#2772: SoundSteps

People are highly attuned to sensory cues. This means that they are influenced, at an unconscious level, by things they see or hear.

Today’s invention is to equip a pair of boots with a speaker system which is connected to pressure sensors in the soles.

As each foot hits the deck, the corresponding speaker issues a recorded footstep sound. This allows someone to send the subliminal message that they are much heavier than their normal tread would suggest.

I could imagine eg a small security guard in rubber shoes wanting to communicate that he had a massive body supported by hobnailed boots. Or perhaps an actor on stage would want to emphasise a simulated limp or the noise of walking through mud.

#2745: SuckerStickers

I don’t think much of vacuum cleaners: even the best suffer from avoidable design flaws.

Dysons have all the usual shortfalls, as well as some of their own and they cost £200 more than their rivals.

Maybe I dislike them most because Mr Dyson persists in mythologising about the utility of intellectual property for inventors.

Anyway, today’s invention is an attempt to introduce some levity into the somewhat self-regarding world of Dyson hoovers.

It’s a set of stick-on aftermarket facial features for Dysons (to make them look more like Henrys)…and convert them into James; a rather ponsified, know-it-all character who employs other, menial cleaners to deal with the actual dirt.

#2739: WaveWing

There is something very romantic about the old idea of driving your classic Porsche 911 to the beach with a surfboard on the roof.

Porsches have, over the 50 years of the 911’s history, been fitted with some enormous inverted wings.

Today’s invention is therefore a surfboard which can be carried on your sportscar (laterally) but which acts as a detachable downforce wing, when the car is in motion.

#2738: DatingTimer

When using a messaging app for dating purposes, people are currently faced these days with an optimisation problem: how long to wait before responding to his/her last message?

Respond after too big a delay and you risk losing their attention. Go back too soon and you look desperate.

Today’s invention is an upgrade to a dating app which asks its users to alert it when they have achieved ‘relationship success’ (however they define that).

Then, in the background, their messaging history is analysed, so that any pattern can be extracted and amalgamated with the patterns of other couples who have become an item.

This information is then used to issue alerts to people in a proto-couple, such as ‘He was last in touch via a 100 character msg two hours ago. At this stage of your relationship, you should consider responding with less than 20 characters in five minutes.’

2733: MetAdvent

In an era where commercialism has gone mad and each festival has more or less merged into the next, today’s invention highlights that craziness, in the hope that something can be done to stop it.

It takes the form of an advent calendar which allows people to count the days until they can start opening their advent calendars.

This ironically emphasises the stupidity of not living for today and deferring enjoyment until some future date.

#2718: CarPool

Today’s invention is a new use for the GoPro waterproof housing.

Simply fill this with water and insert a small fish or some ‘sea monkeys’ before clipping it closed in the usual way.

This micro-aquarium can be attached to the dash of your car in the same way as some people use fluffy dice, nodding dogs or a small flower vase. You could even attach it to your motorcycle helmet -as a conversation piece at roadside cafes.

(Obviously you should release any small wildlife as quickly as possible after your journey).

#2715: TwoPoinTouchdown

It’s not unknown for aircraft to have their nosewheels fail to deploy when making an approach to land.

Today’s invention is a small rotor blade which can be made to emerge from the roof of a plane under these circumstances.

It would need to be powerful enough to just lessen the impact of the nose on the tarmac -setting the front down gently enough to avoid damaging the plane and the passengers.

#2703: NameGame

Today’s invention is an attempt to think up an amusing app.

People put their portrait photos online and then everyone else gets a chance to suggest what their name should be.

There’s endless scope for abusive entries, of course, but it would be easy to allow only names which can be found in a conventional name dictionary (so Satan or McHitler won’t make the cut).

People are interested in their personal branding and it might help some folk understand better how the world perceives them.

#2699: TunneLoco

This terrifying footage shows a baby carriage (empty) being dragged into the side of a freight train, just by the draught caused by the passing train.

Today’s invention, a mobile tunnel, is inspired by this.

A high speed, non stopping goods train has a small tractor unit at each end (pink at the front and green at the back). These are capable of very rapid acceleration and deceleration. The train carries a platform shield (red) on each side, which can move longitudinally along runners on the train’s side (only the right side shield is shown).

The sequence of events is:

a) Train approaches platform at very high speed, carrying the shield alongside.
b) Front, pink tractor streaks off ahead, but as it gets to the platform, it slows to a low speed. Pink tractor pulls the shield with it and feeds the shield slowly along the platform.
c) Shield is in place. train passes through station at very high speed.

The platform is shielded from the ultra fast train, so that no-one in the station is endangered.

d) Rear, green tractor detaches and moves slowly, holding the shield. The rest of train has sped away.
e) Green tractor moves shield along platform until it has been cleared. Green tractor, carrying the shield, then accelerates to catch the rest of the train.