Steal these inventions!

“As we enjoy great Advantages from the Inventions of others, we should be glad of an Opportunity to serve others by any Invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.”
- Benjamin Franklin

Over the years there are many, many things I've invented 'in my head', have never taken them through the steps of prototyping, patenting, building/licensing etc. Here I'm going to start cataloging them. Feel free to do whatever you want with them..

LED Christmas lights

One of my first ideas.. Since mid-80s I've been talking about these. Now they've been in the market for a few years.. These additional things are still possible:
* create interesting sequences for lighting a string - blinking all on/off, 'chasing' sequence, alternate ones on/off, switching on/off according to color (in a multi-colored chain), etc. These are even more effective when the chains are folded into 2D and 3D patterns (eg. stars, snowflakes..)
* create LED grids (eg. 30x30) that display Lite-Brite type of pre-programmed patterns.. A controller box makes it possible to cycle through patterns at varying speeds, make them blink or form in interesting ways (eg. top to bottom, radially outward..). A variation would be to include an SD card reader, to allow users to input their own patterns.

A 'trip-cam' for cars

A very simple flash-memory-based camera that plugs into the cigarette adapter, sits on the dashboard, looks outside and continuously takes 5 fps video (plus audio). The memory is used in a 'loop' fashion so that when the end is reached, recording continues at the beginning. Great for documenting trips (esp. in case of an accident).

AAA to AA battery adapter

Seriously.. a AA form-factor 'holder' whose top unscrews flashlight-style, to accept a AAA battery. What's the point? In a pinch, to use AAA batteries in AA compartments, when there are no AAs handy. As much of a no-brainer as this is, I'm unable to locate a patent for something like this :) When faced with this situation, I've made do with 'aluminum balls' (made of al. foil) in the holders to 'promote' AAAs to AAs. But a more robust solution would be nice.

Tire gages built into tires

A miniature indicator showing tire pressure, built right into a tire's valve. [Update - my friend Satish points out that luxury cars have had this feature since 2002].

Photochrome-treated windshields

Again, I'm surprised this hasn't been invented yet! A tiny amount of photochrome pigment blended into the windshield, esp. in the upper part would do wonders for reducing glare during morning/evening driving, when the rays of the sun shine at a near-horizontal angle.

Toothbrush with a UV source near the bristles

The UV light is for making yuckies fluoresce and/or killing bacteria. [Update - just saw this (10/16) in the 'abc distributing' catalog, listed as 'Germ-Free Toothbrush Cases']. [Another: Violight].

Stereo glasses with wireless receivers

Glasses receive left/right eye imagery broadcast from a server! This has the great advantage that we can do away with screens (movies, PC, TV..) altogether (and for movies, projectors)! Movies (encrypted, encryption changed each time) can be "shown" anywhere - malls, the beach, fairgrounds, college campuses..

Solar-powered car A/C

Idea - use the sun's heat to keep the car cool.. Getting back into a parked car that's been sitting in the hot sun - does not have to be painful! A small solar panel that can generate 12V and decent current should be able to power a small A/C unit or just a simple fan. Even LCD panels overlaid on windows/windshields might help keep the car cool - they would be darkened using the solar energy.