Among other things, the year 2022 will also be remembered for weird gadgets and strange ideas in tech. They were bold, risky, and well, truly original. Not just smaller brands, but legacy tech brands also jumped to the idea that edgy and bizarre are the new cool. Strange tech was the craze for 2022.
Here are some of the oddest gadgets we could find, from the Snap Pixy, and Samsung Odyssey Ark curved monitor to the Nokia 5710 XpressAudio.
Nothing Phone (1)
It might 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. However, flip the phone over and you will 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 attempt at making a distinctive-looking smartphone that doesn’t cost much. In a way, Nothing represented something lighthearted and even silly when smartphone designs have become flat. So yeah, love it or hate it, there’s no doubt that Nothing Phone (1) has proven to be majorly popular and has been generating buzz ever since its first unveiling.
It was conceptualised as a drone-powered camera that could fly around and record videos and photos for sharing on the Snapchat app. The idea was to have a lightweight, toy-like, selfie drone creating great-looking images and video. It was indeed a weird-looking product with several good ideas backed into it. However, it was far from perfect.
The drone could only fly for five minutes on a single charge and its image and video quality were a hit-and-miss depending on the lighting conditions. Being the first-generation product, the Pixy was a polished device but had several shortcomings. Less than four months after its launch, Snapchat killed its drone-powered camera and shut down the development as part of a re-prioritisation of company resources.
More than its staggering $950 price, Dyson’s Zone headphones will make you sit and take notice. The combination of headphones and air purifier is not only unique but also tests the imagination of human beings in achieving things that often look impossible to accomplish. The weird gadget doubles up as a personal air purifier for your nose and mouth, securing you inside an attachable mouthpiece, free from air pollution, while also delivering clean audio with active noise cancellation.
The Zone has been 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 outlandish, but that’s the beauty of a product.
Samsung Odyssey Ark
The Odyssey Ark wasn’t just another monitor. The 55-inch Odyssey Ark, which retailed for $3500, brought a curved screen gaming monitor into the world that felt as if you were inside a virtual game. While most monitors were meant to be used horizontally, the Odyssey Ark came with a Cockpit mode that would let you rotate it by 90 degrees. Everything about the Ark was bizarre. Its Multi View feature was designed to show you four screens at once on Ark. From its specs to design, Ark was designed to satisfy nerds.
Nokia 5710 XpressAudio
The Nokia 5710 XpressAudio wasn’t anything but a route to “escapism” in a smartphone-obsessed world. The message from HMD Global, the Finnish company that licensed the rights to produce Nokia phones, was actually fairly profound: to have fun with a device. The Nokia 5710 XpressAudio was unquestionably different, a feature phone with true wireless earbuds built right in. The device was created from an untraditional board, and the reason why it promised a twist to “boring” phone designs is that we are so accustomed to them.
HidrateSpark Pro Steel
Finally, the coolest and strangest thing we saw this year was HidrateSpark’s $80 smart water bottle. The smart water bottle came with both chug and straw lids and an LED puck at the base that lights up in customisable colours, reminding 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.