The year 2022 will also be remembered for weird gadgets and strange ideas in tech, among other things. They were daring, risky and well, really original. Not only smaller brands, but also older tech brands started to think that edgy and bizarre are the new cool. Strange technology was all the rage for 2022.
Here are some of the strangest gadgets we could find, from the Snap Pixy and Samsung Odyssey Ark curved monitor to the Nokia 5710 XpressAudio.
Nothing Phone (1)
It may not come close to the iPhone 14, but Nothing’s debut phone was anything but funky, fun and a little flawed. From the front, Nothing Phone (1) looked like a traditional flagship Android device. Flip the phone over, though, and you’ll find a series of white LED strips across a transparent glass back to create patterns of light that nothing calls “glyphs”.
It was a well-executed effort to create a striking-looking smartphone that doesn’t cost much. In a sense, Nothing represented something light-hearted and even silly when smartphone designs have gone flat. So yes, love it or hate it, there is no doubt that Nothing Phone (1) has proved to be extremely popular and has been generating buzz since its initial unveiling.
It was conceptualized as a drone-powered camera that could fly around and record videos and photos to share on the Snapchat app. The idea was to have a lightweight, toy-like selfie drone that would take amazing photos and videos. It was indeed a weird looking product with several good ideas in it. However, it was far from perfect.
The drone could only fly for five minutes on a single charge, and image and video quality were hit and miss depending on lighting conditions. As a first-generation product, the Pixy was a polished device but had several shortcomings. Less than four months after launch, Snapchat retired its drone-powered camera and halted development as part of a re-prioritization of corporate resources.
More than the mind-blowing price of $950, Dyson’s Zone Headphones will make you sit and notice. The combination of headphones and air purifier is not only unique, but also challenges the imagination of man to achieve things that often seem impossible. The weird gadget doubles as a personal air purifier for your nose and mouth, putting you in an attachable mouthpiece free from air pollution, while also delivering clean audio with active noise cancellation.
The Zone is the result of six years of development as the company wanted to develop a portable iteration of its existing air purification technology. The Zone may look bizarre, but that’s the beauty of a product.
Samsung Odyssey Ark
The Odyssey Ark was not just a monitor. The 55-inch Odyssey ark, which retailed for $3,500, brought into the world a curved-screen gaming monitor that felt like you were in a virtual game. While most monitors were intended to be used horizontally, the Odyssey Ark came with a Cockpit mode that allowed you to rotate it 90 degrees. Everything about the Ark was bizarre. The Multi View feature is designed to let you see four screens on Ark at once. From the specs to the design, Ark is designed to please geeks.
Nokia 5710 Xpress Audio
The Nokia 5710 Xpress Audio was nothing but a route to “escapism” in a smartphone-obsessed world. The message from HMD Global, the Finnish company that has licensed the rights to produce Nokia phones, was actually quite profound: having fun with a device. The Nokia 5710 XpressAudio was undoubtedly different, a feature phone with built-in true wireless earbuds. The device was created from a non-traditional board, and the reason why it promised a twist on “boring” phone designs is that we’re so used to it.
HydrateSpark Pro Steel
Finally, the coolest and weirdest thing we saw this year was HidrateSpark’s $80 smart water bottle. The smart water bottle came with both drinking and straw lids and an LED puck at the base that lights up in customizable colors to remind you to drink water throughout the day. The 32-ounce HidrateSpark Pro supported Bluetooth technology and connects to the HidrateSpark app and also provides real-time data to the Apple Health app and Apple Watch. We didn’t know we needed a smart bottle in our lives.