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.

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

By Jane McGrath

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.

By Molly Edmonds

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.

By Molly Edmonds


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

By Tim Crosby

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?

By Katherine Neer

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?

By Jonathan Strickland

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

By Jonathan Strickland


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.

Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags are part of a tracking system that uses intelligent bar codes to track items in a store. First used to monitor livestock, these devices now appear in countless stores across the country.

By Kevin Bonsor & Wesley Fenlon

Broadcast fax allows users to send faxes simultaneously to many recipients. Find out how broadcast fax programs work.

By Dave Roos

The demand for virtual reality gear is determined by its uses in the medical, military and entertainment markets. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of devices like head-mounted displays.

By Jonathan Strickland


Virtual reality uses a computer to create a simulated three-dimensional world. Find out how virtual reality works and learn about the future of virtual reality.

By Jonathan Strickland

Noise-canceling headphones maximize your listening experience by removing ambient noise, all without sacrificing the sound quality of your music. But how do they do it?

By William Harris

Speech recognition technology allows people to compose documents and control their computers using their voice. It can be used in homes or businesses, for a variety of uses.

By Ed Grabianowski

For less than $100, you can get a pocket-sized gadget that will tell you exactly where you are on Earth at any moment. As long as you have a GPS receiver and a clear view of the sky, you'll never be lost again. Learn more!

By Marshall Brain & Tom Harris


If you lived through the 1980s, then you know it was an amazing decade. It seemed like every month some cool new technology came onto the market. See the most popular consumer products that made their mark.

By Marshall Brain

From rug-beating to vacuum-pushing . . . and now to hands-free floor care! The robotic vacuum has arrived in our homes from a Jetson-like future and may one day provide air purification and even internet connectivity. See the models currently available, check the prices and learn what the future may hold.

By Julia Layton

Faxing over email is a popular and convenient trend for many fax users. Learn more about faxing over email in this article.

Faxing over the internet has made it faster and easier to send and receive faxes. Check out this article for an explanation of how faxing over the internet works.


Paying for a fax machine and a phone line can be a major expense. But there are alternatives. Learn more in this article.

If museum sign-reading bores you, you're in luck. The Node Explorer is a portable media player with interactive presentations that include guided tours, images, maps, videos and sound clips. Learn all about it.

By Tracy V. Wilson

The trend in technology is to get more and more "connectivity" into smaller and smaller packages. Find out how it's possible to access news, weather, sports, stocks, horoscopes, e-mail and more from a wristwatch.

By Robert Valdes & Nathan Chandler

You can use it to watch TV shows and movies, listen to music and flip through digital photos -- all while sitting on an airplane. Learn all about the latest addition to the mobile-entertainment market.

By Eric Tucker


Clocks come in many different forms, from quartz watches to atomic clocks. Take a peek inside and learn what makes each kind tick.

By Marshall Brain

Gadgets are all the rage in our digital age, so much so that you probably consider some of them essential to your daily life. Which devices have made their mark?

By Nathan Chandler