#2815: Posytioner

Today’s invention is a grid (shown in red) which can be moulded into the base of a vase or as a transparent plastic insert.

This allows long-stemmed flowers to be much more easily located, so that they stay put in attractive arrangements.

Without this device, the stems tend to slide to the outer edge of the base, which results in a central gap among the flower heads.

#2814: DisbeliefSuspension

There is an increasing overlap between eg Formula E drivers and online game racers.

Today’s invention aims to intensify that blurring for the benefit of both sports.

If you have a car that you like to drive on the street, just imagine being able to race it in a virtual world against drivers from everywhere.

So today’s invention takes the form of four pneumatic pads, something like the devices used as inflatable jackstands.

These would be rapidly inflated and deflated, beneath your vehicle and controlled by computer, in order to simulate the effects of racing dynamics on your car…braking, turning etc.

In addition, there would be a large screen placed outside your windscreen, showing the racetrack and other vehicles. The dynamics would be driven by the game software.

In this way, someone could sit in their own (parked) car and feel as if they were actually on-track against other competitors.

You could arrange for simulated performance upgrades to your vehicle as well as a suitably stirring soundtrack to be played through the window.

#2813: Identifired

I noticed that, during the recent attempted putsch in Washington, various officers of the law had coloured tape attached to their handguns.

This was probably to help officers discriminate friend from foe (an amazingly small number of people were hurt, so maybe it worked).

Today’s invention is related to this and makes each gun firable by only one identified person.

A small camera unit sits on the rear of the weapon. This has a bar which extends between hammer and firing pin.

The camera takes both an image forwards and backwards when the trigger is lightly pressed. If the rearwards image matches the designated user of the gun, then the bar withdraws and the weapon can be fired. An image is taken too of the person being fired at, for evidence.

This system could be improved by having officers receive a pattern of eg UV dyespots applied to their face before a shift and having the camera grab a face image at the same time.

This has the additional benefit of ruling out the possibility of firing without aiming.

#2812: HearHearth

There is something comforting about a real fire (Despite the dire warnings of carbon monoxide poisoning and particulate pollution).

Today’s invention is a sound module for all forms of domestic fires…both real and simulated.

This would consist of a loudspeaker, plugged into a high quality audio player.

This would be located inside an insulated box and hidden close to the heating device.

There would be a sensor which would cause the recording of a roaring fire to be played whose loudness could vary according to the fire’s temperature, giving the impression of enhanced burning.

Even a real fire would benefit from some extra crackling and updraft noises.

#2811: Accelink

Tank tracks are very heavy and moving them about at speed is costly.

Today’s invention aims to reduce the weight of a tank’s tracks by almost 50%.

At any instant, the tank wheels stand on tracks in contact with the ground as normal.

As a track link rises past the rear idler wheel, it disconnects and is accelerated along a track (blue) from there to the drive sprocket at the front. There, it couples itself, in the manner of a train carriage, to the link which is just about to leave the sprocket.

In this way, there is only ever one track link on the top half of the track.

#2810: DregDrain

I like thick smoothies, but I dislike the fact that you always have to leave some in the glass, because of its viscosity.

Today’s invention is an alternative to inverting the glass over your mouth and waiting a long time, in the form of a novel smoothie glass.

After you drink the majority of the liquid, some is left in the lower section.

Open the valve and suck out the dregs rapidly (much easier than using a straw).

The whole thing comes apart for washing afterwards, of course.

#2809: SharkSheath

It seems that shark repellent technology is not very effective.

Today’s invention offers some additional safety for surfers.

It consists of a buoyant, carbon fibre surfboard which is made of two layers (blue and pink). Between these, are two fold-out sides as shown in section on the left. (This operates like a fold up shopping crate).

When a surfer sees a threatening shark, he or she opens the box (A) and clambers into the space. This acts as a shark cage.

The cage floats on the surface until a rescue by boat can be effected.

#2808: StreetSheet

Foil crisp packets are pretty good at reflecting heat. Various kind folk have started collecting these and gluing or sewing them together to make blankets for homeless people.

Today’s invention is a way to short circuit this process so that homeless people can assemble their own blankets from crisp packets dropped as litter by idiots.

The packets would be manufactured with tear-out tang and slot edges as shown, so that any standard size packets can be joined to form a continuous sheet, without any additional materials or tools.

#2807: ShocksWave

Today’s invention is computer-controlled local suspension units for a tank.

As the main gun fires, and the projectile moves down its barrel, the many suspension units would each be signalled to stiffen or relax in a wave-like pattern, in order to ensure that the gun stays on target during those crucial few milliseconds.

With a more advanced spring and damper setup, such as this, we could do away completely with recoil movement between gun and turret…the whole vehicle transferring recoil energy to the suspension, irrespective of the rotational position of the turret. This would free up a lot of space inside the turret,

This system might also sense the hardness or softness of the ground locally beneath the tracks in order to optimise these suspension stiffness settings from moment to moment.

#2806: Cardiacall

People fitted with heart pacemakers are supposed to take care not to go near strong magnetic fields. Some phones may cause their internal device to malfunction.

Today’s invention is a small phone which is attached to one’s pacemaker. This would be well shielded by eg a ferrous sheet placed between the two devices before insertion inside one’s body.

Pacemakers currently issue their users with an alert, in the event of some arrhythmia, by eg buzzing, but this system would also send data to a cardiologist and perhaps call an ambulance to one’s current location.