Idea Of The Day. A new Idea Each Day. Some Don't Suck.



We post an all new idea every day. If you find an idea you like... do something about it. Make it happen.

Our Latest Posts About: Technology

Pondering Self-Driving Cars

Self-Driving Cars are no longer science fiction. Here's a few things to think about.


When I first heard that Google was working on self-driving cars, I thought it was nothing more than an experiment. After all, who would trust a computer to drive them from place to place? As it turns out, they were not only serious, but just about every technology and car company is rushing to get their self-driving cars to market within the next couple of years. Clearly, Self-Driving cars are more than an experiment.

As I write this in June of 2017, every major car maker has at least SOME self-driving capabilities in their latest models. At the low end, cars today can warn you of obstacles or unsafe driving and in many cases they're programmed to automatically apply the brakes or even ta... [More]

Continue...Pondering Self-Driving Cars...

Why does Amazon allow Technology Scalpers?


For some reason, whenever new game consoles come out from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft they have a hard time building enough of them to meet demand, which creates a huge opportunity for Technology Scalpers to take advantage of people willing to pay a premium just to get their hands on them.

For example, ever since the Nintendo Switch was released about a month or so ago, it's virtually impossible finding one... at the regular price. What really bugs me is that at any time, there are at least 500 third-party sellers on Amazon selling them for at least $200 above the list price. How is it that all these third party sellers have plenty of them in-stock, meanwhile Amazon, the world's largest retailer has never even taken one order from... [More]

Continue...Technology Scalpers Suck. Nintendo Switch Blues....

One Volume To Control Them All

Having two independent volume settings is a pain in the neck.


I hate when a device like a mobile phone or cable box has it's own independent volume control, even when it's connected to another device, such as a speaker, headset, or car radio.

This causes all sorts of problems when the device playing audio has it's volume set too low when it's connected to the target device. For example, if the volume on your mobile phone is set too low, your connected devices such as your car stereo will sound way too low, or even distorted. Most of the time, people don't even realize why their connection sounds so bad unless they notice the volume level on their phone.

The solution is simple, whenever you're connected to HDMI or Bluetooth, the volume level on the source device should be... [More]

Continue...One Volume To Control Them All...

Why Amazon Echo Should Actually... Echo!

The Amazon Echo is one of my favorite gadgets, but it's lacking one feature that would make it even better, the ability to echo back what you say to it.


I originally posted this idea at least a year before I stated posting videos and it was one of my most popular topics. The essence of the idea is simple, in addition to all the cool things the Amazon Echo can do, I think the Amazon Echo could open the door to an entirely new service... a Personal Voice Database in the cloud.

Here's how it would work. You say something to Alexa like "Alexa, Frank's wife's name is Gladys", and at a later date, you can ask "Alexa, what's Frank's Wife's name?" and it would respond with your original voice message telling you the date.

In essence, it's like using Alexa as an intelligent voice... [More]

Continue...Why Amazon Echo Should Actually... Echo!...

Amazon Echo Unchained?

One of the biggest things holding back the Amazon Echo is the proprietary cord.


I was one of the first people to get an Amazon Echo. I pre-ordered mine after seeing a demonstration video showing a typical family using their Echo for all sorts of things throughout their home. What they don't mention in the video is that the Amazon Echo is not exactly portable, so for them to use it throughout their home they would have to keep unplugging it as they move from room to room.

Unfortunately, the Echo only comes with ONE power cord, and it's non-standard, so you can't simply plug it into USB plugs throughout the home. I think Amazon should make it easier for people to move it by using standard low cost USB cords or create some kind of docking system so you can move it quickly from... [More]

Continue...Amazon Echo Unchained?...

P2P SmartPhone Payments

If the future of money is digital, we need a quick way to exchange money between people, not just stores.


I love the idea of an E-Wallet. The only problem is it's only useful when you make purchases online or in stores. When it comes to paying from person to person, our options are still pretty limited.

Other than PayPal, there are virtually no effective ways to pay individuals, but even PayPal has a lot of limits, because the recipient needs to have a PayPal account and share their email address with you.

What we really need is a fast, and secure way to exchange money between people, without sharing card numbers, phone numbers, or even your email address with strangers. SmartPhones have the potential to make this happen, using the same tap to pay technology used when pa... [More]

Continue...P2P SmartPhone Payments...

Phone Booths!

I miss phone booths!


You rarely see phone booths anymore, and that's a shame. Now that everyone has a mobile phone, I'm sure a lot of people think they're not useful anymore, but as far as I'm concerned, phone booths are useful specifically BECAUSE everyone has a mobile phone.

Phone booths aren't just a convenient place to FIND a phone, they're also a private and quiet place to USE a phone. The last thing I want to hear in a public place is somebody blabbing away on their cell phone about their hemorrhoids or their most recent fight with their girlfriend.

Just because people already have a phone, doesn't mean they're not interested in finding a quiet place to make a call, so although businesses might not make money directly from the booths, phone booths definitely add to... [More]

Continue...Phone Booths!...

Hey Car Makers... Shut the Lights!

Who's fault is it when your battery dies because you left a light on?


Most cars sound an alarm when you leave your headlights on by mistake, because it could drain your battery, but for some reason, there is no alarm when you leave an interior light on. Why is that?

This little oversight is responsible for countless dead batteries over the years, but the solution is pretty simple.

The easiest solution is to use electronic switches that automatically turn off 5 minutes after you turn them on, so they don't stay on all night. This eliminates the problem entirely because every light, including both interior and exterior lights will shut off long before draining the battery.

A second solution is to simply treat the interior lights the same as headlights, so that if you lea... [More]

Continue...Hey Car Makers... Shut the Lights!...

TV Remotes With Radio Buttons

TV Remotes should have Radio Buttons to jump directly to your favorite channels.


It's impossible to keep track of all your favorite TV channels these days because there are literally thousands of channels. Wouldn't it be great if you could assign each of your favorite channels to a simple one-button "Radio Button", just like in your car?

Setting it up would be just like on your car radio. First, you go to your channel the old fashioned way, then hold down one of your favorites button until it locks it in. After that, a quick tap will take you directly to the same channel.

Landline Texting?

Isn't it strange that we still can't send or receive text messages on a landline?


Mobile technology improves every year, but landlines are stuck in the 20th century. Why is that?

SMS / Text Messaging is more popular than ever. Many people send and receive more texts each day than they do phone calls, making the texting app the most popular app on their phone. Meanwhile, as popular as texting is, it has one major flaw... you can only send and receive texts to and from mobile devices. Isn't it about time that phone companies change that?

It would make things a lot easier if you could send messages to any number in the world, without wondering if the number is a landline or not.

Is Apple TV... The Future of Television?

I love Apple TV, but I wouldn't call it "The Future of Television"


When Apple introduced the latest generation of Apple TV, they called it "The Future of Television?". Are they kidding? It's not even close, but here are a few of the things Apple should consider for the next generation.

1. Integrated Cable Converter Box. Switching between Apple TV to a cable converter box is a pain in the neck, especially for people who are technology challenged and people who simply hate looking for a second remote just to change HDMI ports.

2. Integrated HDMI Switching. A typical family has quite a few HDMI devices. In many cases, they even have more devices than they have ports, which makes it a challenge to switch between Cable / Satellite TV Boxes, Blu-Ray players, Gaming Consoles,... [More]

Continue...Is Apple TV... The Future of Television?...

