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What Are the Different Types of Mini Gadgets?

By Patti Kate
Updated Jan 30, 2024
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Mini gadgets may refer to any small technology tools, many of which are electronic and made for personal use. A mini surveillance camera may be portable and small enough to conceal in an inconspicuous place. A battery-powered portable mini fan secured to a lanyard and worn around the neck is made to offer cooling when a person is not near an electrical outlet. A global positioning system (GPS) device may be offered in a mini size and is useful for mapping information when traveling. Mini gadgets are also created for self defense, and one such device is called a hand-held stun gun, which is meant to incapacitate an attacker.

A hand-held mini gadget known as a keychain digital video recorder (DVR) will record video, yet this covert device looks like a simple car remote control. This device has a digital recorder and hidden camera and is often used as a spy camera or surveillance gadget. Most styles of keychain DVRs can play back recorded video through universal serial bus (USB) connections on a computer.

A DVR that looks like an ordinary wristwatch is another type of covert video recording device. The wristwatch will typically come with a fixed amount of internal memory for recording video, and will play back recordings through a computer's USB connection. Most of these function as a wristwatch as well.

Tools for covert surveillance may also include a Bluetooth® earpiece digital video recorder. This device resembles an ordinary Bluetooth® earpiece, yet it captures both audio and video. Some devices also take still photos.

Many mini gadgets are created to be helpful household products. A strawberry stem remover is small enough to fit in the palm of the hand and easily removes stems from berries. These mini kitchen gadgets are typically dishwasher safe and inexpensive. Mini garlic choppers are another type of small kitchen tool.

One common type of mini gadget many people own is a wireless mouse. The wireless mouse controller does not need to be connected to the computer, allowing more freedom for the user. Many laptop computer owners prefer to use a wireless mouse rather than the built-in track pad with which laptops come equipped.

Mini gadgets are often sold as novelty gift items. Hand-held mini vacuums for cleaning computer keyboards are popular gift items. Not all novelty mini gadgets are created for adults, however. Many mini gadgets are novelty toys for children, including bobble-head figures that function as calculators.

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Discussion Comments

By everetra — On Jan 22, 2012

@SkyWhisperer - There will be no end to the proliferation of high tech gadgets of every stripe from what I can tell. The reason is simple. Advances in technology mean that devices will keep getting smaller and smaller.

The wristwatch video recorder used to be a Dick Tracy fantasy years ago. Now, it’s a reality and people barely yawn at the idea – because small video recorders are everywhere, not just in the “mini” category.

I think miniaturization is a good thing personally, but yes, you can kiss your privacy goodbye.

By Charred — On Jan 22, 2012

@MrMoody - I don’t know anything about spy gear but I love my wireless mini mouse and keyboard! They’re awesome. They free me up so that I don’t have to worry about messy computer cables.

I have an effective wireless range of about thirty feet, although I doubt I will need that much range. You might find it handy, however, if you decide to hook up your computer monitor to your flat panel television.

I also like the fact that these devices are so small, because they consume so little battery power. I have been able to go six months or more before needing to replace the batteries on the keyboard and the mouse.

By MrMoody — On Jan 21, 2012

@SkyWhisperer - Actually, the laws are in place; it’s a question of whether or not they are enforced. Companies that sell the devices carefully state in their “fine print” that they are not to be used for illegal purposes and that you should inform people if they’re being recorded.

What’s the point of the spy camera then? The companies are just covering themselves. They know full well that most people buy the stuff for spying.

However, let’s remember that there are some practical uses too that are perfectly legal. Surveillance inside your home is one such example. You can buy security cameras that are camouflaged as desktop clocks. That is perfectly legal, I think, because it’s inside your home and it’s done for surveillance.

By SkyWhisperer — On Jan 20, 2012

Mini spy gadgets are quite popular. There are entire Internet stores that are devoted to selling these items. While I think the technology is exciting on one level, it’s also a little frightening.

Say goodbye to privacy. You’ll never know when you’re secretly being videotaped without your permission. I’ve seen executive pens sold that are actually mini video recording devices.

You could be in a meeting and someone could just lay their pen on the table and have it pointed at you. Without realizing it you’re being recorded. We simply don’t have laws in place to deal with these new technologies in my opinion.

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