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Requested in Science & Technology by a contributor
edited by Dreamer


41 Ideas

+3 votes
A cell phone with multiple SIM cards (multiple networks). Flip the switch to alternate between different networks and save money.
Shared by xyzsandesh (200 points)
the idea is good, but don't you think the phone can get chunkier for all the extra space needed.

+3 votes
Edible Ice Cream Stick

The wooden stick pokes you in the throat when you eat the bottom of a popsicle so make it edible.
Shared by jaswinder1 (200 points)
+2 votes

We could have a mechanism by which audience participation determines the storyline of a movie. Like those Choose Your Own Adventure books. Multiple versions of a movie using this technology would be filmed. At a specified time or times enabled films would pause and display a poll question (with 2 or more choices) to the audience. Moviegoers in theaters furnished with voting devices would vote on an outcome during these times. The plot developments receiving the most votes by audience members at that showing of the movie would determine which version is played during that showing.

 

For example, a film could be paused 30 minutes in and display a question on the screen such as:

  • "Should they sell the company now? (A) Yes or (B) No"
  • "Is he/she lying? (A) Yes or (B) No"
  • "Is he/she going to have an affair? (A) Yes or (B) No"
  • "Should the accused be found (A) innocent or (B) guilty by the jury?"

Contrasting versions of the movie would be filmed to accommodate all possible storylines. Various versions may be played during different showings depending on which choices receive the majority of the audience votes each time.

 

More than one poll question may be displayed during one of these films. The number of different versions:

  • 1 question, 2 possible versions
  • 2 questions, 4 possible versions
  • 3 questions, 8 possible versions
  • etc.

The technology could be embedded in DVDs as well. DVDs for these movies could have the functionality to allow viewers to determine the plot development using their remote control to input their answers to specified questions. Televisions which adopt the technology would allow these films to be controlled through the remote. If the viewer doesn't have a television with that capability a default version would be specified and shown by the TV station.

 

Statistics related to the responses of audiences for each plot question and the frequency of different versions shown in theaters could be tracked automatically. That aggregated data could be owned by the company making (and patenting?) the tech and then maybe sold for a fee to firms who want to analyze the data.

 

Surprised this hasn't been tried yet. Now someone feel free to run with it! I would love to see this in place at theaters.

 

Shared by TakeFive (8,280 points)
edited by Dreamer
The voting data would be huge too for marketing companies and the movie industry to track the public's changing preferences, essentially a never-ending free source of survey responses that could be instantaneously analyzed through the internet, so they make could better decisions on what kind of commercials, TV shows, new movies, etc. to make.
Works quite well in some Youtube videos. Search for "interactive video"
+2 votes
A gadget for coffee pot handles at work. It would show the last time a pot was brewed. Great for big companies where workers are making coffee all day long. Then you know if the coffee is freshly brewed or not.
Shared by AReelTrip (220 points)
+1 vote
Robotic Golden Retrievers

Robot dogs are coming on the market now but they don't do much of anything useful. It would be nice to have one that could store a picture of your tennis balls, baseballs, or golf balls in its memory and then retrieve them on a voice command. One of the minor irritants in playing these sports is going around and picking up the balls just to keep playing, especially when you're alone and hitting tennis balls against a practice wall or driving golf balls across an empty field. Since computers can be taught to recognize simple voice commands, you could even teach it to go left, right, or backwards in order to help it find the balls.
Shared by a contributor
+1 vote
Vibrating Collar

Oddly enough this worked.

During a particularly brutal red tide episode when you couldn't go outside for more than a minute or two without starting to cough I decided to test out one of my theories. Went outside, waited for the red tide effect to cause the tickling in the back of the throat sensation that stimulates a cough, pressed a couple of fingers up against that point on my throat and hummed to create a counter-vibration in my throat. The tickling sensation went away and no coughing occurred. Now all I need is a collar that can be switched on to mimic the humming vibration so I can sit outside without sounding like a 10-pack a day smoker when the red tide is up (that collar is what this idea calls for).
Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
+1 vote

We're just about there. Considering the rapid progress we're making in the area of miniature flying robots and the ability to control them using Bluetooth technology, it seems like we should be able to keep mosquitoes away by disguising a couple of these mini-robots as dragonflies and have them continually fly in circles around us. The flight pattern would come from the wireless control built inside the rim of the hat.