Apple Touch Bar Wish...

I love the Touch Bar on Apple's new MacBook Pro, but I have one problem. I have a desktop Mac.


When I first saw the new MacBook Pro with the integrated Touch Bar, I immediately wanted... the Touch Bar. I've already got about a half dozen Macs, so while I don't need to replace any of them right now, I'd love to start using the Touch Bar. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't make a standalone version of the Touch Bar Keyboard.

I realize Apple wants to give people a reason to upgrade to a new MacBook, but many of us have a pretty good one already, so all we need to get this new technology off the ground is an external, Bluetooth version of the keyboard.

The Top Of My Mac Wish List

I LOVE my Mac... but I'd love it even more with a Touch Screen!


Touchscreen devices have been around for decades, but somehow Apple has never released a Mac with a touch screen, which is strange, because it seems as if the majority of computers and tablets on the market today have a touchscreen interface.

This is especially strange because Apple is normally one of the first companies to pioneer groundbreaking technologies. When the original iPhone came out, it was the multi-touch display that set it apart from other devices, yet nearly a decade later, they still haven't brought that same technology to the Mac.

I've tried third-party touchscreen adapters on the Mac, but they're not as reliable as one that is designed in from the beginning, so it's about time they finally re... [More]

Continue...The Top Of My Mac Wish List...

Standardized Windows Installer Discs

Why can't I use a Windows CD from a Dell on an HP and Vice Versa?


This has bugged me for years. If I have to replace a hard drive from an HP, Dell, or Lenovo, why must I somehow find the original HP, Dell, or Lenovo Windows Installation Disc? As it stands now, with most major brands whenever you need to reinstall Windows, you have to find a copy that matches the brand of your computer, or it will tell you it can't activate it with your serial number.

As long as it's the same version of Windows, you should be able to use ANY OEM Windows disc, regardless of the brand.


The problem was bad enough when each new PC at least came with a physical CD or DVD. Back then, you were told to put in a safe place, just in case you ever needed to reinstall Windows.

Unfortunately,... [More]

Continue...Standardized Windows Installer Discs...

No Headphone Jack? Thanks Apple!

The latest iPhone doesn't have a headphone jack, thank goodness.


Every now and then, Apple does something unexpected and it makes people question their judgement. This time it was the simple elimination of the headphone jack from the latest generation of the iPhone. For some people this was a pretty bold move, because it's the first time a smartphone was manufactured without one.

Apple has a history of polarizing people. You either love them, or you hate them, so when they announced that the iPhone 7 wouldn't have a headphone jack, there were a lot of people saying they went too far this time. How can they make a smartphone without a headphone jack? it's a fundamental feature.

To me, I never questioned that choice. Instead of asking "Why did they remove it?", I wonder... [More]

Continue...No Headphone Jack? Thanks Apple!...

The Fitbit Flex is very small and easy to lose, so there should be an easy button in the App to help you find it.


I misplaced my Fitbit Flex a while back and it took me about an hour to find it. My first impulse was to load the Fitbit App and see if it had a button to help you locate it. After all, it is a wireless device, so it makes sense that there would be an easy way to either pinpoint it's location, or at the very least, trigger an alert on the Fitbit. Unfortunately, there is no such feature.

Although there isn't a feature to locate it, I did notice that the App always shows the battery level of your Fitbit, so I moved from room to room until it showed me my battery level. Once I was able to see the battery level, I knew the Fitbit wasn't lost completely. It had to... [More]

Continue...The Fitbit Flex App Needs an Option To Find Your Fitbit...

The iPhone Camera Chip is UPSIDE DOWN

Have you ever wondered why some of the photos you take with your iPhone are upside down when you transfer them to your computer?


One of the weirdest problems with the iPhone is trying to figure out why some of the photos you've taken are right side up, while some of them are upside down. It doesn't seem to make sense. When you look at them on your iPhone, they look fine, but after browsing or editing them on your computer, you have to manually flip some of them. How can that be?

The trouble is, every camera has a natural orientation for the chip that actually records your photos, so whenever you take a picture, the fastest thing the camera can do is store the photo exactly as it came out of the chip. So, all your photos are stored in that one orientation, regardless of how... [More]

Continue...The iPhone Camera Chip is UPSIDE DOWN...

Are You a GEEK Snob?

Some people have no idea how to talk about technical subjects with non-technical people.


One of the hardest things for somebody with a technical background is to try to explain technology to non-technical people. You know the kind of people I'm talking about. If you ask them "How do I copy my files to this Flash Drive?", and they give you a quick and completely useless answer like "Use the File Explorer", which only leads the at least a dozen more questions about what the heck the File Explorer is, where to find it, and how to actually use it to find and copy the files to the Flash Drive.

People who use too much tech talk when they talk to non-technical people are "Geek Snobs"


One of my favorite Geek Snobs was somebody I overheard while waiting in line to buy the iPh... [More]

Continue...Are You a GEEK Snob?...

Homes Should Have 12 Volt DC Outlets Too

Almost all electronic devices use low voltage DC power, so we should have DC outlets in our homes too.


If you're like me, you've got tons of awkward AC/DC power adapters all over your house. That's because electronic devices don't use AC power, and they certainly don't require 120 volts.

Even the devices that don't have an external AC Adapter have some form of bulky power supply inside them that takes up unnecessary space and generates heat. The solution would be for homes to have a secondary DC power system which supply DC power just for electronic devices.

This would eliminate the need for all those bulky power adapters, and make man electronic devices smaller. Most devices need less than 12 volts, so that should be the starting point. The system should be based on 12... [More]

Continue...Homes Should Have 12 Volt DC Outlets Too...

The FAT file system is antiquated, but for some reason it's still the default file system for devices that use SD memory cards.



Because of this, cameras and other devices can't save or load files larger than 4GB, which means that 1080 HD videos are limited to about 15 minutes, and 4K cameras are limited even more.

We Need Smart Toilets

Why are we still using antiquated toilets?


I just don't get it. We've seen just about every gadget in our home evolve over the years, but somehow our toilets are stuck in the 19th century. With all the technology advances in the past century, why is it that our toilets still overflow and waste a ton of water when the handles get stuck?

It's not rocket science. All it would take to improve toilet technology is to incorporate a couple of sensors, so that the toilet can regulate and monitor the water flowing in, and out. By adding these two simple sensors, toilets wouldn't run all night when the handle get stuck... and they wouldn't overflow because the sensor would shut off the water when the water level is too high.

Taken to the next level, if either sensor detects someth... [More]

Continue...We Need Smart Toilets...

Use Your Own Credit Card as a Hotel Key

Why do hotels bother creating key cards when they can just let you use your own credit card?


Since a hotel key is basically just a card with a number on it, why not simply let people use a card they already have with them.

This saves them time and money on programming new key cards, and it eliminates the need to collect the cards when you check out. As a bonus, it's actually more secure because guests are not likely to lose them, and even if they do, they're not likely going to be in an envelope with your room number printed on the outside.

Everyone loves taking Selfies. The only problem is the front camera isn't as clear as the back camera.


More pictures today are taken using an iPhone than any other camera, including traditional camera brands like Nikon, Canon, and Sony, which is why Apple spends a lot of time improving the primary camera on the back of the iPhone.

The latest iPhone can not only shoot stills that can rival some DSLRs, it can even shoot jaw dropping 4K video, which until recently, was only available in very expensive professional cameras.

