566. Bright Idea: the Peak Bathtub January 3, 2008Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
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This bathtub is designed to support your knees and conserve water. I like the idea, but I wonder about two possible problems: (1) if two people are in the tub facing each other, it could get awkward getting both sets of legs comfortable; (2) I like to occasionally slide my body down to submerge my entire head, and with this tub I can’t.
IdeaSpark*: a proposed solution addressing both problems: Manufacture just the peak (a large triangular wedge) out of a material that won’t float. Make different sizes, then anyone can buy one to use in their regular tub. Slide it down to submerge your head; remove it to make room for your partner. Bonus: way less expensive.
564. IdeaSpark*: Scooting Luggage, with better handles December 20, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*.
I recently saw this Omni-directional suitcase (it has 4 casters) by Brookstone at an airport ($69, here). It glides effortlessly, so I thought it would be cool to add a little attachment and area for my foot so I could use the entire thing as a scooter. There are long distances to walk in airports, and the floors are always oh-so smooth. Why not glide scooter-like through the concourses? At least until the airports ban this idea.
Meanwhile, I find the typical handle on these rolling suitcases awkward, forcing my forearm to twist as if I am about to do a bicep curl. IdeaSpark*: Why not add a simple flip-out attachment (like with swiss army knives) so the additional handle is parallel to my direction of movement, as If I was carrying a briefcase. There could be one of these handles on each side, so I could choose the one closest to me depending on which side of my body I am rolling the suitcase.
Sure, they make attachments you can purchase (like this one), but the luggage companies should simply integrate this idea into the existing handle.
542. IdeaSpark*: Cellphones for pockets September 26, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
Let’s face it: for guys, cell phones go in pockets (women have purses). Having them clipped to your belt looks and feels awkward. But most cell phones, while they look cool, aren’t designed for pockets.
IdeaSpark*: Design a cell phone specifically for the front pant pocket. This means:
- The phone body is slightly curved to hug the thigh and limit protruding edges and corners.
- Have curves all around the edges (like the pictured phone, called the Au Infobar, via Core77), also to limit pant bulge.
- Make the shell silicone or rubber, for softness, and for more friction to prevent sliding around in the pocket.
- The shape of the cellphone would be designed to fit in the pocket the same orientation everytime (i.e. with the top facing down, so when pulling it out of the pocket, it is ready to use).
- A small cord or tab on the bottom of the phone, which will be easy to grab when you reach into your pocket.
Yes, I am suggesting substance over style, here. RAZRs may look cool; I want my phone using experience to be cool.
485. Bright Idea: Sticky Puppy Pads September 2, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Baby, IdeaSpark*, Product.
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We have a new addition to our family: Baxter, the 8-week Shih-Tzu. Like all puppies, until they are house-broken, you need a puppy pad for him to do his business on. Problem: Puppies tend play with and shred the pads.
Solution: My IdeaSpark* is to make puppy pads with adhesive edges. Just remove the paper backing around all the edges, like on self-adhesive envelopes, and stick the puppy pad to the floor. Puppies won’t be able to pull it up to eat and shred. Cute little bastards.
Oops: Turns out they exist, of course. One version is “Out! Stay down Puppy Pads,” and you, and I, can purchase them HERE ($7).
482. Bright Idea: the Skyrest pillow August 31, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
IdeaSpark*: For more comfort and no neck pain, the next version should have a big hole for your face, like a massage table face rest, with the opening going out the back and sides for ventilation.
425. IdeaSpark*: Glove Compartment Carousel August 6, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product, Transportation.
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My IdeaSpark*, which was inspired by GetFreshMinds.com’s “improve a car” competition (mentioned above), is a Supply Carousel that is integrated into the glove compartment. Read on for the verbatim entry to the competition…
416. IdeaSpark*: Suspended Half-Piping July 31, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, IdeaSpark*, Product, Video.
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I would love to skate on a half-pipe, but I am a complete novice and a coward. That is why I want someone to construct a semi-circular half-pipe with a wire swing suspended above.
You would grip the attached handlebar, strap a skateboard to your feet, then thrash back and forth like a pendulum without worrying about wiping out. With enough practice, you won’t even need the wire.