Shared by a contributor
+1 vote
Forced Sanity

For the schizophrenics we love.

A common problem with severe schizophrenia is that the people who have it stop taking their medication once it starts working. One of the reasons they do this is because as soon as they feel normal again they don't think they need it any more. In severe cases they have to be hospitalized for their own protection (and sometimes our protection in the case of paranoid schizophrenia). We could fix this problem just by combining two technologies - the ankle bracelet designed for people on house arrest and the ultrasonic patches designed for drug delivery.

The bracelet would have a 30 day supply of medication in it that would automatically be administered through the skin without needles. At the end of the 30 days the patient would come in to get the bracelet refilled. How can we be sure they'd do this since they don't refill their prescriptions now once they start feeling good? Simple - we make them feel not good after the 30 day period is over. You see, there'd be two drug chambers in the bracelet, one for whatever drug they were supposed to be getting, and one for a drug that would make them feel slightly nauseous after the 30-day period was over (once a day at random times). The discomfort they felt would be similar in intensity to morning sickness and would be enough to get them back in for a refill (in answer to the question of why we don't just give them pills and let the bracelet take over after 30 days - they'll simply toss the pills).

By creating a medicine bracelet that worked like we'd be able to let people with severe cases of schizophrenia back out on the street again without fearing for their safety or ours. Given the choice between being locked up or being let free with the bracelet on, I think the schizophrenics would opt for freedom too.
Shared by TRK (1,600 points)
+1 vote

The Gecko Fire Escape System


Polymers have been used to imitate a gecko's clinging ability. It cautioned against trying to climb a building by making a pair of gloves out of them though because the pads would wear out after a few steps, so to speak. We don't need gloves to get out of skyscrapers during a fire though, we need mats with gecko-like fibers on both sides. During a fire the mats would roll all the way down from their rooftop cases to the ground, their undersides forming a tight bond with the walls of the skyscraper as they went.


As soon as they were completely unrolled people trying to get out of the building could open the windows, release a narrow catwalk built into each windows casement (designed as either a fold-out or slide-out), walk over to the mat, and then crawl down it. Since there would be plenty of surface area available they could make sure each body part was securely attached to it before moving an arm or leg. Fire drills would have to be held ahead of time to get people used to these fire escapes. Maybe they could practice by climbing up the building.

Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
edited by Dreamer
+1 vote

The Crutch Crutch


Maybe I just live near cheap hospitals that give out primitive crutches but it doesn't seem like it would be hard or expensive to improve on the basic design.


For starters they could make it easier for you to look through your wallet (say at a checkout line or fast food counter) by having a switch in the crutch handle that, when pushed, would unfold a tripod beneath the foot of the crutch (umbrella-like) so it could stand on its own instead of sliding down the counter you rested it against. Each metal leg of the tripod would have a second piece of metal attached on its underside, forming a reverse tripod, so when you pressed another button on the handle the legs would fold right back up again.


Another improvement would be a small shock absorber on the bottom of each crutch so you'd get less of a jolt with each step. Done correctly, the stiffness of the absorber could be adjusted to the user's desired level of comfort.

Shared by a contributor
0 votes
Sometimes it seems as though everything we could possibly need has already been invented or created. However, if you think about the little problems that crop up there are still numerous ways to make everyday life just a little bit easier. As you go about your day think of solutions that could resolve those problems.

Perhaps you have heard about pollution problems and want to find a form of some existing machine that is more "environmentally sound." Maybe there's a need for a box designed to chill any food instantly by slowing down the movement of the molecules within it - flash freezing or chilling. We are always in need of cleaner renewable energy and ways to make our cars more fuel efficient. Even small innovations can lead to larger improvements years down the road, no pun intended.
Shared by a contributor
edited by TakeFive
0 votes

Grocery and Retail Store Push Carts


Carts in retail and grocery stores have a seat for a child to sit in. As the parent is pushing the cart the child is always facing the parent.


The seat should be re-designed so the child is facing the front of the cart and can see where they are going. The child will be more entertained during the sometimes very long shopping trip and will be less anxious and have more patience.

