Luckily for d, gadgets do not have to be limited to things that play music or store photos. A gadget for me is anything that displays cleverness with respect to its function: double points if the gadget itself gives you more insight into the nature of the function. Thus, my latest 'gadget' is a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Why is d lucky? Because I consider the Dyson a gadget, it provides as much entertainment as using an iPod, much in the same way some might consider the weather channel on the Wii a game.
My aunt and uncle showed me their Dyson vacuum cleaner a couple years back and I've wanted one ever since. It feels like a vacuum cleaner designed by someone who really, really likes vacuuming. There's no height adjuster, just a simple switch you can hit with your foot to raise or lower the brushes. It also has a wand with extra long reach that you remove from the Dyson like Excalibur.
The best feature, though, is a clear bay in front in which you can watch the collected spin round and round, growing into a larger and larger gray-black Hedora monster. When it fills up, which actually happens frightfully quick, a simple switch detaches the bay from the vacuum cleaner. Your role then switches from vacuumer to hazardous waste disposal. You carry the chamber by its handle at arms length over the trash, stick the bottom of the chamber deep into the trash where you don't have to see it, and pull the trigger.
This visibility of collection is both fun and dangerous. I like watching the dirt swirl together like a mini tornado, but this dirt swirl also makes it clear that your carpet is never clean. The first time I used it, I got it to the 'max' line in a quick spin around the apartment. The next time around was less, but I have the feeling that no matter how many times you use the Dyson, it will collect something, even if it has to rip every stray fiber from your carpet. A particularly OCD person might be compelled to vacuum every hour, which could convince your neighbors that you're on amphetamines.
My only worry with the Dyson is that like most vacuum cleaners nowadays, it is mostly made of plastic. I don't see it lasting the 20 years my Kirby vacuum cleaner did. But I guess like any good gadget, it requests that you upgrade it every couple of years.
Photo of the Dyson's first run: