#2779: Oxterarmour

Young women learning Scottish Country Dancing tend to get gripped hard by the upper arm when inexperienced male partners are too rough.

Today’s invention is a set of reinforced pads for the upper arms which allow their partners to hold onto them during the inevitable spinning process, but without causing the usual bruising.

#2777: Autoptions

Many people envisage their ideal car online by using a manufacturers’ ‘configurator’ -even if they sometimes have no way to actually buy the car in question.

Today’s invention takes the data from these online tools and uses them in different ways. This is especially aimed at companies who are attempted to sell cars without dealerships.

1. The manufacturer gets to understand what features many people like and which ones are almost never adopted. This helps prioritisation with future designs.

2. If someone has configured a new car, but then left the website, they could be sent a link automatically to a secondhand or lower-price model, which they might consider buying…with a specification as close as possible to the one they set up.

3. For each choice made, the design interface could say eg ‘98% of people choose this’ or ‘2% choose that’. In this way, the manufacturer could influence, using ‘nudge’ techniques, which variants actually get bought, since it’s in their interests to be selling many examples of a smaller range of elective components.

4. When someone selects eg a carbon fibre wing mirror housing, some celebrity influencer could pop up on screen and say ‘good choice, I went for that too…have you also thought about…?’

#2775: MineMat

For people who genuinely feel that their home may come under attack, today’s invention offers some extra support.

It consists of a regular car airbag (cost: £200) which is placed under a foot scraper outside the front door.

Anyone who appears brandishing a weapon or acting aggressively can be blown off their feet by the homeowner remotely triggering the pyrotechnic element in the bag.

This would almost certainly be non-fatal but would be very disorienting for the would-be assailant. Several such devices could be buried under the gravel on a driveway and thus the need for gun ownership would be lessened.

#2774: SuitsYou

Today’s invention is a way to help shops sell clothing by letting window shoppers see themselves apparently wearing the outfits on display.

People (pink), walking by a shop, step onto a ramp (red) and face the window (blue).

Inside they see some (headless) mannequins (turquoise), facing outwards, as you might expect. A pressure pad that a person is standing on, rotates the mannequin in front of them, so that it faces the mirrored back wall of the window display (green).

The ramp allows a person to adjust their face’s reflection height, so that it appears directly above the reflection of the outfit they are interested in, so that they can imagine themselves wearing it.

#2771: Glowindow

I’ve been searching for this idea but still not found any examples in eg patent databases….so here goes.

Today’s invention is replacement glazed units for small windows which contain extra bright daylight lamps, shining inwards.

For a small window, this gives the impression of a much wider opening and makes the atmosphere in a darkish room brighter. The brightness level could be computer controlled to mirror (or compensate for) the external daylight level. It could also replace existing SAD lamps.

Keeping the aperture size small also controls heat loss via the window.

#2768: DeliveRise

There is a very old toy which takes the shape of a monkey climbing a rope.

You pull repeatedly on the end of the rope and the monkey shins upwards.

Today’s invention uses this principle to allow mountain climbers or scaffolders a way to send each other tools, food, messages rapidly upwards over long vertical distances.

It would require climbers to let down a length of slack rope to which the ‘monkey’ (carrying some item) would be attached.

#2765: Escelerator

The main reason that escalators and moving walkways can’t travel very much faster is that you can’t ask pedestrians to step off a still floor onto a high speed moving platform.

Today’s invention solves that issue by providing a number of separate conveyors, each travelling slightly faster than the one before (at the loading end -and vv at the unloading end).

(I’ve just been told that something like this idea appears in a book by Philip K Dick, so it may not be original after all).

#2764: Vacuumobility

Today’s invention is an aftermarket, wheeled cradle for eg the Henry vacuum cleaner, which performs a number of extra functions:
1. It widens the wheelbase, so that slight tugs on the hose don’t cause it to capsize infuriatingly.

2. It contains a battery and transformer so that both the cleaner’s motor and the cradle itself can be powered wirelessly. A small pull on the hose causes the cradle to move forward in that direction.

This could allow a conventional vacuum cleaner to act as autonomously as eg a Roomba.

As a further refinement, we might do away with the cradle’s powered wheels and instead equip the cleaner with the ability to push itself around using very high speed bursts of blown air from the ‘vacuum’.

#2763: Rotorescue

Rescue helicopters can end up spinning a stretcher suspended beneath them, like this.

Today’s invention is a fan unit which attaches to one end of a stretcher and which blows air in the opposite direction to the helicopter’s main rotor motion.

This prevents the stretcher from spinning, just as the tail rotor does for the machine itself.

#2762: Excafetor

I’ll admit to liking strong coffee. This usually results in formation of a solid plug of compressed grounds in my cafetiere, which is always a pain to extract.

Today’s invention is a simple blade (red) which attaches to the underside of the filter, so that when the coffee is made, the blade ends up embedded in the grounds.

To make fresh coffee, rotate the plunger with blade attached. This will disrupt the plug and make it simpler to get recaffeinated rapidly.