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 RFID Works

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.

How Broadcast Fax Works

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

How Virtual Reality Gear Works

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.

How Virtual Reality Works

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.

Top 10 Fantasy Father's Day Gifts

What would the ultimate Father's Day look like if you let your imagination run wild? Here's a Top 10 list of the ultimate Father's Day gifts.

How Noise-canceling Headphones Work

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?

How Speech Recognition Works

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.

How GPS Receivers Work

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!

12 New Technologies in the 1980s

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.

How Robotic Vacuums Work

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.

How does faxing over e-mail work?

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

How does faxing over the Internet work?

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.

How can I receive faxes in my home office without paying for a fax machine and phone line?

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

How the Node Explorer Works

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.

How Smart Watches Work

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.

How Portable Media Centers Work

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.

How Clocks Work

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

10 Essential Gadgets

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?

How PDAs Work

Before the iPhone and other smartphones, there were PDAs such as the Palm Pilot. Learn about the PDA technology that paved the way to big-time computing power on the go.

How Fax Machines Work

Learn all about fax machines and how they transmit information. Choose which desktop fax is best for you with additional reviews and buying guides.

How Facial Recognition Systems Work

How unique is your face? Learn how facial recognition systems can pick a face out of a crowd, extract it from the rest of the scene and compare it to a database of stored images.

How Stun Guns Work

Like the usual setting on the phasers used by Kirk and Spock, stun guns fall into the category of non-lethal weaponry. See how they incapacitate without causing permanent damage.

How Digital Picture Frames Work

A digital picture frame is the perfect gadget for sharing digital photos with the computerless. Learn how these Internet appliances keep the technophobe in the loop.

How Metal Detectors Work

Metal detectors can do more than just detect metal -- they can tell you the kind of metal it is and even how deep it's buried. Learn how these units pinpoint and identify their target.

How Night Vision Works

Most of us instinctively think of darkness as a cloak, a way to hide. So, how can you see someone standing more than 200 yards away on a pitch-black night?