Category: Feasible inventions

10th August 2013

#2441: Tapwriter

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 10 Aug 2013

It seems that the Kremlin is thinking of returning to typewriters instead of computers. In the 1970s, the Soviets developed a special sensor which could interpret the vibrations of windows in US Govt. buildings when typewriters were in use.

They could thus read the content of any secret memos in preparation.


Although silent, non-networked machines are still used to create certain documents, I’m told, today’s invention is simply a tapper device which bumps the window with a wide variety of frequencies and amplitudes whenever a keyboard of any kind is in use in a room. It might be possible to have it tap the window according to the content of a particularly rude but non-secret message, for example.

This should effectively scramble any possible eavesdropping, for both/any sides in a future cold war.

4th August 2013

#2435: SceneSpinner

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 04 Aug 2013

There is a lot of irritation being caused, it seems, by people who insist on filming video in portrait mode.

When it’s displayed later online or on-screen, this can result in the appearance of two black bars on either side. Ugly, but hardly a disaster…(vertainly not if you use vimeo).


Today’s invention is a way to help cool passions on this subject.

One’s camera would tag every movie with either a ‘portrait’ or ‘landscape’ marker.

When shown on a monitor of the type I envisage, it would automatically rotate, using a built-in motor, to accommodate all the pixels recorded -without having to insert any black sidebars.

It might also be interesting to be able to define a vertical in an image (corresponding to say a person standing) and then have that stay vertical as the surroundings rotated.

This would allow a viewer to watch certain scenes in ‘Inception’ on a screen which was continuously rotating.

1st August 2013

#2434: GlowHose

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 01 Aug 2013

Clothes dryers should be cleaned out every 2-3 years, but many are never cleaned at all.

Lint starts building up inside the ventilation hose, reducing the airflow and efficiency of the dryer until it clogs or even catches fire.


Today’s invention is therefore a short light-rope supplied with each new drier hose and powered via a socket in the body of the machine.

This rope would be moored on a series of stalks inside the hose, as shown, so that when the lint had built up to a significant level, the light would be locally less visible when the machine was switched on.

31st July 2013

#2431: BuffetBib

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 31 Jul 2013

How do you clap or shake hands when you are holding a glass of wine and a plate of buffet fodder?

Today’s invention is a small paper tray in the form of a ‘bib’ which people can put around their neck at an event.


The front face folds down to form a tray at just less than 90 degrees to the vertical.

This tray has a slot for a wine glass, side panels and an embossed plate area into which food can be scooped.

This allows the user to concentrate more on meeting other guests than trying to juggle with the crockery.

These bibs can be custom printed for promotional purposes and folded up as a doggy bag to cut down on food wastage.

28th July 2013

#2430: MarketPlaces

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 28 Jul 2013

Today’s invention is a flashmob type game, with an advertising theme.

People would sign up to receive a list of street locations on their phones.


These would be sent to different people in a different, random order.

Checking in as 221b Baker Street, for example, would result in being sent another location.

As the locations are visited, streets are filled-in on a screen map.

The first person to text in the correct message, or brand name, wins a big prize.

This would potentially drive footfall to many locations in a city, as well as heightening awareness of some particular brand names.

#2429: SprocketRocket

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 28 Jul 2013

I found this film, about a project to build a fast, fixed-gear bicycle, inspiring.

Today’s invention is to replace the chain drive with an extra gear (orange).


Although there is only a percent or two difference in efficiency between chain and gear drive, that might be very significant when a record is being attempted.

The gears, which would also be lighter than the chain, would need to be kept well-lubricated, of course.

26th July 2013

#2428: Adooration

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 26 Jul 2013

For me, it’s a sign that our economic system is failing when huge numbers of high street shops are empty.

Today’s invention is a form of guerrilla marketing which might be used in situations where landlords won’t allow low cost access for even pop-up stores.


Unlike flyposting, it causes no damage to anyone’s property.

A pair of coat hangers are straightened out and one end of each formed into a small loop. The wires are then curved as shown (pink).

To these ends, the top corners of an advert poster (dark blue) are attached.

The ends of the wire can then be inserted under an empty shop door’s draught brush or through the letter box.

As they are forced in, against the rear face of the glass door, the poster is dragged vertically upwards so that it fills the available space.

(Since this reminds me of ways to open a locked car door, when your keys are inside, it may be possible to adapt it to place ads in parked cars…paying owners for the use of their vehicle).

25th July 2013

#2426: Forkcrane

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 25 Jul 2013

Today’s invention is front and rear forks for eg a motorcycle, which are height-adjustable.

For people trying to cross very rough terrain, including rivers, riding a bike can be dangerous and fatiguiging.


In the diagram, the upper sections of the forks (grey) are like the telescopic sections of a crane (octagonal in section). These can be extended hydraulically to a suitable height by the rider and locked in position…perhaps whilst actually in motion.

Only the lower, yellow section is sprung -to allow for a normal range of suspension.

20th July 2013

#2421: Doublade

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 20 Jul 2013

Having recently become part of a two-car family, and being reluctant to walk about with a huge set of jangling keys, I find I’m often now carrying around the wrong set.

Today’s invention allows you to carry two such carkeys without having to also carry two grips (or bows).


Instead there would be one grip (yellow), packed with the required electronics and battery to allow opening of either of one’s two vehicles remotely.

There would also be a sliding piece of metal comprising a key blade at each end so that only one of these would be exposed at once (lessening the damage to one’s pockets).

For added security, the double blade could be locked with only half of each poking out, making stealing either car harder.

18th July 2013

#2419: LeftLockers

Filed under: Feasible inventions - 18 Jul 2013

Today’s invention is lockers which actually lock.

Overhead lockers in an airliner, to be precise.


Every time we hear about some flight encountering turbulence, somebody has been hurt by a giant carry-on case hitting them on the head.

Recently, people in a crash have allegedly paused during emergency exit to collect their bags from above their seat.

Instead, I suggest that all lockers be remotely lockable by a flight attendant.

If the seatbelt sign is on, the locks are all engaged.

Knowing this, people would generally concentrate on escape, rather than their (replaceable) stuff.

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