It would be similar to the “Ridewire” video clip below, but actually fun. Clip via Trendhunter.
413. Bright Idea: Nightlighter Flashlight July 31, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
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Perfect for walks at night (maybe there are lots of nocturnal hikers out there), this ergonomically designed flashlights illuminates your path and where you are heading, and is easy to carry. It uses 3 AAA batteries, has efficient LED bulbs, and cost $30 (buy it HERE). Via OhGizmo!
IdeaSpark*: Add a retractable dog leash to this, and I would by it. When Barkley craps at night, I need a convenient light pointing downwards to help me find his stool.
401. IdeaSpark*: Adjustable Pillow July 25, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
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They make inflatable pillows designed for travel, but this IdeaSpark* came to me last night as I realized my pillow height was not optimal: make a bed pillow where the top 2/3rds is memory foam for comfort. The bottom third would be inflatable, so you can adjust the height/thickness of the pillow to match your needs. Ahh….
395. IdeaSpark*: X-Tips July 24, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
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This guy is cleaning the inside of his ear with a Q-tip, despite the on-the-box warning against doing this (it’s dangerous, they say). But that is exactly what 99.3% of us do with Q-tips, to get both the satisfaction of ridding our canals of that wax, and the visceral pleasure similar to scratching an itch you didn’t know you had.
IdeaSpark*: Create a new improved device like the Q-tip, designed for the ear canal. Instead of the cotton head, the “X-tip” will have very soft paper ridges, like a drill bit, to effectively scoop out the wax. The tip of the head will have a super-soft, blunt, feather-like protrusion, which would safely touch your ear drum, effectively warning you, if you are getting too deep.
This IdeaSpark* posting was inspired by these Japanese swabs, designed this way because it is easier to see ear wax on a black background. Via Productdose.
389. Bright Idea: Cutting Board 2.0 July 19, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
Most of us who eat at home use a cutting board everyday. Here is an improved version, with magnetic side compartments to trap the food and scraps to simplify transport to their next destination, minimizing spillage. Called the “Waste and Want” cutting board, check it out HERE; Via SciFiTech. Quite similar to this Idea (on Everyday Edisons).
IdeaSpark*: Have several separate thin plastic cutting surfaces, each shaped to fit snuggly on top of this board. When you are done cutting, put the used cutting surface in the dishwasher, and the board remains clean. Get a new plastic surface from a storage space right under the board, and you are ready to prep again.
337. IdeaSpark*: The Grill Food Truck June 6, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Service.
Ice Cream Trucks are great, bringing a jingle and joy to US neighborhoods on warm summer evenings.
IdeaSpark*: Imagine a similar truck, but for adults, as it brings the perfect foods for grilling to your block. Meat, veggies, sides, and booze ready to go on that surprise beautiful evening. No need to waste precious time in the car and grocery. Also have a chance to see your neighbors again, and perhaps join-up for a spontaneous cook-out.
265. IdeaSpark*: Nomadic Storage March 30, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
I like to store all my crap in these clear plastic storage containers. I use all sorts of sizes, I label most of them (my wife’s favorite container is the one I label “Important Junk”), and I stack them in my closets. I buy these at The Container Store.
My wife and I are moving next week, so we are busy packing. It turns out that there are standards sizes for cardboard moving boxes (we got some from two different places, and they are the same sizes). I put all of my clear storage containers in the boxes, but they don’t always fit nicely and neatly.
My IdeaSpark* is to make very similar plastic storage containers, but in sizes that will fit nicely into your standard moving boxes. For example, make a small plastic container, where four of them will fit perfectly in and completely fill the typical medium cardboard box (18″ x 18″ x 16″). This organizational system will be very convenient for the nomadic types (like college students and military families). Just pack and go. I wish I had had something like that…packing and moving is a bitch.
262. Bright Idea: Light-up Make-up Mirror March 30, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
This $12 make-up mirror has LED lights so you can use it in the dark. Quite convenient. For the ladies and their purses, that is. Buy it HERE (AU).
