Friday, 20 July 2007

TECH: 5 worst gear ideas of the week #3

If necessity is the mother of invention, meet the orphans...

1) $430 alternative to watching the forecast

This falls into the category of 'absolutely brilliant had someone not invented numerous other, cheaper ways to do the same job many years before now'. The Thunderbolt Pro is a storm warning device which detects lightning flashes up to to 75 miles away, and lets you know about them. As they get closer, you get an increasingly urgent series of messages. In other words, first it replaces the job the weather forecast should have done, then it replaces the job your eyes and ears should have done. Still, if you never got to grips with the old 'see the flash and and count the seconds to the boom' method, you're rich and have no access to a TV or a forecast, be our guest.

Want one?

2) Petrol-powered robotic rucksack-carrying dog

Tired of carrying your own rucksack? Too kind to foist it on your trail mates? Take advantage of a US military initiative to create a rucksack-carrying petrol-engined robo dog! The firm behind the frankly disturbing creature has just won a $10m governmental contract to complete development. So far 'BigDog', as he is called, can trot at 3.3mph, climb a 35 degree slope and carry a 120 lb load. Watch this clip and tell us he's not a crime against nature:

Want one?

3) LED flipflops

Is there a greater feeling than slipping off your hefty boots at day's end and slipping into something light and inconsequential for slouching round the campsite? Sully that feeling with extreme self-consciousness by means of these: flipflops which flash red, green and blue as you walk, shamedly, to the toilet block. (Click the pic for the full effect.)

Want some?

4) Pressurised fanny pack
Just how lazy do you have to be to be unwilling to suck to get your drink into your mouth? Have it jet into your corpulent gizzard instead thanks to Polarpak's $40 Flowjo fanny pack (that's bum bag to you and me). You have to hand-pump the pressure up first of course, but you can presumably get someone else to do that...

Want one?

5) Ikea-style rucksack

What's this? A perfectly normal hiker enjoying an unusually bulky rucksack? But no! It's an 80l rucksack! It's a hanging storage unit! It's another solution in search of a problem! Well done everyone, a cracking week.

Want one?

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