#5: Stereo vision device for use on theme park rides

The central idea is that by enhancing stereo depth perception for users of these rides, their experience will be significantly intensified at very low additional cost.

Mobile phones now commonly incorporate cameraphones. Two such devices may be mounted on a spectacle frame with lenses positioned so as to roughly double the normal interocular distance. This has the effect of providing an intensified, 3-D view and a correspondingly heightened experience for thrillseeking ride customers.

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The spectacle frames might be made available in different or customisable colours, for example. Obviously a similar system might be designed using only prisms, but the use of mobile phones adds value to a purchase which has already been made and makes further use of universally loved and trusted technology. People will, we believe, regard this reuse as ‘cool.’

It may even be possible for a wearer to record their 3-D visual experience for playback (with sound) once the ride is over (assuming synchronisation can be achieved during replay).

Sunglasses manufacturers such as Oakley have already begun to develop all sorts of oddly-shaped, wrap-around glasses embodying electronics.

#4: An end to ironing

Long, long ago I used to iron clothing and so this idea seemed like a winner.

Imagine a shirt which is a flat sheet with a single zip (or the like) running around the outer edge The sheet could have its edge zipped up to form a 3-D shirt.

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For ironing purposes, a single press could deal with 100s of the damn things at a time -no more staring at the tv across the ironing board for hours waiting for the appearance of a good programme.

#2: Petcam

Where does your cat or dog go when out of the house? Strap a wireless webcam around their neck and your immediate vicinity (within range of your router) starts to accommodate a wildlife safari. Pipe the pictures to a big screen and get close-ups of midnight mousehunting, roadcrossing roulette etc. An inbuilt microphone adds extra excitement.

Now it seems that this has actually been implemented.

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#1: Ballcam

Here’s a typically crazy one to start. Create the ball’s view of a game of soccer by inserting some webcams in a subset of the 32 faces. Given enough bandwidth, and fast switching between camera outputs, the forward facing view could always be broadcast, even for a rapidly spinning ball.

You’d need to provide the switching mechanism with some reference by which to judge the forward direction (perhaps a simple layout of coloured lights around the ground would work). Otherwise, fitting accelerometers might be necessary, thus greatly adding to the complexity.

Making the whole thing robust enough to withstand the impacts involved in eg corner kicking would be a challenge. If players can stand heading an inswinger, after all, without obvious brain damage…ok, you’re probably right, damn silly idea.