Hi, my name is Ken and I'm a recovering technology addict. I have owned many types of gadgets over the years and some of them still work, even though many of them are sadly obsolete. My taste for technology has matured over the years and I now have much more self-control when I make a new technology find; I can ward off the impulse demons from my pocketbook most of the time.

In my current state of technology addiction I am more discriminating, and I am much less likely to make a gadget purchase if it isn't something I'm sure I'll use at least once per week. This is a much more sensible (and economical) approach. However, this line of thinking has me wondering what exactly constitutes a gadget, so I'm going to take a stab at defining the properties and qualities of a gadget:

1) A gadget usually requires electricity. (Some very cool gadgets also make use of magnets, which probably involve electrical activity at some nano level by a solid-state physicist's definition).

2) A good gadget never costs less than $5 and often costs 1-2 orders of magnitude more.

3) A gadget is always portable and can be carried in a pocket or backpack. A helicopter, for example, cannot be a gadget, even though it uses electricity, costs more than $5, and is portable from a certain perspective.

4) A gadget is self-contained (i.e., it doesn't necessarily depend on another gadget to function).

5) A gadget can operate from battery power. This doesn't mean that all gadgets use DC power, but all true gadgets can.

6) Gadgets require input, usually from a human. This can be kinetic, sound pressure-based, or photo-based.

7) Gadgets always include some form of metal.

8) Gadgets have a focused purpose, or are good at doing only a few things at most.

 

I'm sure I'll think of more rules of gadgets later, but this is a fair start.