It seems that colour perception gradually develops a greenish ‘overlay’ as long as one is awake (and gets reset after a night’s sleep).
If you work in an industry where judging colours is important, such as interior decorating or fashion design, this may actually have a significant effect.
Today’s invention is a plugin for Photoshop (or Gimp) which takes this into account and very gradually changes the screen colour balance towards the reddish end throughout a day’s work.
Following a wakeful night, a colour matching test could be arranged at the start of the day to recalibrate the screen so as to provide a personalised, consistent starting point.
I have wrenched my back several times getting a child into a childseat from outside a car.
Today’s invention is a childseat attachment which allows the seat to hang securely on the window frame of a car door. This lets a parent place their child in the seat without stooping and stretching.
The child is then belted into the seat and the door closed, allowing the seat to be detached, through the open window, through the very small distance onto the car seat.
The car door can then be reopened and the childseat attached to the car seat via the main belt in the usual way.
Today’s invention links two of my pet themes, motorcycles and organ donation.
It takes the form of fabric badges in the shape of icon-ified body organs which can be attached prominently to a Motorcyclist’s leathers.
You can only wear badges corresponding to organs you have signed up to donate, in the event of a fatal road accident (corneas on one’s helmet, a liver badge on the torso). This might give some small pause for thought, when cranked over in a 70 MPH corner.
These would appeal to the bravado instinct of bikers, having something of the quality of medals, as well as helping to integrate them into societies where they are seen as a threatening sub-culture (ie Surrey).
Today’s invention is a combination of social networking and exercise technology.
It consists of a regular gps running device with a phone built in. When running in a big event, information about your distance and heartbeat is automatically provided to your Twitter followers (especially tagged eg #exhortation if the readings indicate that you were flagging or in distress).
The followers can then tweet replies which are text-to-speech-ed, via a small loudspeaker, so that you can hear their words of support.
There is a real problem that people aren’t yet opting-in, in large enough numbers, to donate their organs after (brain)death.
Today’s invention is a web-based mechanism which makes it easy for a person to assert online that they’d like to donate in this way.
The website would also make it a very easy requirement for the recipient to change their name to include that of the donor. So Joe Smith who lives on after a donation by John Doe would be immediately and officially converted, in all official documentation and correspondence, to Joe [John, Doe] Smith.
In this way, a donor and his/her family could feel that their memory lived on and was fully appreciated by the recipient.
Today’s invention is a doormat which consists of a flat matrix of short, vertical, plastic tubes all of which are sealed into a base tray.
The tray is connected to a vacuum cleaner device.
When someone is sensed to have stepped onto the mat, the vacuum cleaner motor starts up and draws air down through the matrix of tubes.
This extracts from the feet of the visitor a large volume of dust and debris which would otherwise be walked into carpets etc. This collected mess can occasionally be tipped from the tray into a waste bin.
A friend of mine recently cycled 81 miles in a race. The vibration through the seat was so prolonged and intense that he was doubtful about fathering any additional children (for an hour or so post-race, anyway).
Bicycle saddle designers have attempted to deal with this problem by creating all sorts of slots in seats, gel packs etc.
Instead, today’s invention takes the form of a frontal pelvis pad which a rider straps to himself before getting on a bike with no saddle at all. The pad is held in place using a strap under the buttocks, but nothing goes near one’s pudendum.
The pad has a stub rigidly attached which engages with a slot on an upwardly-curved crossbar. This allows a cyclist to stand up on the pedals as usual but when later he wants to sit down, his weight is instead supported by leaning forwards and down on the pad (as well as some tension in the strap).
If the cycle crashes, the stub disconnects from the slot just as his feet disconnect from the pedals.
I know a lot about blisters, having just bought a pair of these.
Today’s invention is a form of protection for blisters. It consists of a collection of felt cylinders (blue), supplied as a column with each cylinder joined to the next using a small cord.
The cylinders have an adhesive underside allowing them to be applied around the blister (whatever its size) as shown.
This creates a support ring which minimises the pressure on the blister while it heals. The support in turn minimises the tendency for the blister to be squeezed so that even more outer skin is painfully separated from the inner layers.
Energy drinks apparently start to help one’s muscles work as soon as they make contact with the tongue.
That weird finding, via which the receptors of the tongue somehow inform one’s flagging muscles that ‘help is coming’, is the basis of today’s invention.
For those who find their lives threatened by exhaustion (such as soldiers, explorers or firefighters) it takes the form of a steel water bottle with a lockable lid (and an inaccessible, recessed valve).
The lid contains a timer device which opens a spout for say one second every half-hour (as determined for the operation concerned). This allows someone to take very short slurps of the sugar water inside, enabling them to keep going whilst preventing them from simply draining the contents.
It might even be possible for a version of the bottle to open the spout in response to radio signals from base, in order to maximise the chance that the bottle carrier can get him/herself back home in one piece.
Sitting on public transport frequently involves me in being blasted by the sneezes of neighbouring travelers.
Fortunately, it turns out that there are now antiviral agents which seem to work in limiting the development of cold infections.
Today’s invention is a handkerchief which contains this anti-rhinovirus in powder form.
When you sneeze into the hankie, a wave of antiviral particles is projected off the other side and fills the space between passengers, limiting the power of the virus to make people ill.