With that in mind, it's hard to believe the front camera on the iPhone still can't even shoot in full 1080p HD. While this may not sound important to some people, the fact is a large number of photos and videos taken today are Selfies, taken with the front... [More]

Continue...iPhone Front Camera Should Be Full 1080p HD...

Daisy Chainable Monitors

Wouldn't it be great if you could plug multiple monitors into one device with only one cable?


Most laptops have only one HDMI port, which means you can plug exactly one monitor into them. Handling multiple monitors means your laptop would need additional HDMI ports.

My idea is to build monitors with expansion ports, specifically to add additional monitors. Technically, with a system like this, each additional monitor you add increases the number of total pixels, but not the number of monitors, so the computer will still see it as one monitor... just a bigger one.

So the computer, cable TV / Satellite converter won't need any special cards or drivers. The host system will see it as one screen with a resolution directly proportional to the connected monitors.

This also... [More]

Continue...Daisy Chainable Monitors...

We have cars that can take control to prevent accidents. Why can't planes do it too?


Let's face it. In the wrong hands, a commercial aircrafts is a massive weapon, yet we don't have any safeguards against pilots using them as a missile?

It's not like we don've have technology to make them safer. Today's cars can not only apply the brakes when they sense an accident, but they can even take over the steering. In fact, Google's fully autonomous car doesn't even have a steering wheel and it's been proven to be safer than a car that has one.

There have been automatic pilots in planes for decades. They can already take off, land and navigate without pilot intervention, so it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize these systems would be perfect as an autonomous self-defen... [More]

Continue...Autonomous Planes With Self-Defense - Anti-Terrorist Systems...

The Apple Reminders App Needs a Print Option

Why doesn't the Apple Reminders App have a print option?


The Apple Reminders App is one of the most popular Apps on the iPhone, iPad and Mac, yet it lacks the one of the most fundamental features of every other productivity App... the ability to print your lists.

Fans of David Allen's "Getting Things Done" (GTD) know the importance of a good system to track your notes and to-do lists. The idea of tracking your to-do lists is essential, however not everyone goes about it the same way. Some prefer digital tracking using Apps on computers, tablets and mobile devices, while others prefer a manual paper based system.

Regardless of your method to create your lists, the ability to put those lists on paper should always be an option, especially when you're on the go. For example... [More]

Continue...The Apple Reminders App Needs a Print Option...

Can't get your team on the same page? Why not start by sharing a monitor?


It's not easy getting a team to work together. The larger the team, the harder it is for people to fully communicate ideas. Because of this, anything that improves communication is guaranteed to increase productivity.

My idea is to have shared second monitors, which means that each team member would have a second monitor that is shared, in real-time with everyone else on the team.

The second monitor could be centrally located on a large screen... or mirrored on individual monitors at each team member's desk. You would work with it just like a second monitor, except that whenever somebody interacts with it, everyone on the team sees it.

To make it happen, the each computer would have a virtual m... [More]

Continue...Shared Second Monitors. A New Spin On Collaborative Computing....

Universal Volume Settings

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Have you ever noticed that the volume numbers on TVs mean absolutely nothing?


I find it funny that most TVs today show a number on the screen when you adjust the volume, but the number itself is meaningless.

Let's say your current TV is set at 25, and you buy a new TV and set it at 25... will the volume be the same? Probably not. In fact, even on the same TV, if you measured the sound on two different channels, the volume could be dramatically different. Not only that, even on the same channel, on the same TV the volume in the commercials will be much higher than the show you were watching. That's pretty stupid.

That's why there needs to be some kind of standards. If nothing else, if the TV has numbers, they should move from 0 to 100, where each number is a percentage... [More]

Continue...Universal Volume Settings...

Restaurant Buzzers With Time Displays

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Don't you hate guessing how long you have to wait?


The one thing that's worse than waiting for a table in a restaurant is not knowing how long you'll be waiting.

You know the routine. You walk into a restaurant and the host hands you a buzzer and invites you to wait in the bar or out on the patio. As time passes, you check it from time to time and wonder if it's broken. Eventually you go back to the host and make sure you didn't miss it.

Wouldn't it be great if restaurant buzzers had a digital display that gives you the approximate time left to wait? With the right software it should easily update the display every time a new table is cleared.

Then, instead of pacing the floor wondering when and if you'll be called, you can just check the display from time to time a... [More]

Continue...Restaurant Buzzers With Time Displays...

Built-In Dash Cameras as a Factory Option

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It's time car makers finally offer dash cameras as a factory option.


It happens every day. A car travels down the road and reaches an intersection with a green light when suddenly another car crosses it's path. The result is a T-Bone collision where both cars sustain extensive and potentially life threatening injuries.

It happens in a flash and within minutes the police arrive at the scene and ask both drivers what happened. Most of the time, the officer will get two totally different stories. One driver will claim that he had the right of way, the other will claim the opposite. Unless there are impartial witnesses on the scene, the officer is forced to split the blame 50-50... unless one of them has a dash cam.

When the facts of an accident or traffic violation are in... [More]

Continue...Built-In Dash Cameras as a Factory Option...

TV Remotes with "Radio Buttons"

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Why don't TV remotes have "Radio Buttons" to let you jump to your favorites?


From the earliest days or car radios, the most popular feature has been the six buttons that let you jump directly to your favorite stations. It was particularly important in car radios because drivers can't take their eyes off the road for more than a second.

With these six buttons, drivers don't even need to know the actual station numbers. All they need to do is hit button #2 and it jumps directly to what they're looking for. After a while, some drivers only listen to the stations in their presets so it's become important enough for some stations to remind listeners to save their station in the presets.

Now that there are so many cable and satellite stations, why don't we see remotes with p

... [More]

Continue...TV Remotes with "Radio Buttons"...

TVs with Remote Finder Button

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Can't find your remote?


Let's face it. Just about everyone misplaces their remote from time to time. One minute you're holding it in your hand, the next minute you reach for it and it's not there. Perhaps your phone rang, and you took it with you to another room. Or you left it on the kitchen table when you stopped for a snack. Or even left it in the bathroom. Either way, it's a pain in the neck finding the thing.

Wouldn't it be easier if your TV had a simple button that made your remote beep to remind you where it is? It's so simple, yet I've never seen one that can do that. A lot of cordless phones already have this feature, and it comes in handy when you wander around the house with your phone.

The first step is making remotes truly wireless, not infrared. W

... [More]

Continue...TVs with Remote Finder Button...

R.I.P. DVDs

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Why are DVDs still made?


When it comes to new technology, I tend to be an early adopter, so when DVDs came along, I jumped at the chance to move from video cassettes to discs. It was an easy choice. I hated tapes, and DVDs had a much better picture, so I quickly started building a library of well over 1000 DVDs. As far as I was concerned, I was building a library that would last forever. Then HDTV came along and my entire library was out of date. Oops.

When Blu-Ray was introduced, both the players and the discs were super expensive, so I although I didn't make the jump to Blu-Ray, I did stop buying DVDs. I couldn't see the point of replacing all my DVDs, and I could't justify paying a premium price to jump to Blu-Ray.

Now that Blu-Ray players are as low as $50, why

... [More]

Continue...R.I.P. DVDs...

Alerts When You Leave ANY Car Light On

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Why don't cars remind you when you leave the interior lights on?


