Nowadays, probably everyone knows what a gadgets are. “A smart device that performs some functions.”.. Which ones? The answer to this question can be very extensive. After all, there are thousands of gadgets with different functions and methods of use.
Let’s try to sort out the types and subspecies of gadgets known to us a little by creating something like a classification. To begin with, let’s try to understand the word “Gadget” itself
Gadget (English gadget — accessory) this is a technical device (including with digital technologies) that has increased functionality, but limited capabilities (specialization).
It is important not to confuse “gadget” and “device” in the classical meaning of these words.
A device is an object or tool used to perform a certain job or/and achieve a certain result. So, a personal computer and a video camera are two devices. And, for example, a gaming joystick or a helicopter helicopter for the camera are already two gadgets. We hope you feel the difference?
In many cases, it is difficult to separate these two concepts, because they mean almost the same thing. But the main thing is to understand that any gadget is a device, but a device is not always a gadget.
Classification of gadgets
Let’s return to the main topic of the article. After the technological breakthrough of the last decades, a huge number of gadgets were invented and produced for various purposes.. Often, one device performs a huge set of functions, which allows it to be attributed to several classes of gadgets at once.
Dividing these devices into groups is not an easy task, given their huge number and variety. However, there are several main categories that combine gadgets that are similar in functionality, and cover most devices. In 2006, our portal already published the first version of such a “catalog”.
Then it included “mobile phones, USB gadgets, spy and iPod gadgets, medical gadgets.” Over the past 9 years, the hi-tech world has changed a lot: some types of devices have left our review, and some will appear in it for the first time. So, it’s time to “sort everything out” and “count everyone.” Let’s go!
Virtual and augmented reality gadgets, video boxes
In this category, we have combined three specific subspecies of gadgets: augmented reality helmets, video glasses and augmented reality glasses.
What is the difference between these devices? And what, on the contrary, unites these products? To make everything clear, we will give definitions for each of them.
Video glasses are a mobile screen, usually with a stereo effect and a complex system of lenses that provide a separate image for each eye of the viewer.
Designed to watch high-quality videos in any conditions. Fans of long journeys can take them on the train! Summer residents with the help of video points will turn their flimsy house into a megakinocenter! And at home, any moviegoer will find a worthy use for them.
The device is designed for personal viewing of movies and videos – other people will not be able to see the content viewed by a person in video clips! As they say, “schoolchildren will appreciate it.” If you know what I mean…
Augmented reality glasses – the technology of these gadgets is similar to the technology of video glasses. However, here we are dealing with a semi-transparent screen.
The OS of this device “completes” the augmented reality image on top of real objects. It was created both for interactive interaction with space (improved navigator, information about attractions) and for entertainment (the opportunity to arrange a “shooter” in real scenery, a good base for “office games”).
Virtual reality helmets are a device that allows you to partially immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality, creating a visual and acoustic effect of presence in a simulated space. You put such a thing on your head… and you see, hear and even feel the “other world”.
Not in the sense that you immediately go to the “forefathers.” No. You calmly travel on the surface of Mars, turn into an antique gladiator and wet your opponent live with a samurai sword! With a full sense of immersion in virtual reality!
The name “helmet” is rather conditional: modern models are much more like glasses than a helmet. Great for gaming, to a lesser extent – for watching videos. The ideal VR helmet performs both the functions of a screen and the functions of a manipulator.
Key characteristics: image output technology, viewing angle, impact on health.
Image output technology: The main difficulty in choosing a helmet is that their developers are still experimenting and “looking for themselves”. Someone considers it optimal to display the image on a single OLED display. Someone suggests projecting a picture directly onto the retina of the eye.
We cannot “cast our vote” for any of these technologies – both seem to us insufficiently tested. Therefore, our advice is simple: pay attention to such banal indicators as color rendering, response speed, smoothing … and to your feelings inside the helmet.
