Very versatile: The many faces of multipurpose gadgets

The Crovel: It’s half crowbar, half shovel.

(Credit: Gear Up Center)

Ever notice how none of the modern tools we use these days has a dedicated purpose anymore? From cell phones to smartwatches, everything has a camera, apps, and a million other extra functions.

That multipurpose icon, the century-old Swiss Army Knife (now with USB drive), has had a profound impact on how we conceive of and use tools.

But there’s often a tradeoff between function and quality. “You won’t find professional photographers using Android phones to take wedding pictures,” design consultant Dan Saffer noted in the Wall Street Journal. “The advanced features of a professional-grade camera outweigh the inconvenience of carrying it around.”

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