Shared by johnmatt40 (300 points)
I'm liking this change. The child would definitely be more stimulated, learn more, and parents could more easily point out different items and involve them in the shopping process. Playing devil's advocate, detractors may note that having their feet hang over the opposite way shrinks the amount of cart space available for groceries, can be unsanitary if they're shoes/feet/legs aren't clean, and can lead to the child hitting the parent with the back of their head if they are throwing a temper tantrum.
I'm thinking the negatives would probably outweigh the positives on this one.  I've got a feeling it wouldn't be the parent pointing out new items - if the kids can see everything in front of them there will be a lot of "I want this", "I want that", etc...  At least with them facing you you're blocking them from seeing most of the things you've already gone by.
0 votes
Silent Phones

Now that someone's invented a silence machine that can generate sound waves in an opposite phase to cancel out irritating noises we should take that one step further and create a modified version of a mechanical voice box that would generate sound waves in the opposite phase when you speak. A companion piece would be clipped onto the mouthpiece of a phone to convert your words back into the audible range (either by just receiving one phase or receiving a transmission of the words from the mechanical voice box on your neck). It might make your office look like bunch of psychotic people were mumbling under their breath but at least it would be a very very quiet office. It would be even better if we could take this one step further and do the same with cellphones. That way we wouldn't have to be annoyed by people talking to invisible partners.

A tangent - some of the monks belonging to Tibetan choirs are able to simultaneously hold three notes to form a chord. Knowing that, I wonder if there are species out there who communicate the same way, holding two notes in opposing phases. If their ears had evolved to hear only one phase it would be an excellent way to communicate warnings to others in your species without giving away your own position and getting eaten in the process.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
Edible Plant Calculator...  Several programs have been written to identify plants but so far the only ones I've seen are for specific locations that don't cover much geography. Someone should be able to write a program that can cover the world. A GPS on the calculator would tell the program which database segment to query. From there the user would key in answers to simple questions until the program was able to identify the plant, including some of its more pertinent characteristics - like whether or not you can eat it. The link provides an example of how this type of program would work.

Plant Identification Database... I know this is simply another version of the "Survival Made Easy" idea but I'm hoping that if it's included often enough some wealthy reader will decide to start manufacturing them. I want to buy one.
Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
0 votes
Animal Helmet

See the world through their eyes.

This helmet would look somewhat like a motorcycle helmet with a clear plastic visor. Once you put it on you could select auditory or visual mode.

In auditory mode receivers on its sides would pick up ultrasonic frequencies and translate them to octaves you could hear.
 
In visual mode you'd pick an animal from a controller that came with the helmet and the faceplate would re-configure whatever you looked at as though you were seeing it from the viewpoint of the selected animal (selecting hawk would sharpen the view, selecting fly would break it down into compound segments, etc.).

I thought of adding smell for one of the modes but that could quickly become overpowering (although if the helmet could be made to heighten the strength of single molecules you'd be able to smell like a bloodhound and track escapees or find victims amongst the rubble).
Shared by TRK (1,600 points)
0 votes
Earpods - Hearing aids that play random comedy routines

When you're sitting at your desk and want to give your eyes a break you'd just close them and tap a toggle on the back of your earpiece. Random comedy routines that were downloaded into the earpiece when you put it on its base station the previous night would start playing (might be nice for boring meetings too, as long as you could keep yourself from laughing out loud).
Shared by TakeFive (8,280 points)
0 votes

Find Your Train of Thought
 
Never lose words that are on the tip of your tongue again.

The army has its reasons for developing non-acoustic sensors but there's another reason for them that I haven't seen mentioned in any link yet.  Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation, thought of something you wanted to add to it, and been sidetracked just long enough to forget what you were going to say next? The "Find Your Train of Thought" speech recorder would stop that from happening. Whenever you were about to be interrupted before having a chance to say what was on your mind, you'd silently mouth the words, politely letting the speaker continue uninterrupted. Once they were through speaking you could either recall what you wanted to say from your working memory or press a replay button on your earpiece (each tap on it would play back your last silent words in 20-30 second increments).

Shared by a contributor
0 votes

Self-Cleaning Phones

Making life a little less dirty.

After watching a segment on TV about how we should always wipe off a phone with disinfectant before we use it if the phone is also used by other people (to stop the spread of things like the flu) it seemed like there had to be a better way to accomplish the same thing. Very few people would carry around a bottle of disinfectant just to do this. A self-cleaning phone would solve the problem. Every time it was put back in its cradle a 30 second blast of ultrasound would kill any germs that had just been deposited on it. See link.

Ultrasound and germs - good for us, bad for them

Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
0 votes
Electronic Garbage Can

For raccoon-infested areas.