What about us men? I know I could use a handy mirror to check to see if I have food in my teeth, or a booger showing. But I am not always carrying my purse (I really do carry a man purse at times). There needs to be another option.
IdeaSpark*: A laminated piece of reflective mylar the size of a business card would fit perfectly in a wallet, and act as a super-thin unbreakable mirror. Simple.
240. IdeaSpark*: Double-decker Pizza Box March 20, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Product.
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Tonight, my wife and I had pizza for dinner; quick, easy, and tasty. But realizing the experience is not always perfect, I came up with an IdeaSpark*.
Problem: By the time you get to the second half of your delivered pizza, the cheese has cooled down. Then you can’t really fit the box in the fridge (if there are leftovers), or in the trash can (if you ate the whole pizza).
Solution: My IdeaSpark* is to have a double-decker pizza box, with one section for each half of the pizza (the whole pizza is still round). So…(1) You only open the top section of the box to eat the first half of the pizza, and the second half is still warm in the bottom by the time you get to it; and (2) the box is easier to fit in the fridge, or (3) in the trash can.
Also…(4) It would probably more convenient for the delivery people to carry (the thermal bag could be carried at the side of their body, and not in front of it). And finally, (5) This is an instant branding gimmick, to clearly set apart a particular pizza delivery place.
227. IdeaSpark*: Kite Bombing March 16, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Game, IdeaSpark*, Product.
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During an evening walk yesterday, I saw a young girl and her father flying a kite. It looked enjoyable, but the experience hasn’t yet enticed me enough to actually buy one during the last decade. I am afraid my ADD-ed self would get bored in ten minutes. So I then ideated something to liven up the kite-flying experience (like these pictured razor-bladed kites fighting)…
IdeaSpark*: A kite-attached box device that dispenses little paint-ball like bomblets onto a target below. Using the attached pull-string trigger version (or the pricier remote-control version), you compete against others by trying hit a target bullseye on the ground.
Bright Idea (The Kite Camera Rig): Attach a pocket camera to your kite for aerial photography. Click on for two photos…
223. IdeaSpark*: Disposable Flower Vase March 14, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
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Pictured is actually a foldable “OneShot” stool by Patrick Jouin (more here), but it reminds me of an IdeaSpark* that I recently came up with.
Problem: For special occassions, it is nice to bring flowers to your friends every once in a while. However, I am not sure that each particular friend has or can easily find a vase for the flowers, especially if they are preparing for and hosting a dinner party.
Solution: My IdeaSpark* is to have cheap, foldable, and disposable flower vases that you can buy along with the flowers (especially in hospital gift shops). It would look like the image above, but with waterproof plastic film between the cheap plastic rods and on the bottom. Have the top open, the neck a little higher up, and you have the perfect vase in a pinch. Chuck the vase along with the dead flowers for easy cleanup.
216. Bright Idea: Cell Phone/Remote Control March 13, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
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Finally: A cell phone that will also control your A/V equipment. This concept, by Sony Ericsson, will allow you to only need one handheld device while chilling watching TV. Simple and convenient. Via Gizmodo.com.
IdeaSparks*: Now, if that same cellphone could also act as an: (1) rfid finder, (2) car starter, (3) barcode scanner, (4) USB drive, (5) portable scanner (for short text, images, receipts, and business cards), and also include (6) an attached and removable bluetooth earpiece, you would be set.
215. Bright Idea: Bracelet Phone March 13, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
Granted, if they did ever produce the pictured Bracelet Phone, the only person that would own one would probably be Paris Hilton. Via SciFiTech.com.
IdeaSpark*: a Cellphone Necklace: two small and inconspicuous amulets would hang from a necklace, under your shirt. One, attached to a separate wire, would be put in your ear during a phone call; the other would act as the main base and microphone. There would only be a few buttons, with input (e.g. numbers) primarily being via voice recognition. No more clunky pockets.
213. IdeaSpark*: Phone-calling Alarm March 12, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product, Service.
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This weekend, as my wife and I were going through the inspection of our (hopefully) new home, we were told that the water heater could break at any moment, causing a small flood. We could get an alarm to detect the flooding water, but that will only help if we are around to hear it go off.
