too embarassing to take off) unless you’re near a computer. Once you finally do get to your desk, find a spare USB port (by removing non-essentials like mice and keyboards) and you’ll be the coolest cat in the office.

That is until you suddenly get up to tell Brenda you need that report by 5, tearing your laptop off the table, showering your co-workers with coffee and publicly revealing the secret to your body temperature regulation. Still, at least you won’t be hot under the collar?


Chicken’s Foot 2GB USB Stick

There are a lot of overpriced USB sticks on the market in all kinds of novelty shapes, capacities and sizes but most of them have a valid use – removable storage – that makes up for it. I am actually having trouble with this particular USB flash drive however, as it appears to be in the shape of a chicken’s foot.

stupid usb gadget

This of course means that the bloody thing will never fit comfortably in your pocket, and might also have trouble fitting into computers mounted on a flat surface (I do believe the toes would get in the way).

This rather small 2GB capacity appendage will sit on your desk for hours without falling over – though you’re probably better off spending the $30 on more space, rather than novelty form factor.


USB Mini UV Toothbrush Sanitiser

Nothing says “pearly whites” like a sterile toothbrush (I guess?) and now you can sterilise yours right at your desk! Excited? Well hold on junior, because there might just be a teency weency issue with aforementioned USB toothbrush sanitiser… and that’ll be the USB part.

5 Crap USB Gadgets the World Has Never Needed and Never Will Need USB toothbrush sterilizer

Who keeps their toothbrush at their desk? Moreover, who would take it out and actually sanitise it using this bloody thing? If toothbrush sanitation is high on your list of priorities then I don’t think a mini USB toothbrush sanitiser is going to cut it – you’ll want the real deal.

Thus I conclude there’s probably not much of a market for semi-dedicated toothbrush sanitisers who stow their oral cleaning contraptions in the office. Next.


USB Flower Pot Speaker

Introducing the USB Flower Pot Speaker – because there’s simply too much space on your desk! Or should that be Flower Pod Speaker, as the manufacturers have cleverly coined it? Regardless, not only does it require full use of a USB port for power but it also isn’t a real flower pot (which is a real shame).

stupid usb gadget

Don’t try to water, plant or re-pot your new musical chum for he’s a static, lifeless plastic disappointment who produces no more than 2W RMS at the best of times. Maybe spend the money on some real speakers and a real plant instead…

USB Eye Massager

Unfortunately this isn’t a case of affixing the wrong photograph to the wrong product description, but a genuine product that is designed with an eye massage in mind. If you’ve not already peeked at the image below then now is the time – just look at it…


crap usb gadgets

Eye massager? Really? Not torture device? Not “turn it round and make rude symbols at your boss” getting-fired device? I’m supposed to put this in my eyes? According to the manufacturer:

USB Eye Massager is the latest-designed health care Product specially for the Person which long time use their eyes, Such as the Computer operator.

I suppose that clears it up, then!


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If you have any of your favourite crap USB gadgets then list them below, I’m dying to see what you’ve found…

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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  1. A well traveled techie
    January 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    What the author has failed to take into account is that many of these are perfectly useful in countries less developed than the United States. USB fans are a godsend when you are stuck in an office building with poor or no air conditioning, using 4 of more in unison for different body parts can keep one very comfortable in a sweltering building. If you worked long hours or had a lot of face to face meetings perhaps you would keep a toothbrush at your desk and need to sanitize it, especially in countries where super spicy foods are the norm along with face to face meetings. The chicken foot doesn't hold a candle to the infamous "dog that humps your USB port" device. As for the massage device... no comment!

    • Rock That
      January 20, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      I gotta give ya props for the fan comment - I was thinking that myself - totally makes sense ;)

    • Tim Brookes
      January 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      So you would be happy sitting at your desk with 4 USB cables leading off your person in order to keep cool?

      Wouldnt a normal, plug-in-the-wall desk fan suffice? These are not useful inventions, they're office hazards. I'm not from the US, I'm British and I live in Australia. I'm fairly sure face-to-face meetings and oral hygeine are equally regarded in both Western and Asian business places, though I'm afraid I don't know anyone with a burning desire to sanitize their toothbrush at work.

      I left out the humping USB dog as virtually everyone's seen him by now, and it's actually nowhere near as bulky or impractical as the foot based on size/actually fitting it into your ports.

  2. . .
    January 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I can file this story in my "top 1 story you just read that wasn't worth reading" file.

  3. Henry@download games
    January 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Chicken’s Foot 2GB USB Stick is looking very funny. hahaha I would definitely buy it. ;-)

  4. Dave Parrack
    January 20, 2012 at 4:51 am

    These are indeed all crap. I'm pretty sure they made the eye massager first and then decided what use to suggest for it.

    • Tim Brookes
      January 20, 2012 at 5:52 am


      "We've got a vibrating hand pulling a peace/**** off sign, what shall we call it?"

      • Dave Parrack
        January 20, 2012 at 6:55 am

        Personally I'd have been more likely to buy it if it was called 'vibrating hand pulling a peace/**** off sign'. But perhaps that's just me.

  5. Chris Hoffman
    January 20, 2012 at 4:45 am

    Wow. That is... quite a list. Eye massager, really? I'm stunned.

  6. Karkala Nayak
    January 20, 2012 at 4:17 am

    Most of these crap goods are Chinese..as the Chinese are the only people to come up with imaginary ideas of making such crap USB oriented devices.

    • Guest
      January 21, 2012 at 4:21 am

      I don't see there is any in Chinese, but Japanese...
      The USB Tie Fan Cooler….Thing and USB Flower Pot Speaker