I confess I’m a reluctant technologist. I have a latent love for technology, but 90% of what gets bandied about as “the wave of the future” is about productivity, which I find funny, since I think our problem is quality, not quantity. I often miss what whizzes by as the latest and greatest because I want what’s timeless. Things so good they last more than a year, or crazy as it might sound, a lifetime.
And one day, instead of ranting to a friend by just complaining I listed the I wanted to see. Sure, they’re impossible, but so what. I’m turning all the filters off to see what happens.
Here they are:
- Annoyance teleporter: A device that teleports annoying people into a small, dark, damp room with someone they find as annoying as I find them.
- Garbage Destination: A picture on every garbage container of where the garbage placed inside actually goes.
- Food Scan-O-matic: A wand you wave over any food item that shows you where it originally came from, how it got to you, and which, if any, major food conglomerates were involved in its production.
- TempColor: Pots, pans, plates and cups that change colors to show how hot or cold they are (spectrum of red for hot to blue for cold). Also for water faucets, coffee mugs, bathtubs, etc.
- Travelrama light: A world travel stipend for every USA high school graduate. Sure, not an invention, but so what. Only 20% of Americans have passports. Is it any wonder we are often lost and clueless about how the rest of the world works? Most of us have seen almost none of it. We’d be collectively less stupid as a species if we all traveled more. And I’d start with the young: I’d make exchange programs cheap and highly incentives.
- UltraTravelrama: Instantly teleports everyone in the world to the place they most need to go, and teleport them back in a day. (Yes, includes auto-safety feature that wont teleport people in the middle of doing dangerous things, or into the middle of highways, etc.)
- Blabbermouth: Cell phone application that tells you what percentage of time you have been talking vs. listening per call, with lifetime and per contact stats.
- Shop Idiot Remover: The requirement, by law, of a trapdoor at the front of the line of any busy Starbucks, bagel or sandwich shop, that auto-detects when the person at the front of the line is clueless, and moves them to the back of the line. (NYC does not need to install these – the staff thankfully do it themselves).
- Worldo: A bracelet that tells you three things, updated in real time. 1) How much wealth you have 2) How much of the earth’s resources you consume 3) How happy you are. All are indexed against national and world averages (See GNH).
- DreamPic: takes pictures of the things people see in their dreams. (I thought this was my own idea, until I realized I’d seen the movie Brainstorm, with Christopher Walken. So I’d want a dumb version of that device, that only takes pictures and only once per dream, ensuring people still have to interpret whatever they see in the picture).
- ChildMinder: Gun you can fire at people that makes them instantly remember the happiest moment of their childhood. Also comes in hand grenade form.
- Treetalking: A language for talking to trees and stones so they can tell us everything they’ve seen.
- Comprehendo: An e-mail program that prevents people from replying to a message until they’ve actually read the whole thing.
Have some fun – forget constraints for a minute. What inventions are on your list?
Best invention gets a signed copy of Making Things Happen.