IdeaSpark*: an alarm that calls your cell phone when it goes off. This would be especially helpful when you are on vacation. So when you get a call indicating your house is flooding, on fire, or being burgled, you can call your neighbor or emergency personnel to check it out.
Also: Install this product in your car, so when your car alarm is activated, it alerts You (in addition to annoying everyone within earshot of your car).
206. IdeaSpark*: Ergonomic Split Keyboard March 8, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
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Pictured here is the Kinesis Keyboard, arguably the most ergonomic keyboard on the market. Not only does it optimize hand placement, the concavity of the keys minimizes the effort required for keystrokes.
However, depending on your desk and chair positioning, you can still strain your shoulders and arms while typing. The most comfortable sitting position for me is resting my arms completely on the adjustable armrests.
My IdeaSpark*: essentially split this keyboard in half, and make it so each half can attach to an end of an armrest. As a result, when your arms are in their most relaxed and natural position, the keys will be right at your fingertips. Add a small little mousepad off to the side, and you have the most ergonomic typing arrangement I can imagine.
Bonus IdeaSparks*: (1) I use the backspace key way more than the :/; key (under my right pinky). I say switch the two. (2) I also frequently use the arrow keys when for correcting or editing when typing. So, have a key near your left pinky that, when depressed, turns the J,I,K,L keys into L,U,R, and D directional keys.
199. IdeaSpark*: Cellphone Car Starter March 7, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product, Service.
After work today, I thought of this IdeaSpark* as I entered my freezing cold car. Wouldn’t it be great if you could speed dial a number on your cell phone to start your car from a remote location? Get your parked car to cool down, or warm up (depending on the weather), before you head to it.
There are remote car starters that already exist (like here), but the range is limited, and can they transmit through buildings and parking garages? Also, this device will call you back in 10 minutes to remind you that your car is still on, just in case you forgot.
192. IdeaSpark*: Appetizing Aroma Candles March 4, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Product, Service.
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I really love the smell of delicious food: sizzling garlic, roasting meat, baking treats, cooking spices. I love these smells more than those of lavender and summer rain.
IdeaSpark*: Produce candles that smell like certain savory dishes.
Imagine: At your dinner party, you are about to serve your meal of garlic bread and spaghetti (some of which you may have prepared and cooked earlier that evening). Before serving your guests, you light up your Garlic Lovers candle and the Basil/Oregano Italian candle. Your guests will be appetized and your dishes will be enhanced.
Dessert candles, of course, would be just as welcome (chocolate, vanilla, baked cookies, apple pie, etc), along with the Java candle to accompany the after-dinner coffee.
And to push this idea to its limits: sommeliers would develop certain candles that would accentuate the Merlot or Pinot Grigio your guests sip on before dinner.
If these products already exist on the market, here is a business IdeaSpark*: sell each tiny candle type with an accompanying and matching recipe, so people can mix, match, and arrange an aromatic multiple-course dining experience.
183. IdeaSpark*: Centralized Medical Info February 25, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Service, Website.
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Here is the latest idea from Idea-a-Day: Offer free and discreet medical information tattoos which exhibit a person’s blood group, allergies, willingness to donate organs, etc. by Alex Wilson Smith.
My IdeaSpark* takes this idea a little further: during a routine doctor’s visit, you can register all your personal and medical information on a certain website, as well as your thumb prints. Emergency contact info and your Living Will can also be determined and noted.
So, if you ever arrive at any ER unconscious and with no ID, one of your thumbs can be quickly scanned to instantly access all the needed information.
181. IdeaSpark*: Dating Services February 23, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Experience, IdeaSpark*, Service.
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Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Either you have a partner, and thus felt pressure to have an expensive meal, find a gift, and be loving and affectionate; or you are single, and maybe felt somewhat like an outcast in our pair-bonding-centric society. I could do without that holiday.
But, because finding love and sex can be primary human drives, here are two of my IdeaSparks* to make dating easier (they may already exist):
Click on for the IdeaSparks* (long post)…
172. IdeaSpark*: Roulette Speed Camera Traps February 14, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Service.
These speed cameras are triggered to snap a photo if you cruise by it too fast. However, they can be expensive to install, and motorists soon become familiar with their specific locations, so they can just slow down at that point only.
