The Top 15 USB geek gadgets

From humping dogs to running hamsters and gyrating Elvis' and desktop missile launchers, is there anything more fun that a truly geeky gadget? Well of course there is but after having witnessed the Dancing Elvis Phone at a recent trade show, Layer 8 wanted to see how geeky we could get. That naturally lead to the USB world where there's no end to the geeky things you can link to your PC. Here's the Top 15 I thought were the most amusing. Please feel free to let me know your favorites.

1. The Typing Speedometer Mouse. Oh why not. This little mouse character sits on an exercise bike and well, the faster you type the faster the little rodent pedals and your typing speed is displayed on the LCD readout. A good time can be had by all.

2. The USB Hamster WheelYes you plug this little baby in and off goes your hamster. The faster you type, the faster the little rodent runs. Real hamster not included.

3. The Humping Dog. Yes, we've written about this one before. This device really serves no purpose other than to provide your USB port with a little excitement, shall we say. Plug it in and it bangs away at your port. "Nuff said.

4. The Nodding and Singing Dog. If you have the humping dog, then the USB Nodding Dog will be a bit of a letdown. Though at least this one has some purpose in life. The USB Nodding Dog nods, but he wags his little tail and the nodding speeds up and slows down depending on what the sensor inside the dog detects. In attention mode the sensor detects if someone is trying to use your computer or if someone walks in front of the dog and triggers a warning bark. The USB canine also alerts you when you have new mail and has an alarm and calendar option. The dog can also bark ten different songs, including Happy Birthday to You. No word on pricing and availability, but the company is looking for vendors to carry it for them.

5. The Missile LauncherThis one sounds a little dangerous but here at Layer 8 we're all about that. According to this site the USB Missile Launcher is the perfect way to waste away the hours in the office or get some revenge on the office dolt. Just mount the USB missile launcher in a sturdy place, such as desktop or even on top of your monitor and bombs, or rather missiles, away!!! Software is included to ensure your missile navigation doesn't end up with the weapon in your boss' coffee and is capable of panning 180 degrees and tilting up to 45 degree. Ideal for hard to reach targets or really pesky office chums. The missiles are really foam so human resources won't be visiting your launch pad, er desk.

6. The Pole DancerA classic. As described on this site, this flirtatious, gyrating, portable, 8-inch, bikini-clad blonde poledancer brings a smile and some festive cheer to both the home and office with her cheeky dance routine. You can even plug her into your PC audio outlet and she'll dance to your own MP3s and other downloads.

7. Lay off my blue suede shoesYes well you knew somewhere there would be an Elvis USB dancer didn't you? The Everything USB Website says: "The USB Rock Star looks enough like Elvis to appeal to fans and enough not like Elvis to skirt licensing requirements, but he will rock your cubicle like a hurricane. If you truly want to get back at your coworkers, plug the USB Rock Star into your systems USB port and crank up the Britney Spears."

8. The USB Hot PlateWell we're on to more practical items here. The USB Hot Plate device plugs straight into your PC's USB port to create a heated coaster for your cup or mug. It also doubles up as a 4-port USB hub, meaning you won't have to disconnect anything vital to plug it in, and you can keep your USB Humping Dog connected all the while.

9. The USB FridgeLook if you have a need to keep something hot, you'll likely need to keep something cold as well. While a beer would be cool, most offices frown on workers having quick access to beer so , stick a Diet Coke in there and be happy. For $33 USB Mini Fridge coolness can be yours.

10. The Burning LightWell, this one seems down right boring compared to some of the others on this list. The USB Light glows five different levels of brightness depending on how fast you are typing.

11. USB Heated G-Gloves Sometime here in the Layer 8 offices it feels like we are in a giant meat locker. Well, these things would do the trick if we could deal with the colors. "USB G-Gloves are colorful, fashionable and have a warming pad inside! Plug them into your USB ports and your hands will become toasty warm. Open-end design allows easy finger mobility. Defrost your hands while gaming, typing and using the mouse." For $23 you too can have happy typing fingers.

12. The USB Disco Ball You can now have that Studio 54 feel right on your desktop. When switched on, the USB Disco Ball rotates, and lights up the internal lamp. The colored lenses of the ball project dots of light onto your desk and nearby walls and other objects, giving you that sweet club look.

13. USB Mini Aquarium Not really sure you'll want this small tank of fishwater next to your PC's power unit but hey. It could be dangerous and like I said before, we're all about danger. Here we have jellyfish and fish lazily swimming around their own little pond. Just add water to the tank, connect the cable to your computer, and enjoy the aquarium. A small motor generates a water current, encouraging the fish to gently swim about the tank. Jaws not included.

14. USB Fan In case the aforementioned air conditioning at your place is broken, try this snappy USB fan. The USB powered mini fan is made from chrome finished metal, and the swan neck is very flexible. The long life motor has been designed for low noise and a low power drain to make sure the fan will work with any USB port, PC or Mac, says this site.

15. The USB Christmas TreeThis one is seasonal but we kinda like it all year ‘round. It's the USB Xmas tree! Put one on your desk and another on your monitor and let the glowing LEDs shine bright. Simply plug into any USB port and the LEDs will cycle through 6 colors, stopping on each color for about 5 seconds. Transitions through Red, Blue, Green, Purple, White and light Blue. What more could you want?

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