In part four of this series, we continue our look at inventions that will probably never be invented, but should be.
Invention One: Jiffy Bags with the bubbles filled with helium instead of nitrogen.
This is a similar idea to filling car tyres with helium in an attempt to reduce weight that we saw last week.
The biggest plus point with this particular approach, in that postage is very expensive, and by reducing the weight of the package, the postage can be likewise reduced.
This will never be invented because the British Postal Service hold the patent on Jiffy Bags, and will not allow any derivation of them without imposing severe licences. It is unlikely that they will allow a helium Jiffy Bag.
There is a workaround for the home inventor. In every package you send, include a couple of helium filled balloons. Should your item weigh less than the package, the post office will have to pay you the postage, offsetting the cost of the helium.
Invention Two: Levitating computer mice that will never pick up dirt.
This is a simple idea. computer mice are renowned for become clogged and not as smooth to move after only a short use, even when used with a mouse mat. By replacing the mouse mat with a strong electromagnet, and putting an opposite pole magnet in the mouse, the mouse will float a few millimetres off the mouse mat, and never clog or stick, remaining as accurate and smooth as the day it was bought.
This will never be invented because the big four mice makers wish for people to regularly replace their mice, and an everlasting mouse is not something they could hope to keep selling.
Again, there is a work around for the amateur inventor. Make one yourself by putting a magnet under a mouse mat, and glue the opposite pole to the underside of a laser based mouse. As long as your magnets are powerful enough, you have your levitating mouse. Please be aware, this article can accept no liability for any computer mice destroyed because of flying paper clips, and your mobile phone may lose signal near your mouse.
Invention Three: Windows that show a different view for people who live in grotty areas but want to see the countryside.
Some materials can slow the passage of light right down. Bricks for instance, slow light so much that it takes billions of years for each photon to make its way through. So long, in fact, that most people assume that they are opaque. Glass lets light through fairly rapidly, but in between there are materials where it takes ten years or more for the light to pass.
If these materials are made into panels, they could be left in a nice area of the world, like the Lake District, or Times Square, soaking up the light. When they are ripe, these panels could be installed in a building, where they would release their light, depicting scenes from where they were 'grown'.
This will probably never be invented because it's a totally ridiculous idea.
There aren't any workarounds, short of filling the Lake District with CCTV cameras and sending the feed to an LCD TV in the home. This would mean lots of CCTV cameras in the Lake District, spoiling the view.
Invention Four: Cassette player adaptor for CD players.
Everybody over the age of thirty-five has a huge collection of cassettes that they have not yet got around to replacing with MP3s or CDs. The humble cassette player has had it's day, and finding a hifi that can play cassettes is harder to find than a public pay phone when your mobile has run out of charge. In the rain. At night. In an insalubrious part of town.
This as yet uninvented piece of kit could be inserted into a CD player, and at the other end, be attached to a cassette, playing it through a car stereo or home hifi. The cassette player part would be powered off the rotation of the CD.
This probably won't be invented because the record industry want us all on MP3s that we can lose during a computer crash.
Invention Five: Raincoats for couples.
When you're caught in a rainstorm with your new date, there would be nothing more romantic than sharing a raincoat under which you have to cuddle. Complete with two hoods and two arms you could hold hands or put your free arms around each other, keeping you both warm and romantic.
There is no good reason for this not to be invented, so I'm off down the patent office. More next week!