Viewing angle: A key parameter for video glasses and virtual reality helmets. Agree, it’s hard to believe in “virtual reality” when in your eyes it is limited by the electronic screen? Starting from 100 degrees, the viewing angle gives a little bit of the effect of real immersion in a video or game. By the way, in gaming, the viewing angle is worth its weight in gold. After all, in the same shooters, every viewed centimeter of the “battlefield” is an additional gaming advantage.
Impact on health: The developers of virtual reality helmets, augmented reality glasses and video glasses have not yet convinced the world that their devices are harmless to health. Many users of such things complain of seasickness, sunken vision and headaches after using these gadgets.
People with farsightedness and nearsightedness, for example, need to pick up helmets and glasses with replaceable diopters. The gadget does not have a lens selection function? We send it to the furnace. We do the same with devices that make you feel sick in the truest sense of the word. Why pay a lot of money for nausea if you can just watch a Justin Bieber concert???
Sales leaders: In the case of VR helmets – Oculus rift, Sony Morpheus, Valve Vive (SteamVR), Samsung Gear.
Videochki: Avegant Gryph, Cinemyzer.
Augmented Reality glasses: Google, Epson, Microsoft (all in development)
Delta prices: it’s too early to talk about “established prices”. So far, we can talk about the average price for a virtual helmet of $ 200-300, and about the price of $ 100-200 for good video glasses.
Market prospects: Virtual reality helmets seem to us to be the most promising of this “trinity”. It’s simple, brothers: a good VR helmet can “absorb” the functionality of the same video glasses and augmented reality glasses. It is not for nothing that military and cosmonauts, museum workers and doctors have already shown their interest in virtual reality technologies.
A good helmet will allow a surgeon to perform a complex operation in a simplified mode, and will give residents of a remote village the opportunity to go on an excursion to any museum on the planet. A real revolution! Which, however, has not yet happened.
Feel like a Demiurge – buy a 3D printer! Create and get up! Adam and Eve, of course, cannot be made with his help… but you can print a small “garden of eden” in your garage! (It’s a pity that it will be just a beautiful model).
So, 3-d printers are a peripheral device that uses the method of layer-by-layer creation of a physical object based on a digital 3D model. Printing can be carried out in different ways and using different materials, but any of them is based on the principle of layer-by-layer creation (cultivation) of a solid object.
Three-dimensional printers are designed for the rapid production of prototypes of object models for further refinement and manufacture of finished parts from materials supported by 3D printers.
This is an excellent solution for small-scale production. They are also applicable for the production of complex, massive, durable and inexpensive systems. In fact, you can fuck up a small plastic toy on it, and a real drone aircraft (there are such examples).
Printers can be used in medicine, prosthetics and the production of implants (fragments of the skeleton, skull, bones, cartilage tissue). Experiments are underway to print donor organs.
– Who needs a kidney? I just typed in the garage! – very soon, such ads may appear on the forums of amateur printers.
Key Features: Printing method, software.
Software: After creating a 3D model, CAD systems are used that support 3D printing management. In most cases, the STL file format is used for printing. Almost all printers have their own printing management software, and some are commercial, some are open source.
For example, the Picaso Builder 3D printer is the Polygon program, 3DTouch is Axon 2, MakerBot is MakerWare, Ultimaker is Cura. Each “softina” has its advantages and disadvantages.
Printing method: Different printers use different technologies to create layers. Basically, they are divided into laser and inkjet. However, each of these species has up to a dozen subspecies. Acquaintance with them is necessary for anyone who decides to buy such an unusual gadget.
Some printers “pour out” and “spit out” the material. Some use a technology close to “lamination”. And so on and so forth. It is important to understand that specific printing methods are best suited for specific purposes!
Price: From 50,000 rubles to 500,000 rubles.
Market prospects: The high price of each such device and components exclude the possibility of mass demand for 3D printers. It is unlikely that parents will buy them as a gift to spoiled children, and girls will throw themselves on the guys’ necks after the phrase “Baby, I have a cool printer at home!”.
At the moment, these are gadgets for inventors and businessmen, scientists and developers. Yes, you can find a lot of guides on the topic “how to make the printer pay off in a year” on the Web. But all this is still devices “for the elite”.
