Shampoo bottletops

I am sure many of you have the same problem. The shampoo and shower gel bottles don’t all fit on the minuscule shelf that the shower head rail came with, and you dare not put too much weight on the little baskets with suction cups, so they go on the shower floor. Depending which brand you buy, you may have a problem with water from the shower getting into the bottles and diluting the contents.

How much effort would it really be to design the caps so they always spring back to cover the hole when released? The only minor technical difficulty would be that you need to get the stuff out on to one hand while holding the bottle in the other, so you don’t have a hand free to hold the cap open, so it must stay open while you are holding the bottle. A simple cantilever would work fine, or using plastic that springs back only slowly, so you have a few seconds to squirt some stuff out.


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Ultrasonics in the home

I woke up 6am today with a new idea to add ultrasonic vibration to vacuum cleaner heads to improve cleaning efficiency. I suspected it must already exist, and wasn’t wrong. Oh well. I also discovered this blog is far from unique too. That idea appeared on halfbakery, which is a fun visit:

Ultrasonic cleaning itself is very old. My very first job application in 1981 took me to visit ultrasonic cleaning departments that were already old. So actually, the idea to add it to other cleaners is pretty obvious really. However…

I haven’t yet seen any ultrasonic generating balls that you can add to washing. It would be pretty easy. You make some specially shaped capsules that rumble round with the washing and they transmit ultrasound as they go, helping to liberate dirt and reducing the amount of detergent or heat needed. A simple transducer and battery, so  should be pretty cheap. They would be recharged of course just by leaving them on an inductive plate.

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Heisenberg Resonator

Another fanciful invention perhaps, in the ‘needs work’ category, the Heisenberg resonator. Quantum computing is hard because keeping states from collapsing for any length of time is hard. The Heisenberg resonator is a device that quite deliberately observes the quantum state forcing it to collapse, but does so at a regular frequency, clocking it like a chip in a PC. By controlling the collapse, the idea is that it can be reseeded or re-established as it was prior to collapse in such a way that the uncertainty is preserved. Then the computation can continue longer.

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Electron pipe

This is a high speed comms solution that makes optical fibre look like two bean cans and a bit of string. I call this the electron pipe. I invented it in 1990, but it remains in the future since we can’t do it yet.  The idea is to use an evacuated tube and send a beam of high energy particles down it instead of crude floods of electrons down a wire or photons in fibres. Initially I though of using 1MeV electrons, then considered that larger particles such as neutrons might be useful too, though they would be harder to control. The wavelength of 1MeV electrons would be pretty small, allowing very high frequency signals and data rates, many times what is possible with visible photons down fibres. Would it work? Maybe, especially on short distances via carbon nanotubes for chip interconnect.

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Electric blanket for cat basket

Our cat is quite cute as cats go, but I am really not a cat fan, so I only really tolerate him. When he sits on my lap occasionally I don’t mind, but now in the winter, when he treats me as a heat source, he is far too demanding and I wish he would have his own place to sit. So I got thinking: why isn’t there a cat basket with an electric blanket in it so that the cat will go there to get warm instead? Sitting by the fire is obviously too intense heat, but a nice electric blanket would work fine. The heat would  obviously contribute to the rest of the room so there would be no significant environmental impact if he only needs it while the house is heated anyway.

So any electric blanket manufacturers out there, especially any looking for new markets during the recession. Cats and presumably dogs, maybe even small pets, they are potential users too. They need pet baskets with electric blankets in them. Get on with it.

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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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