Why this “useless” technology is a must-buy for your kids

Tue, 07/17/2012 - 2:32pm
Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor

When I say a particular piece of technology is useless, I usually mean it fails to serves a tangible purpose in a smart and efficient way. Either it’s overly complicated or too expensive to justify the time it will save you. In some cases, the pure stupidity of the device makes me want to bang my head against a desk for a while.

 But sometimes, you have to step back and admire the sheer beauty of a simplistic, seemingly pointless piece of technology.

Introducing the Useless Box Kit.


Once assembled, the Useless Box appears as a basic acrylic box with a toggle on/off switch. When you flip the switch to the “on” position, a metal “finger” comes out of the box and turns the switch to “off.”   Be forewarned, it has the ability to hypnotize you with its mindless, repetitive simplicity.

All kidding aside, products like this can serve as a simple, but fun introduction to basic mechanics for beginners, particularly kids, who can now proudly announce the did something –sort of—productive this summer.

The Useless Box is sold as an electronics kit—it comes in about 50 pieces—so it’s a great introduction to basic soldering and screwdriver skills. At the very least, it can prep them for a lifetime of assembling IKEA products, and at most, it might inspire them to look into mechanics or engineering. By offering a behind-the-scenes look at how something mechanical is assembled, you might introduce a new hobby or a lifelong love.

They can personalize the final product with whatever accoutrement they want, so it encourages kids to think both logically to assemble to box and creatively to make it their own.

The kit retails for about $39.99.



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