The 3.5mm jack on your iPhone is lovingly referred to as the "headphone jack," because that's what the overwhelming majority of us use it for. But the diminutive port has other uses as well, and there are some pretty crazy things you can do with it. Here are some of the strangest accessories that can be plugged into that otherwise unremarkable hole on your iPhone.
An infrared BBQ thermometer
Infrared thermometers let you measure the temp of an object without ever actually touching it, and this handy version plugs right into your iPhone. Along with its companion app, the thermometer can measure temps up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit, making it perfect as a BBQ companion. The app even comes with a special temp gauge showing you the safe cooking temp for a wide variety of meats.
A laser pointer
There are few things more perplexingly entertaining than playing around with a laser pointer, and with the X-Pointer, you can turn your iPhone into one as well. After plugging the device into the audio jack, the X-Presenter app controls the function of the pointer. If you have a cat, you probably need one of these.
A Geiger counter
Ok, so you probably don't need to measure the radiation in your home or work on a regular basis, but it's somewhat comforting to know that if you need one, the iXR2012 Personal Radiation Meter exists. The device plugs into the your iPhone and fits to the back of the device. The companion app uses data from the accessory to display radiation readings in real time. Wow.
A smart thermometer
As we reported last week, the Kinsa thermometer is on its way to measure your temp and diagnose your illness. The device is designed to be appealing to youngsters and take the anxiety out of getting their temperature taken, and its powerful companion app can help adults discover what bugs are going around.
A cat and a Starbucks latte
These tiny plug "charms" don't really do anything, but there's no denying that they're downright adorable. Their main purpose is to keep your audio jack free of dust and other pocket debris, but whether you prefer a bit of java or a cuddly feline, they're definitely eye-catching at the same time.
[Header image credit: Yutaka Tsutano]