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Requested in Home & Garden by a contributor
edited by Dreamer


13 Ideas

+2 votes
Hammock Rockers

This would simply be a pendulum on a box that you attached to one end of the hammock. The rechargeable battery in the box would swing the pendulum back and forth, gently rocking you.
Shared by a contributor

+2 votes
Solar Mailboxes

Available only in select locales (those with a lot of sun).

There are several problems with the mailboxes in our area:

1. People sometimes steal the mail out of them to aid in identity theft.

2. Vandals sometimes use them for baseball practice.

3. Mailmen skip them because a car is parked too near the box and they'd have to get out of their truck to reach it.

A new invention of an in-ground, solar-powered mailbox would solve these problems. When the box was at rest it would be completely underground with only its top visible and flush with the ground. As the mailman's truck came down the street an encrypted signal would automatically be sent out from the front of the truck (much like a garage door opener) that would cause the box to ascend on a telescopic pole until it reached arm height. At that level another pole built into the base of the box would telescope streetwards a couple of feet, putting it within easy reach of the mailman (a sensor would stop it a few inches away from any obstruction that it might encounter, like a parked car). After the mail was put in the box another signal sent from the back of the truck would retract the box and send it back into its hole. Logic would be built into the system to make sure the lid was completely closed and prevent the descent if it wasn't (to keep rain water out). When the homeowner wanted to get the mail they'd click their beeper (similar to garage door opener again) and the box would rise up for them to get it (the box would also have a lid opposite the street side for mail retrieval so they wouldn't have to step out into the street to get it). A second click from the beeper would send the box back into its hole again.

Advantages:

1. It would be a lot harder and more obvious when someone was trying to steal your mail.

2. Mail could be delivered easier because the mailman wouldn't have to do so much reaching (cutting down on workmen's comp claims).

3. There would be nothing above ground for vandals to hit so homeowners wouldn't have to keep buying new mailboxes.

4. Homeowners would get their mail more often when cars were parked too close to the box (but not directly in front of it) because the box would come out to meet the mailman.
Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
+1 vote
Fire Free Zone

Every year large fires break out in the western US. These usually consume several multi-million dollar houses, especially when they hit southern California. It seems like the rich might be willing to pay for a fire protection service that would drop fire-retardant chemicals all around their neighborhood (via helicopter) well before the fire arrives. This would give them a level of protection that's not available today. Although the wealthy are covered by insurance, a fast-moving fire can quickly consume family heirlooms along with everything else in their houses. The same sort of protection might also be affordable to those who belong to a homeowners association.

Down the road some municipalities might want to start stockpiling these fire-retardant chemicals ahead of time the same way salt is stored by cities that get hit by snowstorms. It seems like it would be a valuable public service.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
Dam Toilets

I think I'd be willing to pay about 25 bucks for a disposable stylish Mae West kind of lifejacket that you could wrap around the bottom of a toilet at home so when it started to overflow you'd just pull a tab and a trough would inflate to catch the water while you're trying to get it shut off. That would save a lot of mopping up and occasional carpet damage.

Businesses might also be interested in a high end model that had a small electric pump attached to the back of it (like those that are used to inflate inner tubes and air mattresses). With the pump neatly hidden behind the toilet normally, you'd pull the tab to inflate the tube during an emergency, plug in the pump, and extend a collapsible hose that could steer the overflow from the trough to the nearest available receptacle. That would have to be much cheaper than dealing with the damage caused by an overflow from a toilet on the 2nd or 3rd story of a building.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
Soft Door Shell

Let the solicitors knock as much as they want.

Adding vinyl padding to a line of specialty doors would keep you from having to get up and answer the door only to find a solicitor there waiting to bother you. The padded door would make their knocking useless.

Of course they'd try to get around this by ringing the doorbell, which is where the new Friend-or-Foe doorbell would come in. Using fingerprint-recognition technology, this doorbell would remember prints you'd told it to save in its memory as friends. The bell would ring whenever they pressed it. The bell wouldn't do anything when a solicitor pressed it.

We'd have to have a backup system for colder climates though, where your friends wouldn't want to take off their gloves to ring the bell. This is where the Doormat Stomper would come in. It could be set to respond to a number of stomps. Your friends would be given that number, solicitors wouldn't. If the doormat sensed the set number of stomps it would send a signal to the doorbell, triggering a ring.
Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
0 votes
A Breath of Fresh Air

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
 
One of the smarter companies that make air conditioners should come up with a model that has a carbon monoxide detector built into it. That way in addition to just sounding an alarm it could start pumping fresh air into the house. Even if this happened in winter, when it's most likely to occur, getting a little cold in exchange for loosing a bit of grogginess would be worth the trade.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
Roach Recorder

So you'll know what's going on behind closed doors.

This would be an indoor motion detector designed to pick up movements from miniature objects in rooms. A red light would come on and stay on until you hit the reset button. It would also have a playback camera so you could see what motion was picked up. The objective would be to let you know if there's one roach running around at night in your bathroom or a hundred. It would be nice to know there's a spider in your towel before you pick it up too.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes

Window Sharing


Change neighborhoods with the flick of a switch.


These windows would show you what you normally see outside in normal mode. In shared mode though you could pick a house anywhere on a world map and the scene outside your window would immediately change to whatever's outside the house you chose (directionally mapped and frame-adjusted so it makes sense). The technology for doing this could easily be adapted from that used in the invisibility cloak.

Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
0 votes
A great cleaning solution for silverware and ornaments is toothpaste believe it or not.
Shared by Sumanex (760 points)
0 votes
You can make your candles last a lot longer if you put them in the freezer for 3+ hrs before you light them.
Shared by geoiss2001 (600 points)
0 votes
If you've got mosquito probs going on in the bedroom or wherever you can put a few camphor tablets in a cup of water and keep it next to the bed.
Shared by geoiss2001 (600 points)
0 votes
Create external mirror walls to reflect sunlight into dim rooms in houses and offices.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
I haven't tried this but apparently if a ballpoint pen stops working there's still some ink left in it and it'll work if you heat it with a lighter.
Shared by a contributor

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