The smartest part of our body isn’t the brain. You might think those few pounds of grey fat are the bee’s knees — despite that being anatomically inaccurate, and the wrong species — but it’s our hands that make us the dominant species. All the intellect in the world won’t help you without the ability to affect the world (just look at how many times glowing energy spheres of pure mind were beaten by Captain Kirk).
We use our hands to make the tools, and use the tools to change the world. But why not change our hands while we’re at it? We’ve found six seriously smart systems for upgrading your opposable thumbs. Whether you’re working around the home, surviving the office jungle, or just want a gift for the man who was everything Black & Decker ever made, we’ve got the gadgets, grips, and gimme-that’s for you!
1. The Magnogrip
The Magnogrip is a masterpiece of invention, satisfying that smartest of conditions: you don’t just think “That’s cool” but “Damnit, I should have thought of that!”
A comfortable magnetic wristband holds nuts, bolts, nails, and screws while your hands are busy doing things that need those. The sort of thing that goes from unheard of to indispensable in one use. Never more will you lose the last screw inside the furniture you’re building, and even better, you now know exactly what you’re getting any DIY guy for his next birthday.
2. The Wristwriter
Another essential for anyone who works with their hands. A phrase so essential, so satisfying, that many of us now do such things for fun even in a world where we can earn a living without even standing up.
The Wristwriter banishes scraps of paper from your sight, which is good, because those things have no place in a smart life. A piece of paper covered in numbers: there hasn’t been such a combination of essential and easily lost since the Ancient Peoples of Narnia wove their constitution into a sock before laundry day. Not that you need such ridiculous tales to convince you of how useful this gadget is.
3. Bluetooth Alert Watch
At the other end of the informational spectrum is the Bluetooth Bracelet.
Already a stylishly minimalist watch, the bracelet silently vibrates to alert you to incoming calls and flashes the number up on the screen. This lets you screen incoming numbers and interrupt what you’re doing only for someone who’s worth it. Because taking out your phone tells whoever’s talking to you that even the chance of talking to someone else is worth more than they are. This is not a good message.
4. Survival Bracelet
While the Bluetooth Bracelet helps you survive meetings, the SurvivalStraps Survival Bracelet is your friend where “survival” isn’t a metaphor. That’s probably why they say the word twice in their own name.
The conveniently wrapped cord unravels into fourteen feet of 550lb tested paracord. And if you don’t know how useful four yards of rope can be, you’ve never been outside or useful yourself. The company even offer a survival guarantee — if you use your rope to save a life, they’ll give you a new one for free. And that’s already happened!
Agloves are far cleverer than they look, even the title. Ag stands for silver, conductive threads woven through the fabric to fool capacitative touchscreens into thinking you’re freezing your fingers off in a pagan winter sacrifice to your smartphone gods. Or at least, that’s why we think they don’t normally work in winter.
They might not seem so smart now, what with the summer and all, but the next time you find yourself turning blue because you just had to check Facebook at the bus stop, you’ll remember this. You’re welcome.
6. LED Gloves
The torch: light in the darkness, the embodiment of handy technology, electricity and vision in the palm of your hand, and stupid. What’s the point in being able to see if it prevents you from doing anything about it because your hands are full? Step (or rather, handstand) forward the Multi-Task Gloves with mini LED torches.
LEDs which actually point at what you’re doing. We have no idea why this did not happen earlier, but can’t criticize the rest of the world for not delivering because we’re too busy kicking ourselves for not thinking of (and marketing and wonderfully profiting from) it.
Image credit: EricHood / iStockphoto