We reflect on the wacky and the weird of the past year, including a pig-shaped iPod dock and personal lightning detectors.
This year certainly had its fair share of thrilling tech products. For starters, we saw the highly anticipated launch of Google’s Android mobile OS and the G1 phone; the gain in popularity of netbooks like the MSI Wind; the first digital-SLR to shoot HD video, the Nikon D90; the Apple MacBook Air, the thinnest laptop on the market; and RIM’s innovative touch-screen BlackBerry Storm.
Unfortunately, 2008 also brought some heartaches and hardships. There was the layoff of 1,500 folks at Yahoo, Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the unpopular changes to eBay accounts, the ongoing debate over Net neutrality, and, of course, the decision to close the print version of PC Magazine.
As I look back at 2008, however, these aren’t the things that stick out in my mind. I, of course, reminisce about what was wacky and weird, like pig-shaped iPod docks, cell phone tripods, and personal lightning detectors. Hmm … it must be time for my annual top 10 list of the weirdest tech! Countdown with me, and have a happy New Year.
Here are a couple of the products selected for this year’s The Weirdest Tech of 2008 slideshow:
Although awfully cute, there’s something a bit peculiar about a pig-shaped iPod dock. The iPig ($129.99) from California-based Speakal features five speakers and a 4-inch subwoofer, producing a total output of 25 watts. The included remote control lets you browse through your iPod’s music library and control the speakers’ volume, bass, and treble levels. The iPig comes in three bright colors: white, pink, and yellow. Too bad it doesn’t oink on command!
Outdoors Technologies StrikeAlert
Lightning is extremely dangerous and often deadly. In fact, Americans are twice as likely to die from being struck by lightning than from a hurricane, tornado, or flood, according to Outdoors Technologies. That’s why the company designed the StrikeAlert, a personal lightning detector. With it, people can detect lightning strikes up to 40 miles away, and an audible alarm sounds if a storm is approaching or departing, accompanied by different LED lights corresponding to the distance of the storm. The battery-operated device is shaped like a small pager and can be clipped on a belt loop. Detect lightning for $69 on WeatherShop.com.
Find out what other products made the list in The Weirdest Tech of 2008 slideshow.