In addition, there are a whole bunch of difficulties associated with the production of weapons and other illegal items on 3D printers. But how else! This industry is developing so dynamically that… the legislation simply cannot keep up with it. However, there is undoubtedly a future for volumetric modeling and printing technologies. We don’t doubt it for a minute.
There are a huge variety of different spy devices, from dictaphones in pens and cameras in books, to flying radio-controlled robots the size of a dragonfly with a camera on board.
Due to the number of different types of spy devices, we will divide them into subcategories:
• Hidden cameras, night cameras and similar video surveillance devices.
• Binoculars, with adjustable optics and with night vision devices.
• Voice recorders and various listening devices.
• Lie detectors, motion sensors, etc.
High technology has made it possible to miniaturize spy devices, turning almost every item into a potential threat to our security. But, oddly enough, spy gadgets can also be used for protection. There are devices capable of detecting “bugs” and hidden cameras, which, in principle, can be used in your own home for video surveillance when the owners are absent.
The main difference between this category of gadgets from the rest is that they were created not only and not so much for entertainment as for use. For work, protection or collection of information – it depends only on the will of the owner.
Key characteristics: Miniaturization, ability to mimic, security, large memory.
Miniaturization and mimicry – a good spy gadget is invisible. No wonder today you can find cameras disguised as an alarm clock and lipstick, as well as bugs hidden in a power filter or eraser!
Security – an ideal spy gadget should not break from contact with water or hitting the ground. Devices with high physical strength and software protection (preserves information from hacking and theft) are especially valued on the market.
Large memory – the duration of operation of most spy devices is measured not by the power of its battery, but by the ability to record a certain amount of information. As a rule, the memory of micro cameras and “bugs” runs out faster than their battery. Therefore, devices that provide you with many hours of “listening” and videography have a special value.
Sales leaders: The market of spy gadgets is filled with Chinese manufacturers who do not advertise their name. Due to the illegality of most of these devices, they disguise themselves behind uninteresting names. Therefore, it is necessary to choose a product here almost “blindly”.
In the best case, a tip to the “spy gadget” will be given to you by a friend or an experienced user of such equipment.
Delta prices: Spy gadgets made in China can be bought for ridiculous money. Voice recorders and micro cameras are sold for $30-40. Better models will cost you 100-200 bucks. Full-fledged tracking and surveillance systems cost serious money, however, you can get much more serious punishment for their purchase!
Industry prospects: At the moment, the use of “spy gadgets” is prohibited in most countries of the world. Somewhere – with reservations, somewhere – without exceptions. Hence the lack of spy developments from world-famous manufacturers in the field of hi-tech. As a result, the very poor quality of most of the devices listed by us, the lack of an adequate warranty system, eternal “bugs” and “lags”.
This does not mean that there is no request for the use of such devices in society. However, the issue of the legalization of “spy stuff” will be solved about as hard and slow as the legalization of private firearms. So far, the arguments “Against” in this area outweigh the arguments “For”.
No, there is no smart cuckoo sitting in this watch, which can give advice to its owner at the right moment. And they don’t have artificial intelligence implanted in them. They do not win in the show “100 to 1” and “Their own game”. They are “smart” in a different way!
Let’s turn to the reference book: “Computerized wristwatches with advanced functionality (except for standard time tracking), often comparable to communicators. The first models performed simple tasks, for example, they acted as a calculator, translator or gaming device. Modern smartwatches are wearable computers. Many models support third-party applications and are controlled by mobile operating systems, can act as mobile media players.”
With the help of some models, you can receive phone calls and answer SMS and email. Individual smartwatches work only in conjunction with a smartphone and act as an auxiliary screen that notifies the owner of new notifications (for example, messages on social networks, calls and reminders from the calendar).
Key characteristics: Processor power, additional functions, working with Sim.
Processor power: This item is not as important for smartwatches as, for example, for smartphones. In some cases, the declared power … is simply idle and is not used by the “clock”. We recommend looking for an average price-quality ratio. After all, you will definitely not play games and watch movies online on such gadgets!
