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Even More Things I Thought Of

Part of an ongoing series of ideas I have.

Shower White Board & Glowing Clipboard/Pen

I thought of this, appropriately enough, in the shower. A material you can write on with your finger, cleans easily, and isn't affected too much by getting wet. Or maybe water is what makes it change color. It would have to last long enogh for you to towell off and grab a pen & paper to write it down later, and you should be able to wipe it clean while showering so you can start over.

Well Trident Diving Equipment has some Underwater Writing Slates, which isn't quite the same, but works very nicely in the shower.

Another thing I wanted was a battery/outlet powered clip board that glowed gently so you can write down your ideas at night without disturbing your sleep (or your partner's sleep) too much. Handling it causes it to glow enough that you can see the paper (think of a photographic light box photogrophers & doctors use for looking at negatives, only much dimmer) and attached pen.

If you really need more than a page to convey your ideas, you're probably going to have to fully wake to do it anyway, so 1 page worth should be enough. Alternately (and I've seen these) a glowing pen should do the trick nicely.

Advertising for SPAM®

"Send your friend a can of Spam for Christmas." For a small fee, you can send your friend the ultimate gift of Spam (an actual, unsolicited can of Spam in the mail). Word of mouth would spread like wildfire, the kitch factor would be through the roof, and the fact that Hormel is finally embracing (lowercase) spam instead of shunning it would just make everyone's day.

Beyond just the word of mouth (I mean "buzz" and "viral") advertising, people who get this can in the mail are actually likely to try it. People who would never normally try spam, may decide "Hey, it's not as bad I thought" and buy it. It's a win-win for Hormel.

Baby Stroller With Basket

Ideo has their Shopping Cart Concept, well, shopping with my sister and 2 year old nephew today, I realized that moms have to balance between having a kid in the stroller or in the shopping cart. It's often preferable for them to have the kid in the stroller because in the cart, the kid is a lot more active - pulling things off the shelves, asking for attention etc.

When you're just shopping for a few things with a stroller, there's never any place to put them. You can't put them under the stroller in the basket, and there's no place to put them on the stroller. You end up getting a basket and balancing it on the hood of the stroller, which just breaks the stroller or falls off.

So my idea is to have a stroller with an area behind the seat for a basket. It should come with a nice fabric basket, but should accept a standard supermarket basket as wel.

The rear wheel comes back for stability, and the handles have to come back as well. The basket can hang off of the handles. It's a little unweildy because of the extra length, but it's not nearly as long as those jogging strollers. I think this is a decent trade off for the extra storage space you get.

The lower storage area is also a pair of baskets, so you can easily move items around, ensuring you have a low center of gravity, so when you're done shopping, it's easy to transfer the milk and diapers to the top basket, while putting the milk and eggs down below. Another tradeoff here is this dual basket idea isn't ideal for large items, but I think this whole thing can be designed in such a way that it can fit a large pack of diapers. Perhaps both smaller baskets are sitting in one larger one, so by taking them out, you get a single large storage space below. The baskets can nest inside each other so you have a place to put the spares when you're not using them.

The baskets can be made of durable fabric so they collapse easily when the stroller is closed. The extended handle also collapses easily so it doesn't take up much room in the trunk. You can take the baskets out if they're full, so it's easy to transfer items from the stroller, to the car, and back, and so you can reduce the weight of the stroller when going up/down stairs.

One *major* consideration is that if there's too much weight above the rear wheel, when you're going up a curb, the stroller could tip backwards. Or if there's too much weight up high, it could roll over. A simple warning here isn't good enough, a lot of testing would need to be done to ensure safety, and the basket would have to be designed in such a way that if too much weight is put in it, the operator knows.

An alternate "discount" solution is to put a bracket above the hood that's sturdy enough to accept a basket. It will prevent the hood from breaking, and the basket from tipping over.


Other articles in this series

page first created on Wednesday, December 15, 2004

© Mark Wieczorek