14 Unique USB Gadgets for a Techie’s Workstation

by Sam Perry on August 25, 2009

Albert Einstein – famous for his disorganized workspace – once wondered “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, what, then, is the sign of an empty desk?” Whether you’re a pack-rat or a neat freak, your desk is probably due for some upgrades.


Check out the following devices that could make your work day easier…and healthier:

Getting organized

1. Mandylion Password Manager1password_manager_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
Who can remember half the passwords they’re required to come up with for day-to-day work? This keychain-based USB token generates and stores up to 50 strong pieces of cryptography. Because it travels with you, and passwords never leave the token, it’s no wonder this clever device it is used by members of the U.S. military.

2. Use your USB ports to recharge your batteries2batteries_usb_cell_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
A must-have if you frequently burn through pricey alkaline batteries because you can’t remember where you put the charger for your ni-cads. No charger required here: Just pop the top and throw each cell into a free USB slot for a few hours, or before you leave for the day.

3. Business card scanner3business_card_scanner_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
Nothing is more annoying than coming back from a meeting, a workshop or a conference and having to find a place to put all the business cards you’ve collected. Not only will this handy device instantly scan business cards into your computer, but included software will pull out details from each card and populate them into a database.

4. Dishwasher-safe keyboard
Yes, you read right: Forget just plane ol’ waterproof flexible keyboards…In case you ever wondered (or are wondering now), you can get a keyboard to dump in your Whirlpool to get rid of germs, oil, and what would normally be months of caked-on dust and food.

BONUS: Want to get rid of cooties on your existing peripherals? Check out this intriguing cleaning goo for keyboards and mice.

5. Messless universal charge station5messless_universal_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
Keep a stylish workspace without the need to run cables under your feet with this USB-powered platform that charges up to four devices simultaneously. The charger comes with adapters for major brands of phones, portable audio/video devices, and game consoles.

The VIP treatment

6.  USB aroma diffuser/mood light
Spice up your space with mellow mood lighting and soothing scents via this hard-working lamp that does triple duty as a light source, aroma diffuser, and USB hub.

7. iPod windmill
7windmill_gadgets_desk_modisThough not a desk gadget, strictly-speaking, you’ll want this ready to go when you leave work… Catch some wind with this ingenious outside-the-office windmill and power your iPod, phone, or other small electronic device on the way to or from work.

8. USB massager8massager_light_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
Why wait to get off work to relax and feel good? Just plug this wee massager into your computer and slide it under your chair to warm or vibrate your way to soothing back and neck goodness.

9. USB cup-warmer9cup_warmer_light_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
For those mornings when you just don’t get to your morning coffee fast enough. As a bonus, this doubles as a USB hub (so you can reclaim some of the ports you’ve used on all these gadgets.)

Just hit this hilarious novelty button…

10. Ecobutton10ecobutton_sleep_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
Press it anytime you leave your desk to sleep or turn off your computer each time you get up for a coffee, get on the phone, or leave for the day (comes with software that shows how much energy you’ve saved.)

11. Not-safe-for-work panic button
11boss_button_usb_gadgets_desk_modisDisguised as a humorous novelty stress button, hitting the word ‘panic’ will immediately bring up a spreadsheet or other pre-set work document to cover the real window you were looking at, so your boss will see what a hard worker you are…

Keeping sane, keeping healthy

12. USB greenhouse12greenhouse_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
If you haven’t already seen one of these mini-enclosures or considered buying one, check out the software included that monitors the growth of your plant and schedules reminders to help you take care of it. Why trust a desk plant to your black thumb when you can have your computer handle it?

13. USB air purifier
Whether you work in a sick building or have stinky cubicle-mates, it can’t hurt to clean the13air_purifier_gadgets_desk_modis air around you. Plug in this purifier to eliminate particles from dust, germs, the lingering funk of second-hand smoke, or the immediate bi-products of B.O.

14. USB shaver14razor_usb_gadgets_desk_modis
Sometimes, you’re just trying to stay presentable after an all-nighter. Do yourself a favor guys before people start pouring in early in the morning and give your self a quick shave…If only in the reflection of a DVD at your desk.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paul August 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm

This was an incredible website with tons of intreguing and unique ideas. although i would not mind seeing a USB power solar panel where you can use the solar panel to (partially) power your computer. This of course would be completely unrealistic to run solely on solar power unless you left it charging all day.

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