For drivers with kids, one of the most frustrating things is when the car won't start, because one of the kids left an interior light on. In an earlier idea, I talked about why Interior car lights should use momentary switches so you don't forget to turn them off, but if car makers don't do that, the least they can do is make sure the car warns you when one of the lights are left on.

It's pretty strange that in this day and age, people still manage to drain their batteries because one of their lights were accidentally left on overnight.

Warning drivers that they left their headlights on is a great start, so why not change the system to warn you

... [More]

Continue...Alerts When You Leave ANY Car Light On...

Alerts When You Leave Car Windows Open

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Why don't cars warn you when you leave your windows open?


It's nice to know that most cars today have an alarm warning you when you leave your headlights on by mistake. That simple little alarm has saved quite a few batteries over the years. In fact I saved my battery just the other day. I got out of the car around dusk and forgot I even turned them on in the first place. That's the reason they created the option in the first place. They didn't realize they were on.

For the same reason, car makers should do the same thing for windows. It's easy for people to forget they left one of the windows open, especially when they have 4 windows. When child sitting in the back seat opens a window, odds are the driver won't be able to see it.

To eliminate the risks of leaving

... [More]

Continue...Alerts When You Leave Car Windows Open...

Phone Booths... Without Phones

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It's not easy finding a quiet place to make a phone call these days.


You never see phone booths anymore. What a shame. I loved them as a kid.

I realize most people have mobile phones these days, but I think phone booths would be very popular, even if they didn't have a phone inside, mainly because of their privacy.

Phone booths not only give the caller a quiet place to make a call, they also help other people from listening in.


Nobody likes standing next to somebody fighting with their spouse on the phone, or talking about their nagging hemorrhoids. I don't want to hear it, and I'm sure they don't everyone in the room to hear it either.

A phone booth would be perfect in fine restaurants, hotel lobbies and other public places. The booths would be free, of cours... [More]

Continue...Phone Booths... Without Phones...

Landline Texting

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Why limit texting to mobile phones?


Landline phones haven't made any progress in nearly 30 years. I created a post a year ago in a post called Hey Phone Makers... Our Landline Phones Stink., where I vented about how far behind landline phones are compared to mobile phones. Today I'm focusing on one particular shortcoming... the lack of text messaging.

The lack of texting support for landlines can be a real pain in the neck.

People often make the mistake of trying to send a text to a landline.


It's pretty strange that nobody has introduced a landline phone that is capable of sending and receiving texts. It's not that complicated. Apple already makes it possible to send and receive texts on iPads, iPods... [More]

Continue...Landline Texting...

Motherboards Should Store Drivers In Flash Memory

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Don't you hate when you can't find drivers for your computer?


One of the hardest things about setting up a computer is finding drivers for all your hardware. A typical computer not only needs a driver for the main motherboard chipset, it also needs separate drivers for just about every component such as video, sound, networking, USB, and even the hard disk controller.

Even if your computer was pre-configured, there may come a time when you need to replace your hard drive or re-install Windows from scratch. When they happens, you need to re-install a bunch of drivers to get it to work again.

Sometimes Windows may find built-in drivers for some of the components, but more often than not, there are multiple drivers that you need to find on your own.

When drivers aren't bui... [More]

Continue...Motherboards Should Store Drivers In Flash Memory...

Apple Landline Phone System

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A better landline phone can only come from a company like Apple.


Mobile phones have come a long way in the last 10 years, yet landline phones aren't much better than they were 40 years ago. Simply stated, landline phones are junk.

It's not just because mobile phones now have enough computing power to do things like play games and surf the Internet, smartphones are also much better at being... a phone. Everything about making and answering calls is easier on a Smartphone than it is on a landline. Heck, even most flip phones do a better job than a landline phone.

It's the little things, like having an easy to use contact list, so you don't have to memorize phone numbers and worry about dialing the wrong number, or making conference calls... not to mention sending text me... [More]

Continue...Apple Landline Phone System...

Wall Printer

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Who needs wallpaper?


I love the look of a hand painted mural. It can really make a room come to life. The trouble is, they're very expensive because they can take an artist days or even weeks to complete.

Wouldn't it be great to have a custom mural printed directly on your wall? That's what a Wall Printer could do.

Although I've never actually seen such a device, it would be fairly easy to construct one using the same basic principals as an off-the-shelf inkjet printer.


There are two basic ways this could be done.

1. The easiest system would involve setting up temporary rails on the floor and ceiling that would allow a simple printhead to move back and forth, just like a regular inkjet. The ink would be sprayed directly on the wall, then the rails and printhe... [More]

Continue...Wall Printer...

Developing countries need money, better sanitation, water and energy. Bill Gates shows us how to fix them all with one easy solution.


When Bill Gates left Microsoft, he had one simple goal. He wanted to change the world. Judging by this video, he's of to a great start.

Since founding the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000, The Foundation has tackled on a wide range of world problems. This video shows off one of the most interesting innovations, a system that basically turns poop into water and energy, through a device called the "Janicki Omniprocessor".

For developing countries, getting rid of waste, while generating money, clean water and energy is not just a slick idea, it solves several fundamental problems that are unique to developing countries that lack c... [More]

Continue...Bill Gates: Turn Poop Into Money, Water, and Energy...

Playstation 4K

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4K is the next big thing.


Two years ago, 4K screens cost a small fortune, so it's understandable why Sony didn't include 4K gaming support in the Playstation 4. Since then, 4K prices have dropped dramatically. A few years ago, 4K screens cost as much as $25,000, but today you can find models from major brands for under $1000, not much more than 1080 HDTV models.

The only problem is, once you take it out of the box, chances are you won't have anything to show it off. Since none of the major TV networks are available in 4K UHD, consumers with 4K screens have very few options, including a bunch of obscure 4K streaming devices.

What the industry needs is mainstream device that can play 4K content and games.


The video game market has traditionally pushed technology to... [More]

Continue...Playstation 4K...

Texting Alias

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Keep your mobile number private.


I had two phone numbers back in the 80s, one was my beeper, the other was my cell phone. I gave my beeper number to everyone, but I rarely gave anyone the number for my cell phone. Clients left messages, and I called them back when I had the chance, using whatever phone I wanted. Cell phones cost about 75 cents per minute back then, so this was mainly a way to save money.

I still avoid giving out my mobile number, especially to companies that ask for it, not because of cost, but because it often leads to telemarketing calls.

The solution is for mobile companies to offer a Texting Alias, which is a unique address used just for texting. You can share the alias on business cards, web sites, etc. and you'll know for sure that you'll never g... [More]

Continue...Texting Alias...

VideoMail.

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Voicemail is so 1995!


When was the last time you heard a busy signal? Chances are, it's been at least 20 years. That's when all the major phone companies started including voicemail as an option.

Voicemail made it possible to leave a message to somebody whenever they didn't answer. Unlike an answering machine, it also let you leave a message when the other person was on the phone.

Twenty years later, VoiceMail is bigger than ever, because literally every mobile or landline phone has voicemail as a standard option. This means that busy signals are virtually non-existent, and every caller has the option to leave voicemail.

Now that FaceTime calls are so common, shouldn't you have an option to leave a video message?


VideoMail is the natural evolution of VoideMai... [More]

Continue...VideoMail....

Relative Speed CPU Naming

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Why is it so hard to understand CPU names?


In the early days of computing, it was pretty easy to tell the difference between computer speeds, based on the numbering system used on the CPU. For computers with an Intel CPU, you only needed two things, the CPU series, and it's clock speed to know how fast your performance would be, relative to other CPUs.

