YOU KNOW HOW sometimes you get home from a night out with pockets full of crap? Flyers, £74 in loose change (if you're lucky), sugar sachets from your Macdonald's coffee?
At The INQUIRER we're finding more and more that it's tiny tech that's in the pile. So exactly how much diminutive gadgetry are we carrying around with us at one time? Here's our guide to tiny tech, based on what we scraped out of the INQ jeans (it's true, we all share one pair) after a night in the pub.
DISCLAIMER: This is (mostly) genuinely the contents of our pockets although, as they say on Storage Hunters, "scenes may have been enhanced for your entertainment". Newer versions of these items might be available too.
So easily forgotten, keys are going to see a revolution over the next few years, in many cases becoming obsolete. Already products like smart doorbell Doorbird have an option for a Bluetooth lock while Noke is the first padlock to use Bluetooth, so you don't have to carry keys on your bike or at the gym.
If you lose them a lot, there are a few options. We like Nut for its tiny form factor and how, unlike earlier Bluetooth trackers, it can tell you where it was last in contact with your phone. Trackr takes it one stage further. By triangulating the position of your dongle against those of other Trackr users, it can find where your item is, even if you've lost contact with it. This also makes it great for pets, but they don't fit in your pocket, generally.
It's all change for money as we move into an era of virtual currency. First there was the Oyster card, and now all the major banks offer contactless payment cards. There are a few doing something a bit different. PayPal's Access Card is a prepaid Mastercard that takes from your PayPal balance. It won't withdraw from your bank automatically, though, so make sure you've enough in your account.
Monese is an entirely app-based bank account. No branches, no addresses. It's had a few early glitches but it's looking like something that might be worth considering. Or if you're jealous of your friends with Apple Pay, what about BPay from Barclaycard? Again a prepaid card, but this one can be a wristband, a keyring or a sticker which you stick to the back of your phone case.
Now we don't condone smoking here, so we'll keep this brief. If you want a high tech approach to smoking with no nicotine or tar, you could look at Kanavape. It's a hemp e-cigarette with none of the nasties of tobacco and none of the complete brain meltdown of illegal drugs. It's completely legal and we're counting it because it charges by USB and goes in your pocket.
We're not going to get too embroiled in mobile phones here. Of course. they're in your pocket, but there's way too much to cover. But there are some things that are becoming essential, at least if you believe the pocket contents emptied onto the sideboard.
First, of course, there's spare battery packs. There are so many of these it's ridiculous and we're not going to mention the one we had because we can't find the website for it.
Our advice on these is check the capacity and make sure it's not too big or too small. If someone tells you they've made a 20,000mAh charger that fits in your pocket, they are probably lying. At the moment, the tech is such that those capacities will actually start to discharge themselves too quickly. That's generally how 'hoverboards' catch fire.
Also worth mentioning is that chargers sometimes come in the weirdest of forms like the SEYVR, a perfect night-out wallet with a built-in USB port and enough power to get your phone running long enough to call a taxi.
Oh yes, and a must for any jeans pocket is the Wavewall phone case. It actually blocks harmful radiation that could make your baby-makers not do their job properly. Because science.
If you're not content with your phone camera, there's a load of options. At a basic level, there's things like the Olloclip, which offers a range of clip on lenses for your iPhone such as fisheye, wide and even microscope. Similar devices are available for other phones too.
But If you really want to go for it, you need an action camera. They go from the cheap and cheerful end like the Bladefish that has an underwater case, which actually broke in our pocket, or at the other end of the spectrum the gorgeous GoPro 4 Session, a fully functioning virtually bombproof HD action cam that's barely bigger than a box of matches. The results we've had with this have been phenomenal, and we love that you can watch the output from your phone, even if the camera is slightly further away (cough ... selfie stick). The fact that these have now become so small is mind boggling.
As we enter the era of USB Type-C, drives are getting so small that you can easily stick them in your pocket and forget about them. And probably put them through the wash as we did with the Kingston DTMicroDuo 3C which has a USB 3.0 at one end, a USB Type-C port at the other and nowt in between. And yes, it survived the wash. Twice.
As security moves further up the agenda, we're never without a Yubikey, which is a small USB device that protects accounts such as Google, Dropbox and WordPress because it won't let you in without the dongle inserted. Great for public computers. It supports the FIDO standard, so expect to see even more big sites adding support.
OK we cheated on this one slightly because we didn't believe that we could get a decent sound out of a pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker. But we put the word out and Jam Audio answered the call, with not one but two pint-sized party starters.
The Jam Titanium is our favourite, made of solid metal, packing a massive punch and yet small enough to fit in a breast pocket without spoiling the lining of a suit. It even has hands-free features so you can have an impromptu conference call, if you're not down with the tunes.
The Jam Classic, meanwhile, comes in a range of colours, and actually comes in a jam jar. This one might challenge the whole pocket idea, but if you're wearing a baggy coat, I guess you could fit it in. I did say we cheated for this category.
iClever has just launched these rather lovely Bluetooth earbuds which cache long enough that your music won't jump and, much to our surprise, it even reads the phone number out to you if the phone rings. Sound quality is amazing too at under thirty quid.
Other random stuff
We're not done. What about the Integral Selfie Button which acts as a remote shutter for your phone camera? It doesn't even need an app. We've been carrying one around for months and are yet to have cause to use it but you might have an idea. A more flexible button is the Flic, which uses your phone and IFTTT to do just about anything you want it to. Different patterns of click have different actions which you set up with an app, but you could do anything from turn your heating on, on the way home, to post a tweet.
And finally, how could we forget the humble MiFi dongle? 4G wherever you are without faffing about in your phone settings. Ours is a Huawei 4G job from Three (model's own) and does a fine job.
And not forgetting ...
Some fluff, a receipt for four pints of milk, a Yop Raspberry Yoghurt and some raspberries, a flyer for somewhere far too hip for us that we were kind of flattered to have been offered, and 72p in change, which isn't enough to do anything with in this day and age. And a bit of cable, but we can't remember what it belongs to. µ
Oh and it'll also help give aural pleasure
But it might still not be enough to make virtual reality super appealing
And a ridiculous competition
Now you can talk to your silly-looking earbuds too