#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.’

#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.

#1369: Jettisonion

Military robots are a) very scary and b) absurdly complex.

Bomb disposal robots can however save lives but their cost and technical sophistication makes it increasingly unattractive to leave damaged machines in the hands of an enemy force.

Today’s invention is a bomb disposal robot containing a UAV that ejects itself and flies home if the armoured, but technically rudimentary, outer vehicle is disabled.

The UAV ‘brain’ contains all the costly, classified control technology etc and thus avoids this being destroyed or captured.

This approach limits the need to apply huge amounts of armour, since the sensor unit can continuously assess the likelihood of forthcoming terminal damage to the outer vehicle.

#1368: InGassing

Lots of high-value liquid products, like paint or wine, require their packaging to be effectively resealed in-between usages, to stop their volatile gaseous components from escaping.

Today’s invention is an alternative to the established technique of ensuring good seals and possibly reducing internal air pressure, so that a vapour-rich, stable atmosphere is maintained inside.

It consists of a small cannister, like a ‘soda bomb’, which contains extra, pressurised vapour of the type given off by the contained liquid.

A valve on this is briefly opened each time the container is sealed, so that less volatile material is lost from the liquid into the headspace above. Opening the can also results in an enhanced scent of the product being given off (which for wine is good thing).

#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.

#1346: Plasterpix

Today’s invention is a small way to reduce a child’s distress, having sustained a plaster-worthy cut.

Each plaster would have an outer surface capable of retaining pen marks.

This would allow the injured party to do a little drawing of the incident which caused their wound, so that when asked “how did you do that?” they could simply brandish the evidence of the whole grisly event .

#1321: Rainvelopes

Today’s invention is a transparent plastic umbrella with double-thickness panels. Each of these acts as an envelope into which can be slotted, from the perimeter with the eye-snagging pointy bits, a flexible, triangular insert; visible both from inside and outside.

These inserts can be pre-coloured, to allow the user to coordinate their outfit with their brolly, branded exclusively or contain hand-drawn images to provide an extra dimension of rainy-day personality.

#1317: CooLid

Laptops habitually overheat.

Today’s invention is an attempt to lessen that problem by embedding the processor in the lid, behind the screen.

The lid would have holes in the front and back surface, enabling natural convention cooling of the interior (rather than relying on noisy fans in a horizontal box, as is the usual approach).

Obviously there would be some need to ensure that the machine remained balanced with a lighter than usual keyboard and a heavier upright screen.

#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.

#1284: SackSack

Wine-in-a-box is actually wine-in-a-metallised-plastic-bag-in-a-box.

This is great for keeping the wine fresh, but not so good in terms of elegantly serving a ‘luxury’ product.

Today’s invention is therefore a bottle which contains a plastic bag full of wine. The bottle comes with a bag inserted and with the usual plastic tap incorporated into the bottle neck.

This allows the contents to be dispensed from a bottle which can be resealed conveniently, without allowing air to contact the wine in between openings.