#2381: MirrorsMaxed

Many people drive around with their car mirrors adjusted wrongly, despite having motorised control over all of them.

This is partly because many drivers use the same car at different times and don’t appreciate that their mirrors can leave large blindspots, when set for a driver of eg different height.


Today’s invention is a setup to ensure that the mirrors provide a more complete picture of what’s happening behind.

Instead of sitting still, all three of a car’s rear-view mirrors would scan across their fields of view left and right, as well as slightly up and down.

This scanning motion would itself remind drivers to use their mirrors more than usual.

The movement of the each mirror would allow a bigger visual field to be shown to the driver and the period of oscillation would be quick enough to not miss a fast moving vehicle approaching, yet slow enough to allow events in the periphery to register consciously.

A more advanced version of this system would have a small camera embedded in each to detect which the driver was currently looking in and coordinate the movements of all the mirrors so that when he next looked at say the central mirror, it would be showing as much new infornmation as possible.

#2380: Biquad

Today’s invention allows cycling to continue even on frosty roads.

Two cycles have their seats removed and are then joined by a single brace which slots into the seat post location on each and keeps the frames parallel.


This component has a single seat attached, as shown.

A rider can sit and propel this stable, four-wheeled vehicle using the two inner pedals, whilst steering via the inner ends of the handlebars (which could be linked together to coordinate the angle of turn).

#2379: CodeSnap

Imagine a camera which can take shots of code placed on signs or screens at various locations.

The camera processor could undertake text analysis of the image, upgrade itself and run the resulting code.


This would allow one’s camera to take on board the very latest software direct from its environment (eg the television in a store window or browser on screen), including suggestions about the best settings and modes for photography at particular locations and times.

#2378: Smelude

Most military organisations run an escape-and-evade course, during which their personnel are trained to avoid getting caught by forces in pursuit of them.

Today’s invention is for anyone being chased by a team of trackers with dogs, eg downed pilots…


It consists of a small, silent catapult with which the user can fire clay pigeon-like projectiles in random directions.

As each one lands, its thin outer skin cracks and releases a taught rubber band so that additional, internal clays spring out and fly for perhaps 10m in random directions.

The clays are nested to several levels so that they end up a long way from the user.

Each clay is heavily impregnated with human scent compunds.

The effect is that a pack of hounds is effectively misdirected away from their quarry.

#2377: Accuratyping

You can now buy a typing tutor program which allows you to identify your individual error rate per finger, over a period of time.

The only data I can find indicate an error distribution of 2,4,1,2,0, 0,1,2,4,14 %.


I’m guessing this may vary significantly between individuals but it is an interesting measure of one’s physiology, which might in itself allow identification of an individual. Perhaps the motor homunculus in one’s motor cortex reflects these figures.

Today’s invention however is to gather the information for an individual who has not yet learned to type and then reprogram their keyboard so that the most frequently typed letters in one’s language, eg E, are placed close to one’s most accurate fingertip (and vice versa).

(There would be little point the indvidual whose map is shown above using his right, little finger to type E, for example).

#2376: Ejectube

Today’s invention is a modification to the idea of ejector seats.

The cockpit of an aircraft would run down the spine of the fuselage.


When about to eject, this would stand on end as shown, forming a streamlined, blade-like tube containing the separate, pressurised capsules of each crew member.

The tube would be long enough to reach the free stream around a supersonic aircraft, so that ejecting crew members could leave the plane at a much lower speed and suffer far lower acelerations in doing so.

#2375: SpoorSpores

Ever in search of better mousetrap, I’ve been reading about Toxoplasmosis.

This disease is transmissable by about 1% of cats, in the form of parasitic spores, and can be harmful to children and pregnant women, who are not therefore supposed to go anywhere near litter trays.


One curious aspect of this bug is that when it is eaten by rodents they lose their fear of predators, making them much easier to catch.

Today’s invention is therefore a ‘green’, rat- or mousetrap in the form of two-layer litter tray. Placed somewhere with a big feline population, the top layer would allow cats to do their business as usual but have a perforated base through which the spore-laden faeces could fall into the lower tray. Then the upper tray would be closed (using a timer like that in a cat feeder).

The lower tray would be essentially a tunnel in which some bait could be placed.

When the smell of cat had abated somewhat, the lower tray could be opened (using the same clockwork mechanism) and large numbers of rodentine pests would then pass through the tunnel, become infected and thus rendered much more vulnerable to the local cats (and dogs).

#2374: Singerprint

According to some headphone and speaker manufacturers, it’s essential to ‘run in’ your new audio equipment by playing a wide range of music through them for perhaps the first few hundred hours.

HiFi buffs tend to be a bit obsessive but this seems crazier than usual. I assume that the aim is to subject the diaphragms to a wide variety of vibrational frequencies, so that the microscopic creases which are formed in their material are not dominated by those of a particular size. A speaker surface with only large creases might be less responsive to very high frequencies.


Playing white noise at high volume might ensure an equal distribution of creases across the size spectrum -but if you only ever listen to string quartets, forming creases characteristic of heavy metal might be counterproductive.

Today’s invention is therefore a running-in CD on which is recorded a cocktail of different musical tones, made by instruments of the type that a listener prefers.

This would allow both a much faster running-in period and a personal-preference tuned system.

(Real music enthusiasts would probably have a distinct set of speakers for every different genre in their collection).

#2373: JetTraction

I was watching a lucky fellow at the weekend, driving his Ferrari around town along some cobbled streets.

The tyres were making quite a noise as they fought for grip on the polished, uneven surface.


Today’s invention is for ultra high-performance vehicles (including dragsters and motorcycles).

Each wheel is fitted with a hub-mounted set of rocket motors. These are free to maintain their orientation as the wheel itself rotates.

When a burst of intense acceleration is demanded of the engine, so the rockets fire upwards briefly, forcing the tyres into very high-pressure contact with the road surface.