Additional functions: The watch can include a camera, accelerometer, thermometer, barometer, compass, chronograph, calculator, mobile phone, touch screen, GPS navigator, speaker, scheduler and others. Some watches have the functionality of sports trackers (or fitness trackers). Such models can support training programs, route tracking, heartbeat sensor, pedometer.
Like other computers, smartwatches can collect information using external or built-in sensors. They can manage or receive data from other tools or computers. They often support wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.
Which of these do you need? Choose! Maybe you’ll save on buying a couple of other gadgets.
Working with Sim: Many smartwatches work like a phone. This function is indicated by the presence of a connector for a SIM card on their case. Pay attention to the fact that often, this connector is useless.
Many “watches” do not know how to receive SMS messages, go online and provide terrible sound quality. Do not be lazy to test such mini-phones before buying. Otherwise, a major bummer is possible!
Price: from 50 to 500 dollars
Market prospects: Smart watches are a fairly narrow niche in the modern high-tech market. They are forced to “butt heads” forever with pumped-up fitness trackers and transformer gadgets, the situation is complicated by the return of fashion to classic wristwatches.
It is clear that they will remain on the market, but it is not necessary to wait for any breakthroughs and new technologies in this area. The giants of the digital industry are currently focused on other developments.
Imagine: mice soaked in the blood of orcs, keyboards smelling of gunpowder… headphones, from which, along with the sound of an explosion, fragments of protoplasm and galactic dust fly out. Yes, you understood us correctly! We are now going to talk about gaming gadgets!
This is the widest category of gadgets, which include developments created to ensure the most comfortable gameplay. These devices in the hands of a gamer turn into an ideal weapon, an impenetrable shield, the best assistant and even a slave!!! Although, I got carried away….
Gaming gadgets can be divided into three main categories:
- the actual devices that provide the gameplay (computer, tablet)
- accessories that improve the game world (monitors, speakers, headphones)
- controllers designed specifically for gaming (mice, keyboards, gamepads).
Gadgets for gaming, as a rule, are “modified”, “pumped up” versions of devices that existed before. They are made more comfortable in matters of ergonomics, equipped with special buttons and services designed for gaming, decorated in the fan style of a popular game.
In our material, we will not discuss “gaming computers and tablets”, but take a look at various kinds of components for gaming computers.
Key features: Convenience, special functions.
Convenience: Protracted gameplay is a thing in which it is very important to feel comfortable. How can you fight for hours with calluses on the palm of your hand?! Therefore, every extra gram in the design of headphones, any inconvenience in the mouse device, any extra detail in the ergonomics of the “klava” can negate all the efforts of developers.
When choosing a gaming device, it is important to take into account not only its price and actual characteristics, but also how well it “fits in your hand” or “sits on your head”. This rule applies to all controllers: from a regular helmet to a virtual reality helmet.
A gaming monitor should also be convenient! Believe me, a display hung at an unfortunate angle, an unsuitable size and a bad matrix can turn your favorite game from a pleasure into a real nightmare. Proven by many years of world gaming experience
Special features: In fact, gaming gadgets are selected according to the taste preferences of customers. Do you like shooters? Certain components will suit you. Do you appreciate RPGs? Buy other devices! Developers have long learned how to make gadgets for a certain game direction.
On the mice for “shooters” you can find the buttons for “accurate aiming” and “smooth step”. On the keyboards for “strategies” you will find your hot buttons. What can I say if in the world of mobile gadgets you can even find a set of devices for Starcraft fans, which also abounds with a number of special functions and services.
Sales Leaders: Exeq, Razer, Sony, SteelSeries, Mad Catz
Price: As a rule, prices for such gadgets are decently inflated. Marketers like to make money on game fans. As statistics show, they themselves do not mind paying an extra ten dollars for a feeling of complete detachment at the moment of passion for their favorite game.
