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General Chat Thread, What gadget do you wish existed - serious answers only please! in General; I can see that this topic will turn into "Simpsons did it first"! Originally Posted by dhicks Proximity sensor / ...
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    LeMarchand's Avatar
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    I can see that this topic will turn into "Simpsons did it first"!

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Proximity sensor / image recognition device for attaching to the sides of lorries to provide a view to the driver of any cyclists around. Probably aim to interface with a tablet in the driver's cab. Something Raspberry Pi based, with a camera, would probably do it, you just need to figure out how to attach it to the lorry (I'm thinking strong magnets), how to power it (might need an attachement to attach to the battery) and how to network it (possibly Bluetooth). Borris Johnson has hinted at mandatory cycle safty devices on lorries in the congestion zone, so there might soon be a market for such a device.
    Quote Originally Posted by tomgrindle View Post
    @dhicks ... something similar to this has already being tested on buses around Bristol. Not quite a camera, but a warning device. The company are about to take it to haulage companies as well. As a bus/coach driver myself, having another screen to look at would reduce concentration on the road.

    CycleEye device that alerts drivers to cyclists in blind spots tested on Bristol buses | Bristol Post
    Whilst this is definitely needed, can I make myself unpopular by suggesting that it's not always the drivers that are at fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnat1121 View Post
    A "you left the fridge door open alarm", some of my family members have alsymers and they leave the door open all the time and then they're food spoils, like a simple magnetic sensor and a voice says you've left your fridge open. The only real solutions out there at the moment all rely on Arduinos, relays and unstable code.
    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Sadly for her - this already exists. You can even build your own here? Fridge Door Detector Alarm
    Oh god! Not happened with my folks (yet), but perhaps I should get one just in case. Do they have a "battery low, replace now" alarm too? Otherwise I can see a problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_C View Post
    Possibly too complex, and I probably should have patented it...

    A RFID / GPS wristband for theme parks.

    Load with a child's identity, food credit, dietary restrictions, ride restrictions, and any other useful info. Set the child loose at the start of the day, and parents relax in the knowledge that the child can't leave the park without them, has no money to loose, and that they can track them at will from kiosks when they need to find them at going home time.

    The exit gates are programmed only to allow egress of kids if they are with the correct parents. Wrist bands only removable by cutting which disables them. Used bands returned either at the gate, or by post for unused credit to be refunded.
    Sounds good, but I'm not sure I'd like to trust my child to such a device.

    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    I've often thought I should make this and make my millions, but I know I'll never get round to it.

    A sticky speaker to attach to your TV remote and a sticky button to attach to your telly. Press the button and the remote will whistle/beep/whatever noise helps you locate it. Future development would obviously be to licence to the TV companies to be integrated, which would make the battery situation easier.

    Could also do it with a simple RFID tag on the remote (so no power needed) and some sort of magic wand that you could wave around, that beeps when it gets close to a tag. No need to limit this to remotes either, of course; just a series of tags, and a magic wand device that is brightly coloured, is wall-mountable and whistles back when you whistle at it - cos of course, you need a way to find the magic wand (this is why a sticky button on the TV is the better option there, cos it's pretty difficult to lose a 42" flatscreen).
    Pretty sure M&S had something like this a few years ago - though it was far too expensive.

    I'd like a toy gun that disrupts TV screens in a preset pattern with sound effects. So: Noel Edmonds appears - custard pie in the face; David Cameron - I'm going up to "Magnum .44".

    Going off on a slight tangent, how to people who come up with simple solutions make their money? For instance, say paper clips didn't exist and someone started manufacture - what's to stop plants in less "stick to the rules" countries starting to churn out "clips for paper fastening"?

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    A device which stops my kids leaving the tap dribbling as they haven't turned it off fully.

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    witch (9th June 2014)

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    How about something on a variation to the Fridge door alarm, a device which retro-fits to a kitchen mixer tap (or any style if possible I guess) and whistles (much like stove kettle) to let a person know the water is still running when they've walked away from a washing up bowl still filling up 2 hours later.

    I've found attachments which light up but are unsuitable as it needs to be audible so that forgetful people like my Dad can hear when he's left the tap on!

    EDIT: Funny, just noticed the post above mine!

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    witch (9th June 2014)

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    An automatic thermometer for the bath which cuts off or restricts water flow when the bath reaches appropriate temperature and completely cuts off when its reached the appropriate depth of water.

    I have an exceedingly arthritic grandmother in Germany who struggles to run her own bath, and can never get the temperature right, often having to leave it too cool down for a while before she gets in. Something like that would help her immeasurably.

  7. 2 Thanks to nephilim:

    Garacesh (9th June 2014), mac_shinobi (9th June 2014)

  8. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shielder View Post
    How about something on a variation to the Fridge door alarm, a device which retro-fits to a kitchen mixer tap (or any style if possible I guess) and whistles (much like stove kettle) to let a person know the water is still running when they've walked away from a washing up bowl still filling up 2 hours later.

    I've found attachments which light up but are unsuitable as it needs to be audible so that forgetful people like my Dad can hear when he's left the tap on!

