#1399: Splashield

When adding food to boiling water, it can be dangerous to remove a saucepan lid and dump it in. The splashing is particularly bad, even if the steam doesn’t get you.

Today’s invention is a saucepan with a handle which behaves like a chute. A small platform at the distal end of the handle allows you to slide food elements (eg gnocchi) into the water, without removing the lid or getting splashed.

Any steam which travels up the handle will be avoidable but most will actually condense on the inside of the handle, lubricating the downwards movement of the food.

#1396: MealMeld

Fast food seems to be taking over the highstreets of Britain (now that the banks aren’t looking so healthy).

Today’s invention is a fast food delivery service to cater for the large number of people who prefer brand A’s French fries, brand B’s burgers and brand C’s milkshake. They can thus really ‘have it their way’.

A customer could make the request for their cocktail meal on a mobile device and once assembled by a motorcycle delivery rider, with an insulated top box, delivered direct to their location. This would be charged for at a premium on the standard prices of course.

#1390: JawJar

Today’s invention is a development of the standard, screw-threaded jar.

All sorts of these vessels exist, in a variety of materials. The idea is to engrave onto the helical surface of the container’s screw thread a groove like the surface of an old LP record.

This would be ‘played’ by a corresponding needle set or moulded into the threads of the lid, whenever the jar was being opened.

With the lid shaped to act as a loudspeaker, such a device might issue a brief warning about the misuse of medicine within or to those about to steal one’s milk from the communal fridge. It might simply say ‘Thanks from Pepsico.’

#1389: SupperSpray

We are told that too much salt in the diet is unhealthy.

Today’s invention is to provide salt pre-dissolved in vinegar for use on the dining table. A water spray, of the kind used on plant leaves, would be filled with vinegar and a small amount of salt added in the factory so as to form a solution of known concentration.

This would allow foods, such as fish and chips, to have only limited quantities of salt applied to them (and in a more uniform way than sprinkling separately).

#1381: ShoalShaper

It seems that shoals of fish are subject to a tension between the tendencies to swim closely to avoid predators and to spread out to get enough oxygen.

(There are examples of eg dolphins blowing bubbles in order somehow to direct a shoal, so maybe the injection of some extra oxygen allows the fish to bunch up more, making them easier to eat).

Today’s invention is an air line from a fishing boat. When a shoal is detected on the sonar, this line would descend into the shoal, aerate it and allow the fish to form a tighter than usual ball…resulting in a higher than normal percentage caught in the vessel’s net.

#1377: CarouSell

Manufacturers of eg edible goods are obsessive about understanding what we like best. Today’s invention is a box for chocolates or biscuits which allows communication about our preferences.

It consists of a (grey) annular box, like a slide carousel, in which eg biscuits are arranged on their sides and visible through a transparent, annular lid.

The lid must be rotated so that a slot in it corresponds with the biscuit of one’s choice. As this happens, a small (red) pen leaves a line on a roll of paper wrapped around the outer face of the carousel. When the pen stops, it leaves a small blot.

Microscopic analysis later of the blots and the line’s local ink depth allows interpretation of the order in which biscuits were visited.

Consumers could be offered a small incentive to mail the paper sheet back to the manufacturer to aid product development.

#1360: MindFull

There is a big problem with people overeating -often it seems because they aren’t paying attention to their meals.

Today’s invention is a pair of spectacles to be worn by people interested in eating more healthily.

These have wrap-around opaque ‘lenses’ which allow the wearer to look down on his or her plate but not elsewhere.

These look like conventional (cool) sunglasses and allow the diner to take part in conversation but also encourage them to concentrate on the taste and texture of the food (so that they will be much more aware of when they have had enough).

#1357: BlimpBags

Crisp packets are designed with a foil lining to ensure the product stays fresh.

Today’s invention is to add some novelty to a rather conservative market segment by making more use of the metallised bags.

Fill them with helium and sell them, like balloons, attached to a string.

Helium wouldn’t stay in the packets nearly as long as air is kept out, but, given the small weight of product per bag, imagine the advertising benefit to the company that tries this out first of having people walk back from the shops with their brand held aloft.