Engineering gadgets? Yes please!
You don’t get into engineering if you don’t like gadgets, electronics, and all the parts of technology.
Writing in a reusable notebook, tinkering with a useless box, drawing electricity with a conductive pen, and drinking from a self-cleaning self-charging water bottle: here we celebrate the engineers that came up with gadgets that are not only cool and functional but inspiring. The best news of all is, that these gadgets are widely available for anybody.
Save paper, and digitally track your notes (by searching for keywords or topics) while being able to physically write.
The Rocketbook series of notebooks allows anyone to still keep notes, and then take a picture of the page the Rocketbook App, which optimizes and digitizes the page so it looks like a perfectly scanned copy. It is then saved on your smart device or the cloud.
The notebook series is the brainchild of Rocketbook co-founders Joe Lemay and Jake Epstein.
Epstein is an Electrical and Computer Engineer by training, and he was the one who made the App a reality to allow a simple and sustainable way for people to jot down notes, take a picture, and then wipe the ink away and start again.
BIC acquired the firm in 2020 for 40 million USD, and since then Rocketbook has kept growing. It’s a pure writing experience, without all the messy pages and one book saves millions of liters of water and resources as opposed to single-use paper.
Sometimes working as an engineer or studying should be fun, so why not celebrate useless mechanics with the Useless Box.
Once you flip the switch on the box, its doors will slide open, and a hand will pop out and flip the switch again to turn the box off. Yes, that’s it. You will enter into a perpetual loop of switching it on, and the box switching itself off again.
The novelty toy is inspired by Marvin Minsky an AI pioneer. Minsky coined “useless machines” and the box offers a lesson in microprocessor controls.
There are also plenty of DIY kits available to build your own Useless Box – but you do get to appreciate the work of Minksy who has also won a Turing award in his lifetime for his contributions to engineering.
Useless box in a great gadget that any engineer will love.
Draw electricity? Yes, with the Bare Conductive Electric Paint Pen. Bare Conductive is founded on the idea of transferring simple electrical skills and the paint allows anyone to explore electricity by building simple circuits.
The conductive paint is not toxic and safe to use, and with kits, you can use the paint to create lamps, fix guitars, and a lot of other uses.
The started as an idea by four students at the Royal College of Arts in London.
One of the founders Matt Johnson was aiming to finish a Master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering when he and fellow students Isabel Lizardi, Bibi Nelson, and Becky Pilditch got the idea to be able to paint electrical wires.
Since then they have built Bare Conductive as am an amazing business that sells paints for simple use or to be used with educational kits. And yes, the paint has been used to create interactive experiences at conferences.
The company’s wall kit allows creators to create a wall touch board with paint and electro pads with Touch Board hardware.
A self-cleaning water bottle that uses UV technology sounds a little bizarre, but British brand WAKEcup has secured a slice of the travel cup business and made it sustainable and high-tech by using simple scientific principles.
Co-founded in 2018 by Nick McEwen, a graduate of Biological Sciences from Warwick University, the latest product by the company is a USB charged water bottle that uses UV-C technology in the lid that aids the bottle to clean its inner surface. This eliminates bacteria and means that the bottle never has an odor or smell – meaning you keep it for longer.
The double-walled bottle holds 550ml of hot or cold liquid and keeps it either warm for 4 hours or cold for 12.
The UV light charges with a waterproof MicroUSB connector, and once the light is activated it cleans the bottle in 3 minutes. One charge of the bottle can last for a month! And, no washing up!
In 2015 The Pokémon Company, Niantic, Inc., and Nintendo changed what mobile devices could do forever when Pokémon GO was released.
In 2022 the game has not stopped evolving, and its keen use of technology has made Pokémon GO a go-to place for The Pokémon Company to promote its own content outside of the GO brand, but also allow the millions of active players to in-game challenges and above all to have fun.
It’s still the holy grail of Apps when it not only comes to downloads but usability.
Behind the game sits John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc. Hanke is known for his extensive work with Google Earth (he is credited as the co-creator), which in turn led to the creation of an AR game where people could catch Pokémon in real life.
Pokémon GO utilizes GPS technology to fuel a sci-fi story encompassing the entire world. In 2022 the unique storytelling is delivered through challenges where players need to finish certain tasks in an allotted amount of time, complete collections of a region or season-specific Pokémon or simply walk a certain distance to level up.
Now, what is your favorite engineering gadget or app?
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