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5 of the Most Redundant Travel Gadgets

Technology + Gear
by Michelle Schusterman Jun 22, 2010
These gadgets defeat rather than serve purposes, raising the art of redundant gadgetry to new levels.

Gadgets – helpful, fun, occasionally freaky. But there are a few travel-minded gadgets out there that pass useless and enter the land of redundant.

USB Powered Thermal Wrist Protector

Carpal tunnel, tendonitis…these are real concerns if you spend a lot of time typing. The simple solution is to take a break from the keyboard every now and then.

Or if the pain flares up, why not just chain yourself to the instrument that’s destroying your wrists with a USB powered thermal protector? What doesn’t cripple you can only make you stronger.

Green Light App

As if the flashlight apps for smartphones weren’t useless enough already. This one supports environmental awareness by displaying a “green”, energy-efficient lightbulb.

Displaying one, mind you. Not using one. It’s the message that counts, but I don’t think I’m going to care when I’m crawling in the movie theater aisle looking for my glasses. This is no more green than the iPhone itself, and is in fact a waste of energy since iPhone flashlights are not effective yet drain the battery quickly. Verdict? Redundant.

Ambient Umbrella

This “intelligent” umbrella glows when rain or snow is coming – “so you know when to take it with you.” The thing is, I don’t spend much time staring at my umbrella. If I’m looking at it, it’s with me, and if it’s with me then a warning that rain is coming when I’m already lugging the thing around makes this one redundant gadget.


I’ve mentioned this little doodad in the past, as I admittedly thought stashing credit cards in a laptop was rather Bond-like.

But I’m seeing some irony in hiding your cash inside what is probably the most expensive piece of equipment you own, therefore making it the first a thief will go for. Granted, he may never find the cash…but how is that really going to do you any good?


Call me app happy, but I couldn’t leave this one off. The sad thing is, if it actually works it’s brilliant – Seismometer uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to measure the scale and rating of an earthquake.

But should I actually ever find myself in an earthquake, I’m thinking pulling out my iPhone and starting up this app up to measure the level of oh-shitness might not be preferable to running like a decapitated chicken to the nearest bathroom.

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