We make remote controls for our garage doors and car doors so we should be able to make one for garbage can lids. If keeping track of the remote is a problem a simple coded access panel on the lid that would lock and unlock the lid should do. If any raccoon can figure out the key sequence to open one of these lids then we'll know which species is going to succeed us on this world.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
Slo-Mo Binoculars

For bird watchers.

This would be a set of binoculars that worked kind of like a Tivo. In slow-motion mode they would tape what you're looking at and show it to you slowly. There would have to be logic built into it the software that could spot what was moving and discreetly show you which direction to move the binoculars in so you'd capture the image you wanted to see while watching the slowed down picture (maybe an arrow in the upper left or righthand corner of the picture would do the trick). This might also be useful for watching boxing matches at the arena where sometimes the fists fly so fast you don't get to see their effect as more than a blur.
Shared by TakeFive (8,280 points)
0 votes
If I have to listen to that story one more time

Something for couples.

This would be a small vibrating pad that could be triggered remotely by someone within 20 feet or so. The target market would be couples who had been together a long time and are tired of hearing the same story or joke over and over again when they visit friends. The receiver would be stuck under a watch dial or some other form of camouflage. The remote control would be similarly concealed. It would have to be versatile enough to put in different places so the listeners wouldn't know if it was being used.
Shared by TakeFive (8,280 points)
0 votes
Salad Shooter Plunger

Don't read this if you get queasy easy.

This idea would take a regular plunger and attach a modified version of a salad shooter (or mixer) to it. When turned on the blades of the salad shooter would descend from the bottom of the plunger that was sealing the opening and grind their way through whatever obstructions it encountered. The blades would be encased in a plastic expandable hose with rollers on the outside surface that keep pushing it forward. The whole contraption would be narrower than the drain channel. After snaking its way through the obstruction the plunger would open an intake valve and send a jet of water rushing from the toilet bowl down through the drain to clear out the debris. Once that process was completed you'd flush the toiled and the clean water would then be shot through the expandable hose to clear off any debris. With this taken care of the hose could retract itself back into the base of the plunger and the plunger could be set aside until the next time it was required.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes

Let's alarm the thieves


Instead of having car alarms that go off whenever someone bumps into the car or a strong wind blows, why not have them go off when they sense the car has been put in motion. Ramping up the decibel level inside the car would give the thief a little extra trouble for the trouble he put you through. As long as you remember to de-activate the alarm before driving off yourself this solution shouldn't cause you any headaches.

Shared by a contributor
0 votes

Antenna Mirrors


Trying to back out of a parking space in a small car when you've got a van on one side and an SUV on the other can be a bit risky. You've got to get more than halfway out before you can see if cars are coming down the row towards you. An antenna mirror would solve this problem. It would consist of two parts - a single metal bar that could be hooked into the gaps formed by the edge of your trunk or tailgate, and a wireless antenna that could be raised or lowered from inside the car at the push of a button. Picture it as a periscope replaced by a telescoping antenna. At the top there would be a mirror-sized lense that had combined images coming from both sides of the mirror into a single image facing the driver. That way the driver could look into his rearview mirror and see a mirror facing him that showed traffic coming from both directions. A timer would also be included in the kit so that the antenna would automatically drop back down after about a minute (to keep you from forgetting about it and driving around with it still up).


Of course it would be easier if all parking lots put convex mirrors on their light poles but since we can't make them do that we should take care of the problem ourselves.

Shared by a contributor
0 votes

Phase Change Fever Blankets


First, some background information from the MIT Technology review:


"Winter presents an interesting apparel challenge for those who want to play outside. Wear too many layers and you'll sweat; wear too little and you'll freeze your fanny. Lately, technology has offered up a solution: a paraffin-wax-like substance known as phase change material encapsulated in microscopic balls of heat-resistant plastic similar to that used in dishwasher-safe dinnerware. Coated onto fabrics, the phase change material melts and freezes before you do and, in the process, stores and expels heat energy. Clothing can now be engineered to respond to your body temperature -- and heat up or cool down to keep you feeling just right.


Phase change materials work because they are designed to maintain the midpoint of a narrow temperature range. One phase change material used in fleece jackets, for example, stays between about 27 °C and 38 °C when worn or around 32 °C, which feels comfortable next to the skin. The specific range is determined by the lengths of the hydrocarbon molecules that make up the material; in different proportions they specify different ranges."


