Electronic Gadgets

"Gadget" is a catch-all word these days for nifty devices. We've covered the basics, such as clocks & watches, plus delved into the world of present-day and future high-tech gadgets, such as digital jewelry and restaurant pagers.

Topics to Explore


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How did ancient civilizations use sundials to tell time?

The ability to tell time has been around for centuries. What began as a fairly simple practice has evolved into a complex system of time, daylight savings and leap years. But where did it all start, and what was the role of sundials?

How Security Cameras Work

If you're one of those people who feels better when they can keep an eye on things, then maybe you need a security camera system for your home.

How Spy Gear Works

Once only found in the movies, high-tech spy gadgets are part of our everyday lives. Is someone listening in on your conversation right now? Are you being followed?

How the iCache Works

The average person stuffs nine different cards into one wallet. What if you could consolidate all that card information into one thin little device? At the least, it'd save pocket space.

How the reactable Works

Learning how to play an instrument may be as simple as playing with blocks. You can get started with the reactable without even touching a user's manual.

10 Scary Modern Technologies

Technology has changed our lives, mostly for the better. But what happens when our inventions get the better of us? The results can be devastating.

How Dash Express Works

The Dash Express married GPS and Internet technologies to give directions and up-to-date traffic information. Sounds good, right?

How the Amazon Kindle Works

Electronic books have been out for years, though none of them met with much success -- until the Amazon Kindle. What's so special about this little device?

What's the technological singularity?

Depending on whom you ask, machines are running our lives. But what happens if they start to build more efficient models of themselves and get rid of us?

How Noise-canceling Headsets Work

Ever had to answer your cell phone in the middle of a busy street? You could shout above the din or let your call go to voicemail, or you could speak clearly into a noise-canceling headset.

How Psychotechnology Works

Psychologists have created a number of tools to help them delve deeper into the mysterious human subconscious. What are these tools, and do they really work?

Can companies beam advertisements into my brain?

You're out shopping when suddenly a voice tells you to buy the product right in front of you. Brilliant gimmick or creepy invasion of personal privacy?

Night Vision Pictures

Night vision is a popular military application with some very interesting civilian uses. Check out night vision equipment, peer through night vision goggles and learn about the technology with this image gallery.

How Massage Chairs Work

Massage can have real health benefits for you, but what if you don't know a good massage therapist? Perhaps a massage chair might be the answer.

What's a zero-gravity massage chair?

Muscles aching? Perhaps you'd enjoy a session in a zero-gravity massage chair. You don't need astronaut training, but you'll need a fat wallet.

How Portable Audio Studios Work

Freed by the latest technology and dipping prices, bands are now able to put together their own recording studios -- and take them on the road.

How Can a Surge Protector Save Energy?

In addition to protecting our electronics from lightning strikes and making it possible to run multiple devices from one wall outlet, can surge protectors actually conserve energy?

How Thermal Fax Machines Work

The thermal fax machine leverages heat to print words and images. Learn how the thermal fax machine works along with its advantages and disadvantages.

How the Clover Coffee Maker Works

This cult coffee maker could cost more than your car. But maybe going without wheels wouldn't be so bad if you had the perfect cup of coffee to start your day.

How can my spoon taste my food for me?

If your kitchen instincts are extinct and you've never "whipped something up" in your life, you may be interested in this smart kitchen utensil for newbie cooks.

History of the Fax Machine

The fax machine, a cornerstone of modern business, has a long and interesting history of development. Learn more about fax machines in this article.

What if I accidentally zapped someone with my stun gun?

Millions of police officers, soldiers and ordinary citizens carry real-life stun weapons to protect against personal attacks. But what happens if one of those people accidentally stuns someone else?

How the Avatar Machine Works

The Avatar Machine lets users see themselves from a third-person perspective as if they were in a virtual environment. Could this gadget inspire human behavior studies?

How Fabric Displays Work

Fabric displays are revolutionizing the marketing and fashion industries. From furry TV to wearable computer systems, these displays are worth watching.

Gifts and Gadgets for Kids of All Ages

Love the pitter-patter of tiny robotic feet? Need a way to stash your cash? Check out some of the latest Discovery gifts and gadgets that are at the top of everyone's wish list this holiday season.