Market prospects: One of the key prospects of the gaming gadgets market is the trend of mobile gaming development. Smartphones and tablets have long overtaken consoles in their characteristics and are catching up with personal computers.
This means that game developers will soon “repurpose” their developments for a new gaming platform. Believe us: in a few years, a new section will appear in this classification – “gadgets for mobile gaming”. Gamepads for playing on mobile devices are already appearing on the market. By the way, you can read about them on the pages of the Gadgets-reviews portal.
A smartphone is a mobile phone that suddenly wanted to become something more! Like the Scarecrow who got brains from the Wizard of OZ, he got his “brains” from the geniuses of the computer world. And I learned a variety of functions, capabilities and services.
Smartphones differ from conventional mobile phones by having a sufficiently developed operating system open to software development. Without it, there would be neither your favorite “angry birds”, nor navigators, nor barcode scanners, nor other delights of mobile life.
Yes! Installing additional applications allows you to significantly improve the functionality of smartphones compared to conventional mobile phones.
Since the end of the “noughties” smartphones have finally displaced classic mobile phones and PDAs from the hi-tech market. They tore them up, in a marketing sense, like an Ace to a hot water bottle :).
Those, of course, are still being sold and even find their buyer, but there is no need to talk about finding new ways of development for these “ancestors of the smartphone”.
Key characteristics: Processor power, screen diagonal, display quality, operating system level.
Powerful processors ensure high performance of your gadget. It depends on him – which games the owner will be able to run on the “phone”, how fast the videos will load on the Network, whether the smartphone will work in multitasking mode. The more cores and power, the better. The less, the worse. Remember this rule.
A large touch screen will make work more comfortable, and entertainment even brighter. The case when size really matters. The number of inches is important for fans of HD video, mobile gaming and … a good show-off! Already now you can find smartphones with a diagonal of 7 inches – it’s almost tablets! Of course, you can’t wear such a gadget in your back pocket, but it’s already real to play FIFA or GTA from its screen.
Display quality. Here, as in the case of conventional monitors, the TN-LED-AMOLED technology line operates … The younger the technology, the more expensive the gadget. Pay attention to the more advanced versions of “screens”, the degree of pixelation and smoothing, the number of colors displayed – and you will be happy!
Operating system: The number of adequate and popular mobile operating systems has long exceeded a dozen. It is clear that the “Stars” of the market are iOS, Android, Windows Phone, to a lesser extent – Linux.
Fans of each of them are ready to fight to the last blood for the fact of their pet’s superiority over everyone else. In fact, each of the existing operations has its own advantages. In any case, buying iOS and Android, you get access to the maximum number of applications. Including free ones. A factor that it is better not to pass by.
Sales leaders: Nokia, Apple, HTC, Samsung, LG, Lenovo, ASUS, Sony.
Delta prices: Modern smartphones can be bought for an amount from 1,500 rubles to several million dollars. The most expensive gadget in this class is the Apple Diamond Rose Edition. It can be purchased for $8 million. Hmm. It seems that now you know what to buy for your girlfriend on February 14!
Market prospects: The functionality of smartphones is growing from year to year, like the external debt of the Republic of Cameroon!. Pedometers and pulse sensors, excellent cameras and “wiretapping devices” are being introduced into them. Even now, a smartphone can replace a simple fitness tracker and a camera. It’s hard to imagine what will happen next!?
However, the guarantee of their further development is still not the capabilities of the “stuffing”, but the software. It is the new applications that will become the main “marketing decoy” for gullible consumers. In addition, no one has canceled the need for communication. And, therefore, “smartphones” or their future analogues will be in demand for many years to come.
This category of gadgets is one of their most useful, but also the most controversial. It is intended to improve our well-being, or treatment. For example, if a patient forgets to take medicine at the right time, then special devices can remind him about it, and even independently inject the drug at the right time.
A lot of massagers will help relieve tension after a hard day, and blood pressure meters will be useful for those who suffer from high or elevated blood pressure.
