#1242: StepStore

Today’s invention is a way to improve the use of storage space in both homes and offices.

Shown in filing cabinet form, but adaptable to other types of furniture, it consists of drawers which are deep enough to provide access to other drawers which extend almost to ceiling height.

Each drawer is fitted with an internal step enabling a kind of staircase and the whole cabinet is bolted to the wall to limit any tendency to toppling.

#1236: WashScreen

Today’s invention is dedicated to Steven Hammer (by way of thanks for his many comments).

In response to his request for a way to screen trouser pockets for paper tissues, before placing them in the washing machine, it takes the form of inserts which are attached by cables to the trouser zip.

Before the trousers are removed, the zip must be pulled downwards -which in turn extracts the pocket liners.

These would be made of an open-weave mesh so that the trouser pocket contents would be exposed and the liners removed before the washing began.

#1234: StopWash

Today’s invention is a washing machine which detects things other than clothes before these items get washed (and destroyed).

Each item of clothing has its barcode scanned before being inserted into the washing machine. The machine weighs each item by taking note of the weight on board before and after addition of each.

Later, when say a shirt is inserted, if the weight fails to match the recorded weight for that particular piece of clothing, a small alarm sounds to indicate the presence of your phone, loose change, pen, keys, calculator, passport, etc.

#1232: Minedmilk

Today’s invention is the latest weapon in the communal-fridge wars.

To stop people stealing one’s (personal) milk, insert a plastic device which consists of a number of yellowish globules linked by a few strands of fishing line. The globules float near the surface and the lines are almost invisible.

This gives the impression, when viewed through the bottle wall or neck, of milk substantially past its use-by and thus deters all but the most desperate kleptolactics.

This device is sterilisable between uses and easily placed in a bottle but won’t pour into one’s cup every time the milk is used.

#1228: StainBrazen

It’s a major pain when a pen in my pocket leaks and ruins my favourite shirt or a glass of Medoc somehow misses my mouth and defaces a much-loved tie.

Today’s invention is a scanner/printer which examines any such stain and decides which shape it most closely resembles in a database of stored items. This would take into account the colour of the stain and the probability of overprinting with a darker colour.

The device then offers the user the chance to overprint the stain with either a one-off ‘logo’ or a repeating pattern based on the modified stain shape. Once a choice of disguise shape has been chosen, the printer applies this in order to obscure the stain and make the item of clothing usable again.

#1224: Hushouse

If I’m staying in a hotel, it’s often hard to work out which room is making that infernal racket late at night.

Today’s invention is a way to help. Each room would have a touch sensitive cube on a fixed stalk. If the occupants were bothered by noise, they could simply press the sides to show from which direction it seemed to be coming. This would send signals to a central computer allowing the offending room to be identified as shown.

It might even be possible (joy) for this to result in the automatic volume reduction or disconnection of any TVs or stereos plugged in within that room (perhaps in proportion to the number of other guests irritated).

#1221: UnSticker

There is an entire industry devoted to helping people get the tops off jars.

Today’s invention is another such kitchen device. It consists of a thin square of recyclable plastic material with a strong sticky pad on one side.

This is perforated along a wiggly line so the user can break it into two pieces. One is pressed and stuck to the jar cap as shown, the other is attached to the jar bottom. The fingers protruding on one side of the jar allow for a massively improved grip -even for those with dexterity or finger strength difficulties.

The pads stay in place and don’t affect the glass recycling process much more than the labels on the jar.

#1217: Turner

Abstract paintings can be fun, but let’s not pretend it’s art (ie ‘something designed to communicate an emotional state’). No, it’s decor.

Today’s invention is a picture frame which contains an old-style acoustic burglar alarm, wired to a small motor. The frame can accommodate any abstract work of your choice.

A few random times a day, if the sensor detects that no-one is in the room, the motor rotates the picture quickly through a random multiple of 90degrees, giving the owner more visual variety and an added talking point.