Since 1996, the universal serial bus (USB) has streamlined the use of peripheral devices, revolutionized digital storage, and eliminated the need for cumbersome adapters and chargers. From keyboard to mouse, smart phone to thumb drive, virtually every modern electronic device is USB compatible. Some USB-powered gadgets, however, combine the versatility of a USB with unexpected (and, in some cases, delightfully bizarre) utility.
Whether you're after decoration, music, or just a good cooling off on a hot day, I've found a great selection of devices that will show you just what a USB is capable of.
Awesome USB-Powered Gadgets
Featuring an ultra-thin profile and a bright, smooth work surface, the Huion L4S Portable LED Light Pad is the perfect USB gadget for artists, designers, and hobbyists on the go.
The Huion Light Pad incorporates eyesight-protected technology with easily adjustable brightness, ensuring that you can work for long stretches without having to weather eye strain or headaches (because no one has time for migraines). It connects to any device with an available USB port, including computers, power banks, and USB wall adapters (not included). The pad comes in three sizes, and comes with a one-year warranty.
Head to the coffee shop, take it out, plug it in, and start drawing!
Thanks to modern technology, one need not sacrifice comfort or convenience to enjoy a great camping experience. Whether you're camping or "glamping," the SunJack LED Camplight is a cool USB gadget to use for reading, meals, or late nights around the picnic table (NOTE: you'll still want to learn how to start a fire – warmth is good!).
Weighing in at about 3.5 ounces, the SunJack Camplight offers a great alternative to heavier lanterns; the light and a power bank is all you need to keep your area lit for hours. It is shatter and shock resistant, and features a female USB port for easy linking (up to three bulbs). It's also handy for emergency situations, and serves as a capable light source when all goes dark.
With this device, you can illuminate your area without breaking the bank.
Imagine it’s winter. Snow is falling. You're stuck on a train platform, waiting for a delayed train and the temperature can only be described as frigid. All the while, your hands are getting colder. If you've been in this situation, these heated gloves are just the USB-powered gadget for you.
These carbon fiber and rabbit wool gloves connect to laptops, power banks, and any other device with a USB port. They're low power, completely safe, and the built-in heat chips simultaneously warm the front and back of your hands.
Whether you're braving the winter weather, or stuck in a cold office, these gloves will keep your fingers warm and nimble.
Looking to add some pizazz to your next dinner party? Want to keep things low key yet festive? Look no further than these quirky, USB-powered wine bottle lights!
These USB gadgets are wireless and rechargeable, and feature USB ports ingeniously hidden under real cork caps. A one-hour charge is enough for three hours of continuous use, and installation is as easy as twisting the bottom of the cork and wedging it into your bottle of choice. They're perfect for general décor, or as impromptu night lights!
This set of three lights provides artful whimsy at a fantastic price point.
"Cake and grief counseling will be available at the conclusion of the test." ~GLADoS
Standing 7.5" tall, and loaded with 11 lines and sound effects pulled directly from the game, this USB gadget is ready to surprise unsuspecting trespassers with a laugh and a gentle warning. And, as in the game, this turret is even funnier when knocked over! This device plugs into any USB port and is thus perfect for cubicles, workstations, offices, and science labs of every description.
GLADoS surveillance not included (and probably not wanted).
For those who want their desk to have a little more charge, and/or want their workspace to radiate energy, this USB-powered Plasma Ball is a great stress reliever and conversation piece! It's also great for the dashboard of your car.
Powered by USB (cable included) or three AAA batteries, this desktop gadget looks great in daylight or in the dark. Standing 6.5" tall, the ball features a sturdy glass globe and striking visuals that pair well with music, urgency, and/or silent contemplation (these things can be mesmerizing).
It is a great little pick-me-up at an affordable price.
Whether you're plugging away on a deadline, embarking on a day of spring cleaning, or just wanting to blow off some steam, nothing beats music as a motivator.
These compact yet powerful (3W) speakers plug into any device with a USB port and audio capability (including laptops, tablets, Android phones, Kindles, and MP3 players) and are easily transportable for music on the go. Volume control is as easy as turning the built-in dial, and the small size is perfect for any surface. Easy, plug-and-play functionality ensures a no-fuss experience.
The functionality and ease cannot be beat!
Office buildings can run hot or cold, as can our internal temperatures. Are you stuck in an office with an unseasonably warm climate? Beat the heat with this (literally) cool USB gadget!
With two fan speeds and a high airflow design, the Opolar USB Fan combines cooling power with high efficiency (consumes 0.6 amps/hr). Its 360-degree vertical adjustment range allows you to direct the airflow however you wish, and the 3.9' USB cord provides great versatility.
In the office, at the pool, on the beach, or in your living room, the Opolar USB Fan will keep you cool no matter what.
Stale, stuffy air can cause congestion, increase the risk of illness, and loss of focus, particularly in the office. Conversely, fresh air can leave you feeling energized, healthy, and ready to take on the day. If you're dealing with stuffy air in your home or office, then this Ionic Air Purifier may just be the king of USB gadgets.
Powered by Microcomputer Control Technology, this air purifier eliminates the need for filters and standard maintenance. Plug it into any USB port, turn it on, and enjoy all of the benefits without the noise (it is whisper quiet). This gadget is ideal for small spaces, and can neutralize odors/kill bacteria in bedrooms, pantries, and even refrigerators! This purifier also features a one-year warranty.
Stop the dry cough and improve your health today!
Originally conceived as a simplified, streamlined power and data sharing medium, the universal serial bus has turned into the answer for all sorts of needs. Whether you're after entertainment or utility, there are dozens of USB gadgets for you to choose from.
Do some searches, read some reviews, and find the must-have gadget(s) you never knew you needed! Hopefully our list can give you a head start!
Product images are sourced from their respective pages on Amazon.com.