#1335: Mufflemuzzle

Today’s invention is a silencer for that neighbourhood dog whose owner is unable to stop it barking all the time.

Since each dog has a pretty characteristic and consistent nuisance-bark wavelength, this would take the form of a simple muffler device with a resonator chamber which would be adjustable in length to allow cancellation of that particular animal’s bark.

At night, the dog would wear a muzzle fitted with a silencer of this type made of lightweight plastic material.

#1334: Secureslice

Today’s invention is a new way to slice a loaf of bread.

Every other cut would be replaced by one which fell short of cutting through the bottom and one side of the loaf.

This would result in the creation of many double-thickness slices, each of which acts as a two-sided pocket.

This allows for easier sandwich making (and eating, since the contents could not drop out of the bottom). Each slice would also still be thin enough to just fit within a standard toaster.

#1332: Slurpstop

Breast-fed children get to decide themselves when they have had enough but bottle-using parents tend to keep feeding their child until the bottle is empty. This is thought to contribute to obesity and maybe even to developing diabetes.

Today’s invention is therefore a bottle which disguises the amount of formula milk left during a feed (until actually empty). It does this by being opaque and slightly heavier than usual but also by incorporating a sealed compartment part-filled with water.

This makes it difficult for a parent to judge how much milk remains (without removing the top) so that the baby can have more say in when to stop drinking.

#1328: Chewver

I often use a vacuum cleaner to clean up rubble and nails etc when I’m working on house restoration. I hate it when something gets stuck in the hose and I have to dismantle the whole thing to deal with the problem.

Today’s invention is a device which fits on the end of a vacuum cleaner hose (the hose should be made translucent, so you can see what’s happening inside, but that’s another story). The device has slightly smaller diameter than the hose itself, so any potential blockage will occur at the inlet.

When the system detects an increase in motor load due to choking, it activates a set of internal jaws which hammer backwards and forwards ‘chewing’ the plug into fragments small enough to be ‘swallowed’. These are driven by a motor powered by a cable from the cleaner body.

The jaws would be located more than a finger’s length from the inlet. If after multiple chewing motions, the motor load had not decreased, then the motor would be automatically switched off, to allow manual clearance.

#1325: Bakeshaker

Today’s invention is a device which can be used in any oven to minimise the amount of time for which the oven door is open. Every such opening wastes huge amounts of energy and makes the kitchen more like a sauna.

The device is in the form of an insulated hinge device which grips the bars of one of the horizontal dividers. The other end of the device clips onto a baking tray. A small radio-controlled motor opens and closes the hinge (reflecting user-selected amplitudes and frequencies).

This has the effect of repositioning the food items in the tray in order to achieve uniform cooking, without the potential for burning one’s wrists.

A more advanced system could be equipped with a temperature probe capable of oscillating the food in response to the readings taken.

#1319: SafeSmoke

Today’s invention is an anti burglary device which consists of an insert to one’s chimney.

An electrically activated, slow release smoke cannister is inserted high inside the chimney breast.

On leaving home, this is operated by setting the domestic alarm so that potential thieves are deterred by the sight of an apparently active fireplace.

#1310: ShardJar

Today’s invention is a way to deal with domestic broken glass.

Rather than fill the kitchen with a pile of fragments waiting to be wrapped in cardboard and dumped in the regular bin, there is a better way.

A glass jar is made just small enough to fit through the hole in a bottle bank. This jar has a glass, screw-on lid…no other materials are involved.

When anything glass is broken, the bits are gathered and placed in this jar. When the jar is full, it is transported to the bottle bank and the whole thing dumped in to be recycled.

#1308: ReelRoll

Consider the remarkable inertia-reel seatbelt design.

Today’s invention is to apply that to the humble toilet roll dispenser.

A pair of arms inside the toilet roll would be flung outwards as the toilet roll was rotated when the end of the paper was pulled. These would cause the cardboard liner to stop and the paper to tear off.

With more certainty than is available by just pulling on the end of a conventional paper toilet roll; the more sharply one pulls the inertia reel paper, the shorter the length of paper dispensed.

#1292: LeanAlign

Today’s invention is a way to make office chairs roll more smoothly across office flooring.

Conventional casters (with wheel centre trailing the vertical axis) always seem to end up pointing in the wrong direction. This causes carpet rucking and a massive amount of extra, irritating friction.

The new approach has the chair mounted on a shallow, conical base with casters, as shown.

To move in a certain direction, first rock in the opposite direction slightly, allowing the casters on the other half to rotate around under gravity to align themselves with the planned movement.

Rolling onto these then allows the chair to be supported and move unhindered on aligned wheels.

#1286: Contourkeys

Rather than cart around a collection of Yale keys, today’s invention allows a user to carry only the outer profile of each key,

These can be made of very stiff metal so that twisting within the lock can be sustained repeatedly without breakage.

The key outlines might also be nested, so that the whole ‘keyring’ can be conveniently stored flat in a wallet, for example.

This might take the form of a metal business card with laser-cut profiles in it -each of which which could bend outwards independently to allow door opening.