USB ports are one of the handiest parts of any computer. Whether you need to transfer files or recharge your phone, they get the job done.
And over the years, the tech world has come up with some pretty creative ways to use those little guys.
USB gadgets range from fans you can clip to your forehead to tiny dancing Groot figures. Read on to learn about some of the coolest gizmos powered by USB.
1. Mouse Wiggler
We’ve all had times when we were working on another task or waiting for an upload to finish (or checking Twitter on our phones) and we needed our computer screen to stay active. The auto sleep function of computers may be great for battery life, but it’s no good for hands-free screen maintenance. Luckily, this USB gadget has you covered.
The mouse wiggler is not as its name may suggest, some sort of strange way of tormenting little rodents. Rather, every few seconds, it, well, wiggles your mouse. It keeps your cursor moving so your computer won’t fall asleep before you beat your level in Candy Crush (which you are definitely not playing at your desk).
2. Clock Fan
If you tend to be hot natured, there are a whole variety of fan-based USB gadgets that are waiting with your name on them. From a fan that attaches to your necktie (yes, seriously) to regular plain Jane fans, the USB fan market is well-stocked.
But what if your fan needs to have just a little extra coolness factor?
This USB fan also happens to double as an analog clock. LED lights on the blades light up to show hour, minute, and second hands that move as time progresses. The clock face disappears when the fan turns off, making this the niftiest USB fan you’ll find out there.
3. Typewriter Keyboard
Picture the scene: you’re at a Starbucks, you’ve just ordered your drink with three shots of espresso, and you’re settling in. You have your latest novel or screenplay all dialed up to work on. But you don’t pull out a laptop to work on it; instead, you take out an iPad, plug it into a typewriter, and begin writing in highest style.
Yes, folks, this is a manual external keyboard that also happens to look like an old-timey typewriter. It plugs into your computer or iPad via a USB cable. If you do want to use it with your iPad, you’ll need an adapter, but you will, without a doubt, be the classiest person in the café.
4. Judgmental Owl
Now let’s say you’re the person at the next table over looking at this fool who has just pulled out a typewriter and is feeling very proud of themselves. You’re trying to find a non-obvious way to shoot them judgmental eyes without getting caught. Luckily, you have a USB gadget of your own– a judgmental owl to stare over at them from the next table.
Yes, friends, all of your judging needs are covered by this one cool USB-powered gizmo. As we all know, owls are the most judgmental of birds. And this cute little fella will sit next to your computer and cast shade upon those who deserve it because, really, Brenda, did you think we wouldn’t notice your horrible political bumper sticker?
On a more practical note, offices can sometimes be very dry. And we don’t just mean those finance meetings that your boss makes you sit through even though you’re in HR and have nothing to do with the budget. A lot of office heat systems can pull the moisture out of the air, and this can especially be a problem if you use a space heater.
If you find yourself keeping saline eye drops and lotion in your desk just to try to stay moisturized, we have a great gadget for you. There are a number of precious USB-powered humidifiers that will keep you misty cool all the livelong day. They come in a variety of cute designs, with our favorite ones being some little chibi-style characters.
6. Cute Robot
We all watched Wall-E and wished we could have our own cute little robot with a heart of gold. Well, folks, welcome to the future, where you can have your very own desk robot. Complete with light-up eyes and treaded rubber wheels, this little guy can keep you company while you work on your latest project.
But it turns out this robot isn’t only good for being the cutest tiny desk assistant you’ve ever seen in your life. His four little wheels have USB ports of their own, making him an adorable little USB hub. But more importantly, his arms are adjustable, meaning you can make him have whatever expression you want.
7. Paper Shredder
Another tool on the pragmatic side, this USB paper shredder is great if you don’t have access to the real deal. It’s convenient to keep at your desk, and you don’t even have to crawl under any furniture to find a free plug for it. Whether you have a lot of confidential documents to shred or you just like shredding things, this is a great office tool.
But this gadget has a leg up on other USB-powered paper shredders. Unlike its brethren, which shred paper out all over your desk, this guy has a clear collection bin. Plus, it comes with a letter opener on top to help you sort through junk mail in no time.
8. Hand Warmers
If you’re a cold-natured person, you know the struggle of being in a frozen office. You can turn on space heaters and come armed with sweaters and blankets, but there’s no getting out of the fact that you still have to type. Your hands are doomed to be cold, trembling fingers moving across the keyboard.
But wait! There’s a cool USB gadget for that (as with so many problems; click here to find out more about some neat USB solutions)! In this case, it’s USB-powered hand warmers that fit like mittens and look like toast.
Find More Cool USB Gadgets
USB gadgets are going to take over the world, and we are here for it. Whether it’s an adorable desk robot or a hazmat suit hood that will help protect you during allergy season, USB tools can do it all.
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