Other than some oddball numbering issues in Intel's early days, it was common knowledge that an Intel 80386 family was faster than an 80286, but not as fast as the 80486. Within each family you knew a 32 MHz CPU was twice as fast as the 16 MHz version.

To further simplify things, even competing companies used the same numbers as Intel for comparable chips. That's when things started to change. When Intel released their s... [More]

Continue...Relative Speed CPU Naming...

Speaker Systems With Portable Sound Sensors

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A sound system that automatically adjusts based on where you sit in the room.


Every room has it's own unique sound characteristics. Some rooms sound warm and cozy, while others have a bit more echo, plus everything in the room, from your curtains, carpets, furniture, and even people will change the way the room sounds.

This creates a challenge to people setting up a Home Theater System. It's almost impossible to account for everything that interferes with hearing sounds the way they were meant to be heard. Even if you make all the right adjustments, simply changing seats will have an effect on the sound. So, if you sit close to one speaker or subwoofer, the sound will be somewhat different.

Wouldn't it be easier if your Speaker System used a portable sound sensor that

... [More]

Continue...Speaker Systems With Portable Sound Sensors...

Wireless iPhone Charging

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I hate wires.


I went to Ikea the other day and discovered that they sell all sorts of wireless charging devices, including quite a few that are fully integrated with their furniture.

Wireless charging isn't new, but it was the first time I saw a non-tech company embrace the idea. Some of their chargers can be built into various desks, tables and lamps, while others were standalone units that look like drink coasters that can be placed anywhere.

All you have to do is place your phone on top of the charging pad and viola... it starts charging. There's one small catch, none of Apple's phones support wireless charging.


In order to use Ikea's chargers with an iPhone, you have to buy a special case with a wireless charger receiver, but that adds bulk to the phone. It w... [More]

Continue...Wireless iPhone Charging...

TWO Hospital Call Buttons.

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Wolf... Wolf... WOOLF!


If you've ever spent time in the hospital, you know about "The Button". The idea is pretty simple. If you need anything, hit the red button and your nurse will come running to see what you need. Right? Not exactly. In reality, it could take quite a while before anyone comes, and that's pretty messed up.

You can't exactly blame the nurses. The problem is the system itself. With a dozen or more rooms to cover, there's a good chance that multiple alarms will go off at the same time, and most of the time it's not an emergency. So whenever an alarm goes off, they have no sense of urgency.

Since there's only one button, a nurse doesn't know if a patient is on the floor gasping for air, or if they simply want another pillow for their feet.


Th... [More]

Continue...TWO Hospital Call Buttons....

Apple TV Should Support 4K Video

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4K TVs look amazing... with 4K content.


As the prices of 4K TVs continue to drop, consumers are having a hard time finding content that takes advantage of the resolution. Right now, the only way to get 4K content is to stream it online, or create it yourself.

This week Apple released the new iPhone 6s, which can shoot 4K video, and a new iPad that's powerful enough to edit it. The problem is that the new Apple TV doesn't play 4K videos in their native resolution. So, if you want to see your own 4K videos, or the latest Hollywood movies in full resolution, you'll need to buy a third party media player.

Considering Apple's support for 4K, and even 5K video in the Mac and iOS platforms, leaving it out of the new Apple TV is a pretty big mistake. While the new Apple TV will... [More]

Continue...Apple TV Should Support 4K Video...

Tesla Lawnmower

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If Tesla Makes the best batteries in the word, and the best electric motors in the world, why not build the best lawnmower in the world?


Electric cars have been around for decades, so when Elon Musk founded Tesla Motors, his goal wasn't to simply build an electric car. If that was all he wanted, he would've done what everyone else did, put an electric motor and a battery inside an existing car frame and viola... an electric car.

Thankfully, he had bigger ambitions, because before Tesla came along, electric cars were pretty bad. The batteries and motors were huge, heavy... and weak. Because of this, the cars were slow, and they couldn't go far without running out of power. Many of them weren't even fast enough to keep up with highway traffic, so you could only use them for... [More]

Continue...Tesla Lawnmower...

P2P Payments By Tapping Mobile Phones.

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NFC has revolutionized the payment industry. Why limit it to purchases in stores?


There's a lot of buzz in the industry about NFC payments, which allow you to securely make payments by tapping payment terminals with your smartphone.

NFC, which stands for "Near Field Communication" uses very low powered antennas that pass data only at very short distances, which means you generally need to tap your smartphone directly against another NFC compatible device to send it, which makes it perfect for swapping contact information, photos, or digital payments, such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet, etc.

The great thing about NFC is that it's actually even more secure than a traditional credit card, because the recipient doesn't actually get access to your credit card number. NFC paymen... [More]

Continue...P2P Payments By Tapping Mobile Phones....
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I hate looking for my receipts!


Today's inspiration came from two places, PetSmart, and Neat Receipts.

PetSmart recently started offering customers the option to get an emailed receipt. This is not only a way to save paper, but a great way to archive your receipts. It's pretty simple. Since they already have your email address, they send your receipt as a PDF.

Neat Receipts is a service that lets you scan your receipts into the cloud, then run reports you can use to track expenses.

Wouldn't it be great if you could access ALL of your receipts from every store you visit, without scanning?


There's room for a company like DropBox, or Neat Receipts to provide a service that lets merchants link their customer loyalty cards to a cloud... [More]

Continue...Receipts In The Cloud, Linked to Loyalty Cards....

E-Ink Watches

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I love my Apple Watch, but I wish the time was always visible.


In order to save battery life, most Smart Watches such as the Apple Watch turn the face off unless you either push the crown on the side, or lift your wrist at a certain angle towards your face. This is particularly difficult when you aren't sitting upright because the sensor doesn't always recognize that you're trying to read it. It's also hard to show somebody the time because as soon as you move it away from your face, it vanishes.

This made me think of another alternative... using E-Ink which only uses power whenever the image chances. This means that an E-Ink Watch can show the time 24/7 while using a fraction of the power. E-Ink also has the advantage of being easier to read in bright sunlight, although i... [More]

Continue...E-Ink Watches...
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Why have TVs become so complicated?


Ever since the late 70s, people have come to me with their technical problems. One odd trend that I've noticed is that people are finding it harder and harder to use their TVs. Instead of asking me to solve complex computer issues, I'm often asked to help people figure out how to get their TV systems to work.

Back in the old days, TVs weren't that complicated. You plugged in an antenna, and simply turned it on. Once VCRs, surround sound, video games, cable, and satellite TV came along, things started to get complicated. Getting them all to work is a complete mess.

At the root of the mess is that TVs have become more like a monitor without a tuner. Almost everything plugs in using HDMI jacks, and comes with it's own remote control.
... [More]

Continue...TV Hub. One Device To Control All Your Stuff....
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It's a pain in the neck sorting through duplicate photos.


If you've got a large library of digital photos, chances are you've got a lot of duplicates. It's easy to understand why. Like most people, whenever your camera or your cell phone starts to run out of space, you dump a copy of the photos in a folder somewhere and start deleting photos from your camera. If you didn't delete them all, there's a good chance you'll end up copying a lot of duplicate photos in yet another folder at a later date.

