Domestic radiators are both ugly and surprisingly poor at transferring heat to the air which surrounds them. Why else would there be an industry making chipboard boxes to hide them?
Today’s invention is a set of copper finlets which each have a magnetic base allowing them to attach to the sides of radiators, greatly increasing the efficiency of heat transfer to one’s internal environment. The fin ends and edges would need to be rounded to avoid any injury, of course.
These might be made more entertaining by giving them each a small motor in the base which would allow them to move about the rad surface and/or flap -perhaps in response to temperature gradients (using a Stirling engine maybe?) and their proximity to other fins. They could be wirelessly controlled from a PC attached to one’s boiler which would know about the variation in room-by-room heating requirements throughout the day.
I’d actually like to see an algorithm developed which would allow the fins to discover patterns which provided some optimisation of the overall heat transfer (this might then be used in other contexts).