#2673: GrasSpare

Today’s invention is an emergency wheel for tractors or other farm vehicles.

A cylindrical hay bale is penetrated by a number of rods which attach to the hub and an external wheel hub as shown.

The hay is very tightly compressed and held in place by nylon netting, so it would be possible to get back home following a breakdown on some very distant field.

#2670: TunedCars

Today’s invention is to have several special recordings made of many pieces of music so that they sound optimal (to a panel of hi-fi snobs) in the hushed atmosphere of a limousine.

Ideally these variants could be created using a combination of expert listening, in-car recording and software processing. The recordings for a Bentley Continental would be very different to those for a Mercedes S class, so that the internal acoustics of each car, at different speeds, would be taken into account.

There would also be specific, choosable versions for different situations -perhaps one for each different motorway driven down regularly.

In addition, here might be a driver-only version, a four-passenger version or a sitting in the back with the driver screen up, recordings. All of these would come at a high price, of course.

#2566: RepeatDelete

Today’s invention is a bolt-on feature for YouTube comments (although this still looks like a great option to me).

When you start typing your witty, well informed remark, an automatic search is performed of the comments section for the three comments which best match what you are writing.

If your pearl of wisdom has essentially already been typed by someone else, then at least you are aware of that before persisting in sharing it with the waiting Interwebs. With any luck, this will limit the number of duplicated comments.

In a more draconian mood, I’d be inclined to use this search/comparison tool to simply delete any comments which were found to have been substantially repetition.

#2550: ShoutShield

Many sports now require participants to wear mouthguards.

This includes team sports such as rugby.

The problem is that it’s hard for eg a pack leader to give instructions during play, when his mouth is obstructed by a lump of silicone rubber. Calling the required line-out throw, for example, can easily be misheard.

Today’s invention therefore consists of a gumshield with a loudspeaker, a battery and a processor inserted.

By biting down on the shield n times, instruction n can be barked out, with perfect diction. There could easily be 20 or so such standard orders and more elaborate patterns, eg involving tongue position, could increase the repertoire.

Players might choose to use the simulated voice of Ironman or one of the Transformers. In International matches, the accent of your opposition could be used to confuse them.

#2545: ElevatorScraper

Imagine working or living in a skyscraper where the view was always changing.

Today’s invention is a tower building in which the floors themselves act as elevator cars.

The arrows indicate how the half-floor units move. The rate of movement might be one floor height per day, so that everyone gets a chance to occupy the penthouse occasionally. This would equalise the pricing for occupants (although it would be a costly building to construct and maintain).

In the event of an emergency requiring evacuation, each of the half-floor units could collapse vertically to say a 1m high crawlspace and the elevator mechanism would then bring all the floors to within jumping distance from the ground.

(Obviously there would need to be an elevator of the conventional kind, for daily use, but that is not shown).

#2542: Gamingas

Today’s invention offers a way to win at the game of craps.

Based on some work by Polish researchers, if you throw a die, in a given orientation, onto a soft surface, it is much more likely to land in that original orientation.

You obviously can’t roll out a cushion on the craps table, but you could surreptitiously spray a small volume of sulphur hexafluoride onto it. These tables are shaped like a bath and so the ultra heavy gas would form a still layer: a cushion onto which the dice can be thrown.

This gas is colourless and odourless, so a tube down the sleeve linked to a low pressure bladder squeezed beneath one armpit should do the trick.

Just remember that you need to play the game a long time to win big, the dice motion may look a bit slow -and it’s important not to get caught.

#2540: FriendFender

There is a growing penchant among motorcyclists, especially females, for hugging each other.

Sometimes this will happen after a ride, when they are all still wearing helmets.

The result can be a clashing of helmets (people tend to forget that they are wearing them).

Aside from slight embarrassment, this has the effect of potentially damaging their life saving equipment.

Today’s invention is therefore a gel pad with an adhesive backing which can be attached to one’s helmet in the collision-prone zone.

In the event of a carpark hug, no damage will be done.

The pads could even have a large set of lips marked on them. Over time, the wearing off of this symbol could become a treasured sign of one’s popularity.

This idea could be extended to American football, where helmet butting is a sign of congratulation/affiliation.

#2517: Pot-Talker

Today’s invention was inspired by my friend Muriel.

It is a plant pot with a built-in recorder, for those people who believe that this promotes their mutual wellbeing.

This allows a plant owner to record what they say to their plants.

If they need to go on holiday, then the recorder simply plays back a little chat each day, leaving the vegetation feeling less neglected.

#2494: PooPod

If you like to record images of yourself undertaking some exciting activity…like driving down a country road, then you will be faced with the problem of how to avoid having your precious camera stolen or contaminated when you set it up by the roadside (There is a sub-class of Homo Sapiens, now, that thinks it’s ok to parcel their animal waste and eg hang it from a tree).

Today’s invention is a housing which keeps your camera spotless and invulnerable to theft.

It consists of an opaque dog ‘poo’ bag. Insert the camera (eg this one) so that the handles are knotted around the lens, leaving its field of view clear. You might choose to add some plasticene to the bag for added realism. This can also act as a base to help stabilise and orientate the camera. You can press the bag into the plasticene, so that any rustling of the bag is minimised on the soundtrack.

Place the device pointing at your forthcoming heroic activity. It will be indistinguishable from all the other items of litter lying about, except for the fact that even ardent litter pickers will leave it alone.

Your camera will thus still be there when you return to collect it and with it, your precious footage.

#2491: Sidewiper

Hmm…not at all sure about this one. Today’s invention is intended to be a slipstream-powered wiper for the side windows of vehicles.

In practice, the lower half of this device would be shielded in a semicircular housing made of transparent plastic, to ensure that the rotation was continuous and unidirectional.