If you’re age 11, possibly in grade 6, looking for ideas for things that haven’t been invented yet, this post can hopefully inspire you to think up some great ideas.
I originally wrote this post in 2006, and since then, many of these have been created. See if you can find the ones that have already been made! Leave a comment if you recognize an idea that turned into a real product.
I usually think of an invention about once a week. Oh, I don’t do anything about it, I just imagine what my invention would be like and then I say something like, “I just invented a portable microwave,” and then I go back to cooking pasta.
I decided to publish list of of these inventions. I’m fairly detached about them, but also excited: that is, it’s obvious that these things should be invented, but I’m obviously not the one to do that, so if somebody wants to take my ideas and invent them for real, please do so, just remember this blog entry when you do, so people will say, “Oh yes, that Kevan fellow invented all those things.”
Here’s my list of Things That Should Be Invented But Haven’t Been Yet:
1. DIGITAL PAPER
Xerox was working on this – they had a commercial on TV about 5 years ago, encouraging people to imagine it. Here’s my version: It’s paper that serves as a computer screen. You use a two-button pen to interact with it. Let’s say you’ve got a typed document in front of you: just tap where you want to edit, and you can make changes in your handwriting. It converts it back to typed text.
2. FULL-SURFACE SPEAKERS
I’m fairly certain I once saw these advertised, too – if you remember, please send me the link. From the line-out of your audio device, you have one “speaker pad” that resembles a single defibrillator pad. Affix it to ANY SURFACE (a wall, a rock, the ground) and it will utilize the material vibrations present in the surface to transmit sound from your device, and turn that same surface into a giant speaker.
3. INFINITE MEMORY
Face it, the concept of “storage space” in a digital environment should soon become obsolete. Infinite memory is just as it sounds: no storage limitations, no gigabytes, no nothing. Oh, memory still exists, but it’s be available without limits because of the technology on which it’s recorded. Additionally, it should be super cheap. For instance, hard drives and USB memory sticks should hover at a constant price of about $10 – $20, with consumers paying strictly for the “cool packaging.”
4. WIRELESS ELECTRICITY
Why are we still plugging devices into walls, and relying on batteries? Let’s develop electricity that is accessible using some kind of antennae device. Wind power, solar power? Sure, those are viable options. What it comes down to is that “electric power” is available to be plucked out of mid-air, kind of like Wi-Fi works now. Just make sure we don’t get electrocuted by wearing earrings or something.
5. WIRELESS SPEAKERS
Here’s how it looks: speakers positioned at any point in your house can pick up on a secure signal transmitted from your audio device, and play music. No audio cables required, and no complicated technical set-up, either. I guess Apple’s already done this with that whole AirPort thing, and it also kind of contradicts my “full-surface speakers” notion. But hey, it’s still an okay idea.
6. THE SUPER-THIN TOUCH-SCREEN “EVERYTHING” CARD
It’s already pretty obvious that the “next-generation hand-held device” is going to be an all-in-one device. Kinda like that iPhone thing we’ve been hearing about. That’s what this is, only more significant. Imagine: this device has the dimensions of a credit card. The entire card is an interactive touch-screen, made of virtually unbreakable materials. The device has up to 80 gigs of memory (just for now, until infinite memory is developed), and can serve any or all of these functions at the same time:
Still & Video Camera
Portable hard drive
Credit card, debit card and points card (payment and rewards system)
That’s right, you pay for groceries with it, you listen to music, play games, conduct business, transport data…anything that needs to be done. With the touch screen, there’s no need for a keyboard or a pen. The card widens at the end to provide enough width for a single in-and-out port that serves as headphones jack/USB connection/power supply.
7. Laptop with screen legs
A laptop with an extendable screen, so you can raise up the screen to eye-level for better ergonomics and posture. I even sketched this one out!
8. Walls with switchable views
Instead of painting your wall, use a screen that spans your entire wall surface to show whatever paint colour, wallpaper or view you like. Change daily to suit your mood, weekly when company comes over. Change to an ocean view when you’re reading, or a book-panelled wall when you’re having a serious conversation.
9. Need more ideas? Email me using the contact page!