Picked up a calculator at the dollar store a few days ago, and its red color inspired me to draw up this design. I’m surprised Texas Instruments doesn’t already offer this, because the Speak & Spell toy is an 80’s icon.
For a more conventional layout I placed a solar panel where the original Speak & Spell display used to be. The new display fills up what used to be the handle.
A few years ago Intel released the Compute Stick, a small computer that was about the size of a USB thumb drive or a pack of gum. I thought it was pretty neat to have a desktop PC in such a compact form.
If it were up to me, a new version would look like the old Pentium 2 or Pentium 3 chips, which had an appearance similar to a video game cartridge. This new Compute Stick would be larger, roughly the same size as the aforementioned Pentium chips.
The holographic sticker would serve as the power button. An array of ports would be available on both sides.
I’m not a fan of the original Compute Stick’s HDMI connector, which had the computer plug directly into a display (like a Roku or Amazon Fire stick). This can be a problem if the HDMI port on the display is difficult to access or is flush against the wall. I prefer an HDMI cable between the computer and display, which makes the power button easier to access.
External GPU cases have been around for a few years. You take a desktop graphics card, stuff it into one of these cases, then plug it into a laptop for a performance boost in graphics. Ideal for turning a sluggish laptop into a gaming laptop.
One design idea for such a case is the Ghostbusters ghost trap. Not only would it be life-size, but it could store 2 graphics cards (I don’t think external GPU cases can juggle multiple cards just yet). Also NVIDIA cards have LED logos on the side, so they can emit a ghost green light as well, perfect for a ghost trap.
By the POWER of Grayskull! I’ve been wanting to design a gadget based on Castle Grayskull for several years, along the lines of a USB Hub or Car Charger. I decided to go with a power bar design based on He-Man’s sword because it would be life-size and more functional. Plus there are no geeky power bars in existence.
There’s room for more outlets and USB ports if the red switch was removed and made into a remote switch (like this old design). The power cable extends from the end of the hilt.
If the sword could power-up Prince Adam and Cringer, why didn’t He-Man point it at his allies to help their abilities as well? Hey Man-At-Arms, you are now a walking tank. Orko, you are now a powerful sorcerer. Seems kinda selfish if you ask me.
This is a design solution for people who seldom use their home printers, and when they do it’s usually for black-and-white documents: a retro keyboard that conceals a portable printer. This design was born out of pure hatred for my bulky high-maintenance inkjet printer. Some of you might relate.
Continue reading ➞ Retro Keyboard With Printer
This past week a company called Basic Fun released a handheld version of The Oregon Trail, an educational PC game from the 80’s. I’d like to see the first SimCity (1989) get the same treatment, mostly because that was my PC game from the era.
Of course I gotta be cheeky and make a design that is based on the game’s box art. My design is in keeping with Basic Fun’s Oregon Trail handheld, but if they want to add a bunch of dials and displays like the aforementioned box art, that would be pretty cool too.
Continue reading ➞ SimCity Handheld Device
I’m sure millions of folks have already thought “I would prefer to say ‘Computer’ instead of Alexa or Siri!”, and I am one of those people. I’m pretty sure Apple and Amazon have felt the same way, because their personal assistant devices appear to be inspired by Star Trek.
Obviously it’s not an original idea, but I feel such a device should look like a communicator, and would feature an amber-colored LED light instead of a blue one. It would still feature the same voice as Siri or Alexa, but could also play Sound FX from Star Trek like energizing, red alert, communicator presses, and so on.
I could also see this being paired up with Bluetooth Star Trek badge communicators that people could wear or keep on their person, to interact with the assistant remotely with just a press of the badge. Would also be helpful to find other badge wearers: “Computer, where is my kid?”