If this pattern repeats a few times, you'll eventually have multiple versions of many of your photos. Making matters worse, if your friends and family share photos with you, there's a good chance they'll give you the same photos from time to time, adding even more duplicates to yo... [More]

Continue...Digital Photo Metadata Should Have GUIDs to Simplify Duplicate Detection...
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There needs to be an easy way to turn texting off with one button.


Its extremely dangerous to send text messages while driving a car. Even people who have no intention to send messages can be easily distracted if they receive a message while driving.

Countless lives have been destroyed because of texting, so there should be some method to disable texting while driving.


Most mobile devices already have a quick and easy way to enable "Airplane Mode", so device makers should add a button to disable texting too. After all, more people drive each day than fly.

It's surprising that there isn't an option to disable texting anywhere in the settings menus of any of the major smartphones on the market. This option should not be added, but it should be added someplace like... [More]

Continue...Driving Mode Button. Block Texting With One Touch....

TV Remote Controls Suck

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Why are TV remotes so bad?


Technology today moves at an incredible pace, but somehow TV remotes are just as bad as they were over 30 years ago. In fact, I'd say they are worse.

Where do I start?

1. Most of them still use Infra-Red, which means they only work when you point them directly at the TV or cable box. Depending on where the sensor is, you often have to hold it in awkward positions. A modern remote should use BlueTooth or WiFi.

2. There are WAY too many buttons. I don't know about you, but that means I hit the wrong one way too often. Take a lesson from Apple. With an iPod, you can pick a song from a list of thousands with just a dial or wheel, so why not consider an alternate to all those buttons.

3. Up and down buttons for channels was pretty cool, whe... [More]

Continue...TV Remote Controls Suck...

Cook Time Option For Stoves

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Did I leave the gas on?


One of the great things about today's ovens is the ability to literally "Set it, and forget it". Unlike older models where the only timer control was an alarm that rang when it reached the preset time, newer models can even turn off the gas when the timer ends. This simple feature is a great safeguard against overcooking. With a microwave, you can't even start cooking unless you set the cooking time.

So, why not have a similar option for the stove?

Most of the time, you won't need a feature like this, because you tend to stand in front of the stove, but it would come in handy when you simmer a soup or a sauce for an hour or more. If you can't hear the timer, you can ruin the whole meal.

Besides saving the meal, it could also save some lives wh... [More]

Continue...Cook Time Option For Stoves...

SmartPhones as Hearing Aids?

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In the 70's, hearing aids looked a lot like iPods with earbuds.


Back then, it was difficult to cram all the electronics and the batteries into a unit small enough to fit into your ear, so there was a wire coming from the earbud leading to a little metal box about the size of an iPod that people kept in their pockets. Tim Conway wore one in the Mama's Place sketches on the Carol Burnet show.



There's no question that hearing aids today are completely different. They not only amplify sound, but they let you fine tune the sound to enhance the specific frequencies that the listener may have trouble hearing. This involves extensive testing and adjustments, which dramatically improve the sounds for the listener.

While I'm not suggesting a typical SmartPhon... [More]

Continue...SmartPhones as Hearing Aids?...
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Sometimes you need a big phone. Sometimes you don't.


My primary phone is the latest generation iPhone 6 Plus. To me, it's about as good as it gets, but sometimes the size simply gets in the way.

For those days when a big phone is a problem, wouldn't it be great to just swap phones for the day, by moving your phone number to a second phone? Then you could switch back when you get home.

Technically, most phones have removable SIM cards, that let you do exactly that. You just pop the SIM out of one phone, and pop it into another and as long as they are on the same network, the number will ring your second line instead.

The trouble is, on some phones, swapping the SIM isn't easy. On an iPhone, you need to insert a pin into a tiny hole on the side and a little slot pops... [More]

Continue...Quick Swap Cell Phones - Swap Cell Phones Without Changing SIMs....
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Apple Watch is first and foremost an incredibly accurate timepiece... Sort of.


One of the first things Apple said about their new Watch was that it is one of the most accurate timepieces you could buy, with an accuracy of about a billionth of a second. The trouble is, most of the time when I look at my Watch, it's off by up to 59 seconds, depending on when I look at it, because the Face I use doesn't show the seconds.

Without the seconds, I find myself staring at the Watch when I'm waiting for an exact time, which of course could be almost a minute away. What makes matters worse is that the time only displays for a couple of seconds before it goes black to I keep dropping my arm and lifting or tapping it to get it to display again. By then, I often miss it.

Of the 9 exam... [More]

Continue...Apple Should Allow The Seconds On More Watch Faces...
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Face tracking is a wonderful thing. The only trouble is it often focuses on the wrong face.


Just about every camera made in the last 10 years has some form of face tracking as an option. While this clearly makes it much easier for the camera to decide where to focus, it's not the best option when your subject is surrounded by other people that don't need to be in focus. When your subject is just another face in the crowd, there is no way to insure your camera will know which face to track.

That's where Face Recognition could come in handy.

Now that newer cameras have touch screens and a lot more computing power, it would be possible to design a camera that recognizes faces, then lets you determine which face to focus on. Then whenever the subject moves into the shot, it... [More]

Continue...Cameras With Face Recognition... Not Just Face Tracking....

Sending a Code To Bypass Silent Ringers

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When you call for help, the last thing you want is a silent ringer.


Most phones have a feature to make them silent, but I've never seen a feature to allow a caller to bypass that feature when it's urgent that their call gets through, and that the ringer is as loud as it can be.

The key here is that when a truly urgent call needs to get though, the best way to insure the ringer is not only turned on, but at the loudest possible setting. To make this happen, the phone would have a feature to enter a password that will trigger the ringer, at the loudest setting.

Although Apple has a mode called "Do Not Disturb" that can by bypassed when a caller makes a second attempt within 3 minutes, this merely means that the phone will get through. So, if the recipient has set their rin... [More]

Continue...Sending a Code To Bypass Silent Ringers...
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Wouldn't it be great to launch your favorite Apple Watch Apps right from the face?


One of the great things about the Apple Watch is all the different ways you can customize the face. Some of the faces look like a traditional watch, and others look distinctly modern.

Most of the faces have at least a couple of customizable zones, where you can select from a number of options such as Stopwatch, Date, Timer, Stock Market, Temperature, Alarms, etc. What's great about those zones is they don't just show you the information; when you tap them, they launch an associated App.

For example, if you tap the current temperature, it launches the full Weather App. Tapping the Date launches the calendar.

So, I wondered...

Why not let people put launch icons for all their favorit

... [More]

Continue...The ULTIMATE Apple Watch Face... 16 Custom App Zones...

Group Mobile Phone Pairing

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Remember one phone number reached everyone in your house?


Why not create a feature for all the cell phones in your house, to share a common number... at least while you're home?

Back in the old days, just about everyone had just one phone number for their entire house, and when it rang, whoever answered would often chat for a minute or two, then put the phone down and shout something like "Jan... It's for you. It's George Glass".

It sounds funny, but since cell phones became popular, everyone in the house now has their own direct line, so callers bypass the shared number and call each person directly. That's a shame. Today's younger generation were give cell phones when they were children, so they completely missed the opportunity of picking up the family phone and getti... [More]

Continue...Group Mobile Phone Pairing...
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A lot of gadgets today are designed to be paired with other gadgets. Wouldn't it be great if your gadgets reminded you when you left a paired device behind?


