Of course, gadgets are really cool on the inside, because science. The outside, though? Well, often, that could use a lot of work.
Over the years, we’ve seen more black and silver boxes than anyone should in a lifetime. Sometimes, they're grey. For some reason, the industry decided back in the 70s that electronics should be boring. Oh sure, you occasionally get a splash of color.
But, now, a few manufacturers have begun putting high-tech features into unbelievably cute packages.
So we rounded up some products that put the “fun” into “functional” this year. Looking for something high-tech to cuddle with? Check out 12 of the most adorable gadgets we saw in 2016. Here's hoping that 2017 will be half as cute as this.
1. Wireless Bluetooth Cat Headphones
This kitty is ready to rock! These Wireless Cat Headphones ($139.99) have 40mm drivers, a frequency response of 20hz-20kHz, and Bluetooth for streaming music wirelessly from any smartphone, tablet, or computer.
First and foremost, though: They're cat ears. And they can actually change colors to match your mood or outfit. However, they aren’t just a fashion statement. Those kitty ears are also speakers, so you can blast out sound while you’re out on the prowl.
2. Dual Heart iPhone Charging Cable
Give something better than your heart. Instead, give your undying power!
The Kikkerland Dual Heart iPhone Charging Cable ($15) allows you to split that power source with someone special. This charger has two lightning connectors that are joined by a cute little heart. The other end is a single cable with a USB port that can plug into a computer or wall adapter.
3. WonderWoof Bowtie
Everyone could use a little more exercise. We can track how much activity you’re getting using a variety of different wristbands, but what about the four-legged members of the family?
There are activity trackers for dogs, but the WonderWoof Bowtie ($95) is certainly the most stylish. Available in seven different colors, this cute little accessory attaches to your dog’s collar. It also allows you to check out your pet’s activity in real-time through the WonderWoof app, as well as tap into a social network so you can meet up with other dog lovers in your area.
4. Jack Rabbit Headphone Splitter
This wascally wabbit doesn’t split power, but allows you to share music in a really cute way.
Instead of hoarding music to yourself, the Jack Rabbit Headphone Splitter ($12) can share those tunes with a second set of headphones. Just plug each set of headphones into the rabbit’s ears and enjoy. Even more adorable, it will ensure that you’re tethered to the other user.
5. Rockin’ Knit Speaker
There’s no monkeying around here. This Rockin’ Knit Speaker ($39.99) can actually deliver great sound from any portable device.
It's not wireless, but this funky monkey uses three AA batteries and the attached 6.3mm jack to connect to any iPhone or other music device. If that source is small enough, it can even nestle right in the monkey’s front pocket while it plays the tunes.
6. Yeti USB Hand Warmers
Wearing mittens at home or the office doesn’t make everyday tasks all that easy. You probably won’t be able to chop, write, or even use the remote. And don’t even get me started on typing on a phone or computer.
However, the yeti seem to do just fine. You would probably do fine too with these Yeti USB Hand Warmers ($22.75). Perfect for the perpetually cold person, they can warm up chilly mitts continuously throughout the day, without making things clumsy. Just attach the cable to your computer and you’ll have toasty digits in minutes.
7. Acorn Speaker
Tree huggers and nature lovers will go nuts for this portable speaker!
The EC Technology Mini Wooden Bluetooth Speaker ($24.99) packs a 3-watt output and a frequency response of 280HZ-16KHz into a super-cute design. It even has Bluetooth and a built-in rechargeable battery for up to 8 hours of playtime, which makes it perfect for taking out into nature or just camping out in your living room.
8. Danboard Portable Battery
This little guy isn't sad. He's actually just very serious about providing power to all sorts of portable devices.
That’s because the Danboard Portable Battery ($39.99) can pack in enough juice to charge up an iPhone 6 up to three and a half times. Inspired by the Danbo cardboard robot, the battery weighs about half a pound and has a high capacity (10400mAh). It also comes in seven "flavors," including strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, banana, pumpkin, mint, and matcha.
9. Cat Activity Tracker
Most cat owners wouldn’t dream of taking their favorite feline for a walk. However, this kitty actually encourages it.
The Kate Spade Cat Activity Tracker ($98) acts like a lot of the activity trackers out there, counting steps, monitoring sleep, and cheering on personal goals. It certainly doesn’t look like the typical tracker though, thanks to a super-cute, scalloped cat face. Other features include light notifications, music control, and the option to take selfies.
10. Action Cube Camera
It doesn’t have a face like some of the other entries on our list, but this is one cute little companion.
The Polaroid Action Cube Camera ($59.99) measures a mere 35mm. That’s enough to hold a microSD card (up to 32GB), shoot 1080p video, and pack in a battery that can capture up to 90 minutes of adventures at a time. It’s also splash- and shock-resistant, as well as mountable, so it can sneak a ride on your bike, skateboard, or even a helmet.
11. Unihorne Portable Charger
This little pony is packed with magical powers—or at least electrical powers.
The WattzUp Power Unihorne Charger ($39.99) is a portable charger shaped like a colorful little unicorn. This pony pal isn’t just cute, but has a 2,600 mAh battery capacity so it can provide up to 75 hours of power anywhere you roam. It works with all sorts of smartphones, GoPros, gaming devices, and pretty much everything else with a USB port.
12. Hello Kitty Instax Mini Camera
In case you don’t find the standard Instax Mini to be cute enough, Fuji has created the Hello Kitty Instax Mini ($96).
Like all Instax Mini cameras, this one uses special film, so it can produce pictures on the fly. It features a built-in flash, a lens aperture of f/12.7, a minimum focal length of 60mm, and a mirror for taking selfies. It’s also virtually impossible not to have smiling subjects, since the camera is so darn cute!