Medical gadgets include various types of thermometers that can detect temperature in a few seconds, and other diagnostic devices, portable defibrillators that can save lives and many gadgets for people suffering from diabetes, gadgets for displaying the state of the body: pressure meters, blood sugar, temperature and devices that normalize your condition, blood pressure, reducing headache or relieving tension.
Key characteristics: License availability
Depending on the type of gadget, the key characteristics of medical devices vary. They have only one thing in common – the need to work exclusively with certified goods from a well-known global brand. You can hardly trust your health to a Chinese fake or the invention of a pseudo-scientist-freak.Be careful, dear readers!
Sales leaders: We recommend you to trust the manufacturers provided in the official pharmacies of the country.
Prices: A good medical gadget is expensive. All potential consumers of this segment of the hi-tech market should get used to this rule. If you see a “penny” pacemaker or a blood glucose meter, stay away from them. Most likely, this is a FAKE.
Market prospects: In some cases, such devices can save a person’s life. Also, smart medical gadgets help people with disabilities, people with poor eyesight or hearing. However, in this market, more than in any other, there is a high probability of acquiring counterfeit and non-certified goods.
Sometimes gadgets intended only for professional use come across in open access online stores. In all these cases, medical devices are no longer treated, but crippled. We warn our readers about the dangers of abusing such technologies in everyday life.
Do not confuse these gadgets with “medical” ones. They don’t fix your health problems. They are useful in their own way: trackers monitor the health status of their owner and give him useful advice. For example, how to run properly so that in the summer it would not be a shame to go to the beach. Or, how many cans of beer can you drink at another party in order to jump to your feet in the morning, as if nothing had happened!
Fitness trackers are devices that track a person’s motor activity and help him maintain it at the right healthy level. This bracelet can count the number of steps taken, the distance traveled and calories burned.
The user can set a goal — how many steps / meters to walk or calories to burn in a day. An important function of gadgets is monitoring sleep phases and the so-called “smart alarm clock”, which wakes up a person at the most convenient moment for the body. It is the fitness tracker that will allow you to forget forever the phrase “Well, five more minutes!!!”
The most advanced trackers are able to read the pulse of the host, conduct a blood test and even act as a “personal trainer”.
There are also “narrow-profile trackers”. They monitor muscle activity and muscle composition, even make an analog of an encephalogram.
Key Features: Battery, autonomy, BY
Battery: The perfect fitness tracker literally “lives” with its owner. It reads data about his activity during sleep and during working hours, during training and during “office torment”. Therefore, a good bracelet keeps the battery for a long time and charges quickly. An hour or two of charging should be enough for him for several days of work. Otherwise, there is no point in buying it.
Against this background, the experiments of some companies implementing GPS modules in their developments seem strange. After all, the full-fledged operation of the GPS unit reduces the operating time of the device at times.
Autonomy: Some fitness trackers are unnecessarily tied to a permanent internet connection. They are almost impossible to use abroad (they will devour all smartphone traffic) and outside the city! Your “fitness reports” simply won’t be recorded by the accompanying software. Therefore, our choice is trackers that smoothly communicate with smartphones and tablets, regardless of the level of Internet access.
PO: Here, as the poet said, “everyone chooses for himself.” If you want to show off your achievements to your friends and the rest of the world, buy a bracelet with powerful support for social functions. You will share the result of training with the community of the same sports fans!
You’ll see – and you’ll train better. If a professional analysis of its results is important to the buyer, then it is better to look at fitness trackers of a different kind: with recognition of the level of physical activity, a good fitness diary and a “personal trainer” mode.
Market Leaders: Jawbone, Sony, Fitbit
Price: 50 – 300 dollars
Market prospects: In the near future, fitness gadgets will learn a variety of functions. Determine pregnancy, conduct blood tests, make a preliminary diagnosis for a number of diseases (including dermatology), become a kind of channel for transmitting information from the consumer to his personal doctor or healthcare institution.
Individualization, the ability to work with new technologies, the undoubted demand and fashion for healthy lifestyle – all this makes fitness trackers a promising niche in the global hi-tech market.
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