For example, if you leave your cell phone on a table in a restaurant, as soon as you walk away from the table, your Apple Watch should send you a signal letting you know it's no longer near your phone. This would save you a lot of trouble because you could find it before you drove away, saving you the trip back potentially hours later looking for it.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many devices today that are normally paired that could use a feature like this. For example, Google Glass, Bluetooth speakers, and exercise bands from companies like FitBit and Nike. In each case, when the connection is lo... [More]

Continue...An Alarm For Smart Device Pairs, Separated By Mistake...

Washer / Dryer SmartPhone Alerts

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Did you ever forget to take your laundry out of the washing machine?


If you've ever left a load in your washing machine, this idea is for you, a washer and dryer that let you know when the load is finished, so you don't accidentally leave them in too long.

All it would take is a simple App that pairs your washer and dryer to your SmartPhone via WiFi. Once you set it up, you will get an instant alert, as long as you're in your house.

A more advanced system would take one extra step, which would be to link the washer and dryer to a central server that can even send messages to regular cell phones via SMS / Text Messages.

In either case, the main objective is to know exactly when a load is ready.

As the Internet o... [More]

Continue...Washer / Dryer SmartPhone Alerts...

Standardized Power Plugs

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Why aren't there any standards for power plugs?


This drives me crazy. There are absolutely no standards for power plugs. This means that if you accidentally mix up your power adapters, and even find a plug that fits your device, there's a good chance it's the wrong one, and it can even damage your device. How dumb is that?

Without standards, when a manufacturer builds a new product, the deciding factor in what kind of power connector a device uses is based on the amount of space and whatever plugs they could get for the best price. So, regardless of what connector they use, the power going into the device could be just about any voltage or polarity. In fact, there isn't even a difference in connector styles for AC vs DC. This makes it easy to accidentally plug a 12 volt p... [More]

Continue...Standardized Power Plugs...

Security Cameras Should All Be HD

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Every now and then you see a story on the news where they show you a horribly fuzzy security camera photo. Why bother?


30 years ago, it was considered state of the art to install security cameras in high profile places. The cameras were crude, but they were better than nothing.

Now that camera technology has improved, you would think that most of the older cameras would be replaced by higher resolution cameras with better lenses and recording technology, but oddly... a lot cameras in use today are still pathetically useless.

What good is a camera if nobody can make out any details, such as license numbers, weapons or even faces?

While I'm on the subject, have you noticed that whenever they show most of these fuzzy security camera videos on the news, not only are they b... [More]

Continue...Security Cameras Should All Be HD...

Why Do Cars Still Use Cigarette Lighter Ports?

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Cigarette lighter ports are just plain stupid.


Isn't it strange that cars still have the same cigarette lighter ports as cars from the 50's had... even though they don't even come with actual cigarette lighters anymore?

When you think of it, do you know of anyone who actually uses their 12V cigarette lighter for anything other than plugging in a 5V USB power adapter? So, why do they still use them? After all, cigarette lighter ports are not only bulky, but they're frequently unreliable, because the plug pops out.

The original design was made specifically to accommodate the spring loaded cigarette lighter coil, and every plug that's been made since then uses some form of awkward spring loaded contraption that easily breaks or makes poor contact.

Since the only thing p

... [More]

Continue...Why Do Cars Still Use Cigarette Lighter Ports?...

Cable TV Remotes With Keyboards (on the back)

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Quick... What number is the Ovation Channel?


I've never tuned of it before, so if somebody said there was something playing right now on it, there's virtually no chance I could find the channel, much less the show.

The trouble is, most cable boxes still use remotes that were designed back when even 57 channels was considered excessive. I remember a scene from Toy Story where Rex was flipping through the channels and one of the toys said, "you missed it", and Rex kept going and said it was quicker to just keep going and find it when it comes around again. Today's modern cable boxes can have thousands of channels, so you can't just hit the plus and minus keys to find the channel you are looking for.

Wouldn't it be easier if you just typed in the name of the network, inste

... [More]

Continue...Cable TV Remotes With Keyboards (on the back)...
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Fax machines will vanish, unless they step into the 21st century.


When the first fax machine came out, it was expensive, and useless, because nobody else one. After all, what good is a machine that sends documents, unless you have people to send them to? So, the first buyers mainly bought them in pairs, so they could send documents between their own offices.

As time went on, and the number of people who owned them grew, their usefulness increased to the point where people could potentially send documents to just about anyone. This was exactly what happened when the first phones were introduced. The first phones were useless, because there wasn't anyone to call. As more people got phones, the usefulness of having your own phone increased.

With that in mind, the phone is... [More]

Continue...R.I.P. FAX - How Manufacturers Should Modernize FAX Machines....

An Expandable SD Storage Drive

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An easy to expand, solid state storage system.


SD cards are dirt cheap these days, so a lot of people don't even bother re-using them. When a card fill up, they pop in a new one. But, wouldn't it be great if you could just drop your old card into a box along with all your other cards? The firmware could make all your cards look like one big one, with each individual card showing up as a folder. This would be the easiest way to implement this, but there are other, even more exciting ways to build such a device.

An even bolder design would be to implement a RAID system, which not only would let your computer see these SD cards as one big drive, but spread the data among new drives to provide increased performance and data protection.

The best way to compensate for mixed... [More]

Continue...An Expandable SD Storage Drive...

Touch / Gesture Sensitive Headsets

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I hate buttons, especially when I can't find them.


I've had a love / hate relationship with headsets over the years. I have a small Bluetooth earbud that has exactly one button. That's it. You can use it to answer the phone, lower or raise the volume and that's about it. Sounds easy? Not really. When you want to adjust the volume, you need to hold it down as it slowly raises, then lowers the volume. If you don't act fast, you have to wait for it to start over again. Don't even think of trying to skip tracks, pause the music or anything else. With just one button, it simply can't do much.

Then there's the opposite problem, I have a full sized headset that has 6 or 7 buttons around the right ear, one for answering the phone, another to pause / play music, two more for v... [More]

Continue...Touch / Gesture Sensitive Headsets...

A Universal Bluetooth Savings Club

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Carrying dozens of loyalty cards are a pain in the neck. Wouldn't it be better if stores recognized our card number the moment we walk in?


The original idea behind loyalty cards was to give customers discounts in exchange for letting them track our purchases. It's a simple relationship where both sides benefit. The stores get to see the kinds of products you like, and you get a discount.

The key to the whole system is that each customer has their own unique account number. Every time they scan your card (or look it up by phone number), they know what you like, so they can potentially offer sale items coupons for the kinds of things they feel you might like on a future visit.

The trouble is, every store has their own card, so you could potentially have a dozen or more ca... [More]

Continue...A Universal Bluetooth Savings Club...

Measuring Distance By SmartPhone

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Don't have a long tape measure? Use your SmartPhone.


If you've ever seen a professional surveyor at work, one of the things that will stand out is that for many of their measurements, they don't actually use a tape measure. They do most of their measurements optically, and with amazing precision.

The science is pretty simple. The further away something is, the smaller it appears. So, if you know the exact length of any object, and you know the exact strength of the lens, and you view it (or photograph it) from a distance, you can calculate exactly how far it is away from you.

So a professional surveyor aiming a standardized scope at a standardized target, such as a pole with markings can calculate exact measurements without the need for a tape measure. In fact, using th... [More]

Continue...Measuring Distance By SmartPhone...
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Our gadgets have come a long way in the past few decades, but our remote controls are stuck in the 90s.


