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TV advertising: Slow motion adverts for fast forwarding people

Many of us now skip over ads in TV programmes by fast forwarding them. So it is pretty obvious how to solve it: broadcast an ad at 30 times slower speed so that when is fast forwarded it looks right. You won’t the the sound, but at least a video message will work fine.

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Putting compasses into paper maps

With all the capabilities now to print basic electronics,and the cheapness of compasses in some wristwatches,  it should be relatively straightforward to imprint a compass into a paper map, making it much easier to navigate. Many people take such functionality for granted on portable GPS systems, smart-phones and pads. It would be good to see some competition coming back from the paper products industry.

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Over the horizon comms

High speed battlefield communications benefit from having a secure channel. Encryption works, but a secure cable would work wonders and give even greater security. Of course, it is hard to lay a cable across a large distance during war, and it wouldn’t stay with a group as they wander through a battlefield. However, suppose operators at both ends were to shine fairly high power laser beams up into roughly the same area of sky and scan them round. A high power laser ionises the air as it travels through. As the two beams (one from each side) cross each other, an electrical circuit would be formed from end to end – effectively a cable. The link could be deliberately broken and re-established according to a time schedule to add security.

I can immediately see a few problems but problems aren’t always fatal. First, there exist such things as laser seeking missiles. Secondly, I am not sure whether the beam would radiate the signals so the transmissions might be easily intercepted, making it no better than a secure radio channel. Needs work but shows potential.

 

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Major medical breakthrough

It is well known that the placebo effect accounts for up to a third of the effects of almost every drug out there. Even if a ‘drug’ is a sugar pill, as long as the patient believes it is a good drug, it is likely to work in a third of cases.

So why don’t government, NHS, big pharmaceutical companies and some top scientists all form a top-secret consortium to come up with a new wonder drug that is really just a cleverly concocted placebo? It would need to be convincing, so a few awards would need to be sprinkled around, and some conspicuous research spending (really being spent on real drug research), and a fair bit on publicity. And the media would need to be blocked from spilling the beans. But then we could all take this pill knowing it will cure loads of stuff, and we would all be healthier, and happier, while health care costs would plummet so we’d even be richer. But don’t tell anyone.

I wonder if aspirin or statins are already in this category?

 

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Introduction

I write about the future, for Futurizon. I am a futurist, futurologist, but underneath I am an engineer. I can’t help having occasional ideas. Many are already patented, so I can’t proceed with them, and my own experience with patents is that they are a total pain, so even if they are truly novel, I have little interest in patenting anything else unless it will make me an instant billionaire. For all the rest of my ideas, I will just publish them, and if you want to use them, go ahead. If you feel guilty about exploiting me, make a donation to a charity of your choice.

Some of these ideas will be sound, some won’t. Some will already patented, or maybe even available to buy, but I won’t be the first person to reinvent something, it happens every day in every R&D department. So read on and enjoy.

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