    EDIT: Funny, just noticed the post above mine!
    you can get float alarms that sound a high pitched scream at a set depth.

    Advanced Care Technologies - Bath & Sink Water Level Alarm

  9. #36

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by creese View Post
    I could imagine the damage this would do to some of the plaster on the houses I used to work on. I used to find painting therapeutic, no more though. So I'd go along with something like this.
    ok scratch my idea then - Don't want to damage any properties whilst doing a paint job

  10. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Are they a thing? I did not know they were a thing.
    Oh yes.... Some time ago I used to moonlight at a local venue doing lights, stage management etc. Just casual "local crew" stuff, but i'd often be the only, or one of a small handful of casuals who would be left to run the boring (read, "not rock and roll") events.

    One of the regulars were the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. One night, with a fiery Dutch conductor doing a quiet opening piece, I heard an alarm going off. Not the fire alarm, and I'd not heard it before, so I left the side of the stage to investigate. This venue is built into the city council offices, so there are lots of corridors and rooms around it. I searched, the duty manager searched, but we couldn't hear it away from the stage.

    Well, the first piece finished, and I went back to the stage to do the change-over, and get duffed up with "Wvat is dis beeping!? It is ruinink the concert!" I say"Sorry, no idea, but were still looking, just go and do the next piece".

    Once they were under-way again, I went back to the dressing room corridor to find the brass section wetting themselves laughing. One of them had dropped his keys into his instrument case beside him... and one of the notes the oboes were playing set the bleeping thing off! He couldn't stop playing to deal with it.

  11. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    ok scratch my idea then - Don't want to damage any properties whilst doing a paint job
    The German company I worked for simply sprayed the walls, airless, so pretty clean and a nice finish. It takes a while to mask out. This is where I first came across a wall paper pasting machine, in 1980.

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  13. #39
    Jon
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    How about some kind of device to prevent people from spilling beer into laptops whilst sitting in the garden on sunny Sunday afternoons.

    This would be really useful!

  14. #40

    witch's Avatar
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    Thanks guys - keep the ideas coming but please stay on topic
    You are finding, as I did, that most of the things have already been done but variations are OK as long as they make a pretty substantial difference to the bit of kit.

  15. #41

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    Possibly already done, but I don't cycle so I don't know: a dynamo attached to a bike wheel to power a heated bike seat.

    (or, of course, a micro-USB plug so you can charge your phone while you cycle. That may work better in this modern age, particularly for people who use cycling apps to track route/distance/calories/etc.)

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  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Possibly already done, but I don't cycle so I don't know: a dynamo attached to a bike wheel to power a heated bike seat.

    (or, of course, a micro-USB plug so you can charge your phone while you cycle. That may work better in this modern age, particularly for people who use cycling apps to track route/distance/calories/etc.)
    Maybe a usb chargeable battery like an anker battery so you could charge said battery up when ever you cycle and then use this to charge other devices when not cycling so phones etc

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    There are tons of toys out there for Cats and Dogs that you put food in and it's supposed to 'make the animal work for their food' and be a boredom buster. My cat took one look at the one I bought him, looked at me as if to say 'work? for my treats? I'd rather go without' then went out. Needless to say I attempted to repurpose it for the Rabbits and didn't have much joy there either. So my idea:

    A Cat toy/treat dispenser that dispenses treats based on 'success criteria' of the animals play.

    For example. My cat LOVES 'fishing rod' toys. I'd like to have a toy that dangles and jingles automatically (I had one of those wind up ones but he broke it almost immediately). When the cat gets hold of the 'lure' and perhaps applies pressure (either by grabbing or biting), this 'success criteria' causes the unit to output a treat. I'd buy it.

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  21. #44

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    Might be a little up the complexity ladder, but an Arduino should be up to the task maybe.

    There's no 'cool' looking single-din boost gauge and turbo timer unit available. Turbo timer I'd say cannibalise a £12 one or piggyback somehow with the Arduino, boost gauge go stock sender then Arduino and output LCD. Custom startup message, wide range of colours and types of LCD display - all your turbo management (however unnecessary that might be) in a single-din package! The Halfords style crew would be QUEUEING up in their Corsas/Novas for that.

  22. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miscbrah View Post
    Might be a little up the complexity ladder, but an Arduino should be up to the task maybe.

    There's no 'cool' looking single-din boost gauge and turbo timer unit available. Turbo timer I'd say cannibalise a £12 one or piggyback somehow with the Arduino, boost gauge go stock sender then Arduino and output LCD. Custom startup message, wide range of colours and types of LCD display - all your turbo management (however unnecessary that might be) in a single-din package! The Halfords style crew would be QUEUEING up in their Corsas/Novas for that.
    I wouldn't mind something that was universal as far as connecting to the car with an LCD Screen so it would show similar info to what newer cars have ref how many more miles you can drive, typical miles per gallon that you would get depending on how you are driving ie how fast etc, outside temp, date / time and any other useful info

    I've got a 2001 car and it doesnt show me this, also maybe could link it into the cars ECU to show any errors ie engine errors etc
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 9th June 2014 at 12:14 PM.

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