Cool Weird Gadgets – This Week in Extravagant Tech…

 30 Apr 2011 - By Omar Yesid Mariño+

Technology makes our world better and our lives easier but sometimes developers take this to a whole other level creating devices that are awesome but bordering on useless. Either they’re flashy, superfluous, or too cool for school and just don’t find a place in the mainstream market like the iPhone or netbooks did. This time around, I’ve wrangled three cool devices that fall into this category. They’re just a little bit over the top but not so out there that some enterprising owner can’t put them to good use. Let’s start with a smart phone that’s a little too rugged for its own good.

Casio G’zOne Commando

Smart phones are cool but often they’re a little on the fragile side. Take them for a hike or drop them in the toilet and they’re pretty much done for. Casio (the company behind some of the coolest calculators in the 1990s) has come up with a solution: The G’zOne Commando.

Cool Weird Gadgets

This smart phone should have hit the shelves at your local Verizon retailer this week. It features a design that meets 810G military specifications so you don’t have to worry about how strong it is. It’s waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, vibration proof, salt fog proof, can handle temperature extremes to either end of the thermometer and even has protection against cosmic radiation!

But unlike some phones that claim to be smart and rugged, this one actually is. Inside it runs on Android 2.2 (A.K.A. Froyo) and comes equipped with a 5mp camera in addition to the microSD slot for memory expansion. It has all the wireless connectivity you’d ever need including 3G cellular, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, and even functions as a hotspot for up to 5 devices.

The phone comes preloaded with helpful apps (like a compass) and makes the perfect companion for most all of your outdoorsy activities. Now if only MacGyver had had one of these.

And another area in which the Casio Commando is unlike other rugged smart phones is the price. You can get all of this performance in this stylish package for just $200 (with contract agreement of course).

Visit the official Casio website for more details.

Now for something a little more wearable.

Ziiro’s Aurora and Orbit Watches

If these watches just told time we wouldn’t even stop to take notice of them. However, it is the innovative (and tricky) way in which they keep track of the hours that sets them apart from the rest of the pack.

Ziiro's Aurora and Orbit Watches

The first thing you’ll notice is their elegantly simplistic style—they’re like something out of a 1980s sci-fi movie. The Aurora watch features a false horizon that chases itself around the clock face representing the hours and minutes. The Orbit has two little planetoids circling around a central dark “sun.”

Each watch comes in a variety of colors you can choose to apply to both the face and the flexible metal bands.

These are a little on the pricey side at $184 a piece but you can’t really put a price on such retro-glam style, can you?

You can order watches online now but they won’t ship until May. Hit up the official website for more.

The Cool Leaf Keyboard

It’s hard to remember exactly when we saw our first button-less keyboard on the big screen but ever since they’ve been a mainstay of futuristic movies. Now, thanks to the folks at Minebea and their Cool Leaf keyboard, the future is here.

The Cool Leaf Keyboard

This slick looking little keyboard features a backlit mirror surface with touch-sensitive “keys.” The peripheral is thin, light, and portable to an extent but would make the perfect accessory to a space age computer set-up.

However, it remains to be seen how the flat design will affect the keyboard’s ergonomics. I would venture a guess that this would not be a good investment from those suffering from carpal tunnel disease.

At launch, this cooler than you machine will only be available in Japan and in Japanese. However, the company has announced they will be releasing other versions (including an English version and PC and Mac-friendly versions) later.

The price tag is a little large (at roughly $245) but hopefully by the time the alternate versions hit the streets it will have shrunk a little.

Visit the Minebea website to learn more and other details.

Disclaimer - Category: Android, Cell Phone, Digital