10 Fun Office Toys and Gadgets


The Holographic Desk

Is this the future of office work?
Is this the future of office work?
Colin Anderson/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

What if everything on your desk was a hologram, from the photo of your spouse and your keyboard to the tiny Princess Leia who insists on calling you "Obi Wan." Imagine your entire workspace as interactive illusion. Much of the necessary technology already exists, such as the motion-sensing Kinect interface for Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming system. In fact, Microsoft is already developing this technology into tomorrow's HoloDesk.

Microsoft's OmniTouch technology will allow future cube farmers to use projected touch screens on any flat surface and the HoloDesk system, not unlike the laser keyboard and LuminAR lamp discussed earlier. But as illustrated in videos released by Microsoft's Research department in October 2011, HoloDesk technology allows users to manipulate holographic 3-D images as if they were real.

In other words, the workspace of the future will be amazing -- and so will the pet rocks.

Go crazy for more gadgets and complete wastes of time below.

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  • Allan, Jennifer. "iPhone gun game: augmented reality alien shoot out!" Electricpig. Jan. 25, 2011. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.electricpig.co.uk/2011/01/25/iphone-gun-game-augmented-reality-alien-shoot-out/
  • Barrett, Brian. "Slot Machine iPhone Dock: Proportionally Less Depressing Than Real Thing." Gizmodo. July 19, 2010. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://gizmodo.com/5590709/slot-machine-iphone-dock-proportionally-less-depressing-than-real-thing
  • "Buckyballs Magnetic Building Spheres." ThinkGeek. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/science/bbe8/
  • Chan, Casey. "Student Made Robotic Desk Lamp Is The First Step To Tony Stark's Computer." Gizmodo. June 10, 2010. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://gizmodo.com/5560303/student-made-robotic-desk-lamp-is-the-first-step-to-tony-starks-computer
  • "Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard for iPad & iPhone." ThinkGeek. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/cellphone/e722/
  • Dunn, Mike. "Video: Microsoft developing a HoloDesk." Digital Trends. Oct. 20, 2011. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/video-microsoft-developing-a-holodesk/
  • "iCADE - iPad Arcade Cabinet." ThinkGeek. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/retro-gaming/e762/
  • Linder, Nathan. "LuminAR." MIT Media Lab. 2010. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://direct.media.mit.edu/people/natan/current/luminar.html
  • "Mathmos Blob and Flow." Mathmos. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.mathmos.com/mathmos-blob-and-flow-touch-sensitive-light-pets-17157-0.html
  • "Nano-Tech Japanese Aqua Dance Game." Coolest Gadgets. June 9, 2009. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20090609/nanotech-japanese-aqua-dance-game/
  • Nosowitz, Dan. "Video: Microsoft's Holodesk Lets You Play With Virtual 3-D Objects." Popular Science. Oct. 20, 2011.(Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2011-10/video-microsofts-holodesk-lets-you-play-virtual-3-d-objects
  • Quick, Darren. "USB Posture Alert Reminder will set you on the straight and narrow." Gizmag. Sept. 10, 2009. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.gizmag.com/usb-posture-alert-reminder/12786/
  • "USB Laser Guided Missile Launcher." ThinkGeek. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/warfare/8bc4/
  • "USB Pet Rock." ThinkGeek. (Nov. 14, 2011) http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/cubegoodies/c208/


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