#2717: ReelShield

Nobody likes having their car dinged by careless parkers who fling open their doors.

Today’s invention offers a shield for car sides, without destroying the look of your vehicle.

A housing in the front wheel arch holds a reel of protective material in the colour of the car.

When parking, the driver pulls one end of this reel clear of the body work and walks to the back wheel arch, where a soft plastic hook attaches it to the rear wheel arch.

This impact-absorbing ribbon is wide enough to stop most careless door openers from causing damage.

It also avoids drawing too much attention to the car and could, if strengthened and locked in place, make it harder to break into the vehicle.

#2716: ChainShine

Motorcycle chains are a pain to maintain.

Today’s invention offers a way to keep one’s chain cleaner.

It consists of two cylindrical brushes on two control arms.

The weight of the brushes keeps them in contact with the chain’s top and bottom surfaces -for at least some of the time.

As the brushes rotate against the chain, they wear down, but still stay in contact with the chain (until they are replaced).

The control arms could also have brush material fitted on their inside surfaces to help clean the chain sides.

#2714: FlyShy

There are lots of places over which pilots really shouldn’t be flying at low altitude, because their inhabitants are noise sensitive.

These include: physics labs, animal breeding centres, hospitals, old people’s homes, recording and tv studios…

Today’s invention is a simple bright light, flashing upwards in a specially designated colour.

This would be attached to a high point on the roof of a noise sensitive building to help ensure that no aircraft would come near.

#2713: StopperStopper

People get hit in the eye by flying champagne corks all the time.

This usually does not cause permanent injury, but sometimes it does.

Today’s invention is a way to render such corks less dangerous.

A large, soft, plastic disk with a pin on one side (red) is pressed into the cork, before removal.

As the cork flies out of the bottle, it is impeded by the drag force on the disk.

Even if contact is made with a bystander, the size of the disc will reduce the impact pressure to less than that required to damage even an eye.

#2711: Swallowater

Today’s invention is for people who just can’t swallow large pills without a drink to wash them down.

Large pills would be packaged like contact lenses, one per ‘blister’.

Blisters would come in a pair: one to contain the large pill and another containing a small gulp of sterile water.

If you need to take medication and you are away from drinkable water, simply pop open both blisters and down the tablet with a slurp of liquid.

#2710: Brushedge

In country areas, tractors are allowed to use the roads.

Fair enough, but they tend to carry a tonne of mud with them -which is dangerous in terms of skidding and also makes a mess of cars that have been cleaned.

Today’s invention is a way to ensure that farm vehicles exiting muddy fields and farmyards leave their mess behind them.

A ‘hedge’ unit is constructed of tall, high-durability brushes. Each of these is mounted on a spring (red).

Tractors all have to push through this hedge to exit a field and drive on the road. As they do so, the hedge brushes off any loose clods of mud from the wheels or body of the vehicle. When a tractor passes, some hedge units will be flattened, but the springs will return them to the vertical when it has gone.

A shallow ramp acts as the base of the unit, so that mud brushed off the tractors will tend to fall back into the field.

This synthetic hedge could also be used instead of a gate, saving some money.

#2709: Mattresstickies

I find it annoying when lying in bed with my knees up, that my feet always slip down the futon.

Today’s invention is some elastoplast-like attachments which allow feet not to slip down the bed.

These would have a rubberised outer coating to supply the required friction.

Perhaps the same pair of grippers could be reusable over several nights.

#2708: Coverstory

Today’s invention is a way for users of libraries and bookstores to make more effective use of the book stacks.

Each book would be equipped with a barcode on the spine.

Scanning the spine of the book with your phone would cause a stored text-to-speech recording of the book’s blurb to play (audible by using earbuds, so as not to disturb other browsers).

This would allow people to make a quicker assessment of publications, without having to extract books from shelves.

#2698: PrinteResize

These days it’s ridiculous that, if I have to print something, the print should ever emerge from the printer unreadable.

When this happens, a lot of paper gets wasted, not to mention the time and frustration involved.

Today’s invention is therefore a program, running on my printer, which will identify text portions of a print job and automatically rescale them so that the printed font size will correspond with what is, for me, a comfortably legible size.

This might require some messing with the formatting of a complex document, for example, but the printer would ensure that all elements get printed clearly, even if the regions aren’t as closely packed as they were on the original page.

#2692: Gasorter

People put the wrong fuel in their cars all the time.

One reason for this is that sometimes a person will be filling a can with unleaded at the same time as topping up their diesel car. Somehow, the nozzles get put back in the wrong holsters.

Today’s invention is a simple fix, which would also make life hard for mischevious folk who swap nozzles around purely for amusement.

Each nozzle and holster would have male and female features which prevented, say, the diesel nozzle ever being put into the hi-octane holster.