The year 2008 saw the introduction of some of the most exciting fictional gadgets of all time, some of which had great but short-lived success, and others that will continue to dominate the industry for years to come.
Though no longer on the market, the LoanMaker-2008 Subprime will never be forgotten. Sold for just $49.99 on late night TV, anyone could just enter their names and point it at a house. Within minutes the LoanMaker would generate a qualifying income number, upload the data to a broker and fund a mortgage, enabling hundreds of thousands to afford their first, second or tenth speculative home.
Few individuals keep proper track of their health records, but help arrived in the form of the MacIsBack-72. This portable device with USB attachment could plug into any computer, download and digest thousands of pages of medical records from doctors, hospitals and insurance companies, and encrypt them in a form that was both secure and irretrievable. A small LED on the device displayed current health status: green indicating “fit to be president”, and red indicating “fit to be president”.
One normally doesn’t think of a gadget as a solution to depression and mental health issues, but the Obaminator-08 proved more effective than “The Secret” or any other self-help book. The device was activated by entering a small $5 donation into a slot. This triggered a lyrical and eloquent cadence from the gadget’s built-in speakers that quickly induced a trance during which individuals stared at CNN while chanting “Yes we can” for several hours. This was followed by a flurry of community organizing and a dramatic improvement in spirit and mental health. The manufacturer has not yet announced plans for an upgrade in 2012.
The Palinator Automatic Gift Registry gadget saw wide use in high end stores. Unlike other devices that actually require you to go to the store and select items, the Palinator, using a built in and proprietary algorithm, chooses gifts for you. Not only are they entered in the registry, but they are automatically bought and shipped. Options for payment include “I promise to return them”, “I don’t know who paid for them” and “I can see Russia from my living room”.
The Paulson Money Tree has become a bestseller late in the season, and no surprise there. Who would have known that your parents’ old complaint that “money doesn’t grow on trees” would turn out to be so wrong? Operation turns out to be remarkably simple: set the Money Tree down and scare it. Within minutes large sums of money start appearing out of nowhere. With settings starting at tens of billions and running up to the trillions, the Paulson Money Tree is a sure winner this holiday season. Early reports of side-effects (such as the sudden collapse of all banks within a 10 mile radius of the gadget) have been dismissed by the manufacturer as irrelevant.
Looking for non-fictional gadgets? Check out:
2008 gadget of the year
The ultimate guide to the geek gift guides
Top five gifts for people you hate.
Top five gifts for kids that might change their lives.
Top five gifts for the unemployed.
Top five gifts that are really green.
Top 5 less expensive off-brand alternatives to name brand gadgets.
Top 5 gifts for a healthy new year.
Top 5 toys for future inventors