Most of us have so many remote controls, it makes your head spin. The one thing in common is that none of them use Bluetooth.

Take one of those remotes and look at it. Really look at it. How on earth did we advance as a society, yet we still have Stanford Engineers designing remote controls that have 25 year old technology?

If you are reading this in the future, go ahead and laugh at us.


Even if you look at state-of-the-art remote controls, from the top-of-the-line Sony, LG or Samsung TVs, they are chock full of buttons that you can't even read... yet the only ones that get heavy use are simply channel up, channel down, power and volume. What's worse, is they... [More]

Continue...5 Reasons Devices Should All Have Bluetooth Remotes...
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If you read in bed, you either have to sit up, or try to hold the book above your face. Wouldn't it be more comfortable if you could just read it on the ceiling?


One of the best ways to get a good night's sleep is to read a book before you go to bed, but what if you want to read while you're laying down. It's not comfortable, and that takes away from the experience. An easy solution would be a book reader that projects your books right on the ceiling.

As a device paired with a tablet, you would just launch your book reader, pick a book and select a font size that's comfortable, then start reading. To turn the page, the App could wait for you to snap your fingers, clap your hands or even use your voice to say "turn page". A more advanced version could use a simple wireless... [More]

Continue...A Bedside Book Projector - Read Books on the Ceiling!...

Tailgater Triggered Bumper Camera

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Bumper cameras come in handy parking cars. Why not use them for evidence if somebody hits you from behind?


Big Brother meets Big Bumper, always on the alert, just waiting for you to... Park the car? That's a lot of down time.

Instead of simply turning the bumper / license plate cameras off when you are driving, why not turn them on whenever somebody gets too close while you're driving? This creates a perfect "Black Box" to prove beyond any doubt that somebody was driving too close... for too long.

The trigger to turn on the camera could be a combination of the motion sensors and the current speed, where a safe distance increases in direct proportion with speed. The faster you go, the bigger the distance. This is based upon the two second rule, which states that a drive... [More]

Continue...Tailgater Triggered Bumper Camera...
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Remember when TVs and monitors had lots of buttons and dials to adjust things like volume, brightness, and tint? Now, they don't even label the buttons, because they use the same buttons for everything.


Back in the days before remote control, TVs needed lots of buttons and dials. As remotes became popular, they eventually stopped putting those adjustments on the TV, so they started scaling back the buttons and dials on the TV, after all, you never get off your sofa to change the channel or adjust the volume.

For the rare case where you can't find the remote to adjust those settings, or select another input (HDMI, Component, etc), they put a few unlabeled buttons on the side, along with a series of on-screen menus that are nearly impossible to navigate. For what it's worth,... [More]

Continue...Monitors Should Have Dedicated Buttons for Input, Volume, Brightness...
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Here's how larger image sensors will lead to amazing video stabilization.


Today's idea is going to sound a bit complicated, but it's actually quite simple, once you get the big picture. The first step in understanding the "big picture" is all about starting with a big picture.

Camera resolutions keep getting higher and higher, but as many people know, once you get past a certain size, those extra megapixels don't make your prints any sharper. In fact, for prints under 8x10, anything over 2-4 megapixels doesn't make the photos look any better. Not only that, if you only want to show them on your computer or iPad, you can actually get great results with as little as 2 megapixels or less.

So, if all those extra megapixels don't improve your photos... what good are they?
[h... [More]

Continue...Using Larger Sensors to Dramatically Improve Video Stabilization....
LARGE-123

40,000 Pets are killed in house fires each year


One of the causes of these deaths is that pets are hard to find.

As I've already posted on the October 16, 2014 Idea Of The Day:
3 Ways Smoke Alarms Can Be More Pet Friendly the problem with pets is fear. Fire Lieutenant John Rogers was quoted on PetSafetyAlert.Com: saying "When animals are stressed, they hide from us, big-time. Because they are small, smoke affects them worse and quicker than it does a human."

My idea for today centers around combining two existing ideas, an LED collar, and a an audio trigger that turns on the LED when a smoke alarm goe... [More]

Continue...An Pet Collar That Lights Up When a Smoke Alarm Goes Off....
LARGE-112

Today's digital cameras are amazing, but sometimes the colors are way off.


I hate when I shoot 100 pictures, then come home to discover that everything looks like it's yellow, or blue... or simply a bit off. The key to getting the colors just right is mastering "White Balance".

What is White Balance?


White balance is a feature most digital cameras have to compensate for the various color "temperatures" of light, so the final photo will be more realistic.

There are many types of light, and each light has it's own distinct color "temperature". For example, old fashioned tungsten lights have a tendency to be yellow, while florescent lights tend to be blue. Unlike the human brain, which can compensate for these changes, digital cameras record colors in more absolute t... [More]

Continue...How Camera Makers Can Simplify On-Camera White Balance...
LARGE-101

The Internet Of Things is Coming... are you ready?


Another big revolution in technology is just taking shape. To say this is the next BIG thing is an understatement. Today's technology is just building blocks for things to come. It's that BIG.

What is the "Internet of Things"?


Take a dozen ordinary objects in your room, then imagine what they would be like if they were somehow connected to the Internet. That's the Internet of Things.

Why the heck should all my stuff be on the Interwebs?


Good question. My answer... WHY NOT?

The longer answer... because it takes good things, and makes them great.

Here's a quick history. Some of you may be familiar with the way devices currently connect to the Internet, using an "IP Address". When... [More]

Continue...WiFi Toilets? - The Internet Of Things. It's TRULY, the next BIG thing....
Here's an idea whose time has come. Feel free to spread this idea and even Patent it and make a billion off it. That's why I created this site.

Wouldn't it be great if we could ship packages to people with nothing more than a phone number or email address?



Yes. I'm serious. What I'm proposing is the creation of a simple system that will let people walk into FedEx, UPS or the Post Office and send a package by using something as simple as either a phone #, eMail address, or even a Twitter ID

How the heck can anyone do that?



Before PayPal was launched, people said the same thing about sending money to people by using just their email address. Behind the scenes, all PayPal did was create a database of email addresses, then linked them to the people wh... [More]

Continue...Ship Real Packages and Letters Privately... by Phone # or eMail address?...
LARGE-78 With all the buzz lately about celebrities having their private photos hacked, everyone seems to be focusing on potential hacks into Apple's iCloud by some kind of sophisticated hacking technique or security flaw.

I have news for you, most hackers aren't that sophisticated. It doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to hack any online account. It just takes a few educated guesses to make it past just about every major online site, but here's a quick tip that can protect you....

STOP USING DEFAULT SECURITY QUESTIONS!



That's it?.... WHY?

Before I get into details, let's do some role playing. Let's assume YOU are a hacker. Now, I want you to try to hack into the fictional account of "Mr. John Q. Public". Let's say you know the login ID, such as the email address, but not the... [More]

Continue...Stop using default Security Questions... here's why....

Top 25 Posts


* Note: The ideas on "Idea of the Day" were posted without any formal research into existing inventions.

In some cases, patents may already exist for these ideas, in other cases, there may not be any existing patents and you are free to develop and explore the viability of developing and patenting the ideas.

The authors make no claim that any of the ideas are safe, practical, or suitable for any particular purpose. You are responsible for the results of trying, developing, patenting or using any of the ideas on this site.

For some people, our ideas are just an interesting read, but our goal is to encourage you to take action. If you see an idea that you like, do something with it... Take action.


- Joe
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