The idea I'm suggesting here is really just an extended application - put these phase change materials in a blanket that's designed to keep you comfortable when you've got a fever. The way it is now, you toss the blanket off when it gets too hot and then have to hunt around for it later on when you start getting chills. If the temperature of the blanket went up and down to match your needs you wouldn't have to keep constantly waking up to adjust it.

Shared by JFR (6,080 points)
0 votes
A lawn mower with a container built in that you'd fill with pesticide/fertilizer. It'd spread the fertilizer over the lawn while you're mowing it. Kill two birds with one stone.
Shared by mgavaria410 (140 points)
0 votes
A battery-powered leak detection system... Would be used in things like window seals, containers, fridge/car door sales and welded joints. Could use an ultrasonic transmitter and receiver with LED level indicators and a way to adjust the sensitivity.
Shared by robbie (140 points)
0 votes
Solar-powered laptops and mobile phones you can recharge in the sunlight (and by plug). Don't know why we don't have these all over the place by now.
Shared by r4gh4v (220 points)
0 votes
Handheld embroiderer so you can imprint name/initials on clothing. That can help keep clothes from being misplaced.
Shared by mariefromit (180 points)
0 votes
Massage shoes that massage your feet for you while you're walking or sitting down.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes

Feet Heat Pocket

 

With adjustable heat levels in travel, twin, queen, full, and king sizes. Place it under the bedding cover. Could put your feet inside the double layers.

Shared by jen (140 points)
0 votes

Have an idea?
Check this out 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24AN9g4ZVnc

www.sparkideas.co

Spark is a website that connects entrepreneurs with ideas to designers who can bring that idea to life in exchange for a piece of equity in the emerging companies. Entrepreneurs are able to post their idea as well as a percentage equity offered to a skilled worker who can bring their idea to life.  

 

Bring your idea to life for free! 

 

EXAMPLE: post your product idea and offer a mechanical engineer 20% equity to have it brough to life

Shared by a contributor
0 votes
Build all sorts of crap into regular old mirrors. Could have a touchscreen, appointment calendar, phone, clock, all sorts of stuff...
Shared by poohbaby38127 (140 points)
0 votes
Try posting it to www.sparkideas.co you can find a developer who will work for equity and it is completely free and protected by non-disclosures and statements of work to guarantee the work is done.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
Wireless mouse that recharges the batteries as you move it using kinetic energy.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
A laptop computer keyboard using kinetic energy to charge it while you type. Genius! So tired of my laptop going out at the worst time or when I'm out and have to go home to get the charger!
Shared by IdeaDude (1,350 points)
good idea, but with the current technology I doubt if the charges generated by typing would be enough to power a laptop
0 votes
Mini one-page newspapers with a brief summary of all the day's news.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes
A wallet with a built-in digital photo reader so parents can always download up-to-date photos of their kids!
Shared by K OS (1,780 points)
0 votes
A proximity alarm that goes off when you lose your phone and it's more than a certain distance from you.
Shared by a contributor
0 votes

I have designed the blueprint for a new, efficient and practical way for growing vegies indoor, especially for people living in apartments. In the days where organic food is gaining more recognition, we will need mechanisms for indoor gardening for people living in cities. I've made a cost effective design. I will develop it with the help of a product development firm and get patented. It's good these firms helps young developers make their ideas a reality.

Shared by Fraiser (140 points)
0 votes

 

Greetings to the community.
 I am a Russian non-systemic innovator, supporter of colonization of space.
I can offer participation in the project business network "Star building," the basic idea that the mass distribution of technology and the principles of additive manufacturing, which later can receive applications in the industrial space exploration. In the initial stages, the main area of ​​activity of the network must have the production of light building structures and building low-cost, quickly erected buildings. The main distinguishing feature of the project, that in its technologies and methods of organization it is available for small business, entry into the project requires no great knowledge, not costly, upgrading individual participants technologies can be carried out with the accumulation of financial resources, a core set of manufacturing technologies to be used in the project is very flexible, adaptive, and is designed for permanent modernization.      http://spaceexpansion.ucoz.ru/publ/1-1-0-48
Your participation can be in the form of creating your "Startup lab." Production hall, for simultaneous operation of income and development of new technologies, or in the form of mediation and publications for mutual promotion in the media.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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