IdeaSpark*: Imagine these boxes being placed almost everywhere there is some speeding. But, 95% of these boxes are decoys (i.e. empty and non-functioning, hence cheap), while only a few of them are real.
Every week, in the darkened cover of night, a crew comes by and exchanges random decoys with real cameras. That way, drivers won’t know which of the many ubiquitous boxes is real, so they will be inclined to drive slowly everywhere.
151. HumBugg: Fizz-loss January 30, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Product.
Two-liter bottles are cost efficient (typically at $.99 a bottle), yet the soda tends to loose carbonation as it is drunk. Here are some possible solutions to this annoying problem:
However, those two products, though they work, can require many pumps at a time, so here are some other IdeaSparks* (none are perfect):
(1) A cap with a tube and one-way valve to blow in. Due to sanitary issues, this product would be best for individuals and close families. Not good for parties.
(2) Effervescent tablets. For every quarter of empty space, add one tablet, which bubbles and pressurizes the empty space.
(3) Bottles with four quadrants. Access each of quadrants/sections one at a time.
(4) Collapsible bottles. Accordion-style, like in the picture. Make it twist, and with catch mechanisms, to prevent the gas pressure from making the bottle re-expand.
148. Bright Idea: Check-Box Greeting Cards January 28, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in IdeaSpark*, Product.
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About a few years ago, I thought I could print up some check-the-boxes/ multiple-choice greeting cards, and call them CAP Cards (for Cheap And Purfunctory). When you open it, on the Left side it says “Dear:” and then a list of check boxes besides words like “Mom, Dad, Bro, Sis, GM, GP, friend, lover, boyfriend, wife, colleague, neighbor, mail(wo)man, teacher, etc.”
On the Right side it would have check boxes next to common card sayings, like “Happy Birthday/New Year/Anniversary, Congrats, Thanks, Miss You, etc.”
I would sell them to you off a table at a flea market. A box of ten would be $10, but half of that money would go to some charity, one of the several charities options you chose from. The name of the charity and the honorary donation would be listed in the cards you buy.
CAP cards provide another option. Why spend $3 and 6-minutes of second-guessing on a regular greeting card that your giftee will then be burdened by (the struggle of deciding whether to keep it and have it become clutter, or throw it away and feel a mild sense of guilt and waste). CAP cards are meant to be thrown away, with the thought of the guesture counting.
Pictured is a similar version I just came across. You can find it HERE.
147. IdeaSpark*: Gadget to help make the Perfect Fried Egg. January 28, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Product.
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I just finished eating a fried egg on some leftovers, and am reminded with how delicious the perfect fried-egg can be (to me, that’s white all-cooked, with crispy edges, and the yolk is runny; with S + P cooked in).
However, it is a lot of work to get that delicate balance. I now do the “spread the white out and then flip” method, but also have tried to cover with steam, and even once I separated the two egg parts, cooked the white first, then added the yolk later.
My IdeaSpark* is a product designed to make this task of cooking the perfect fried egg easier and quicker. When you start heating the pan to cook your egg, you also put this particular gadget in the toaster, or toaster-oven. This gadget is a DVD-sized disc of non-stick metal, with the hole in the center the size of a half-dollar (or yolk); covering the hole is a concave pyrex glass domed window.
Using a specialized heat-resistant tong, you put the heated gadget on your fried egg, and it sears the white quickly; the yolk is only slightly cooked by the steam under the glass dome. Yum!
138. IdeaSpark*: Disposable Six-pack Chiller January 22, 2007Posted by Matt Fleming, PsyD in Food and Drink, IdeaSpark*, Product.
The Problem: Today, I visited some friends for a football game (Bears V. Saints), and I was in charge of bringing some beer. My local grocery stocks beer (gotta love VA), but the bottles are only slightly chilled. So with traveling time (30 min. in this case), my first beer at the gathering was lukewarm.
My current workaround is to have the foresight to bring a cooler with ice-packs.
The Solution: My IdeaSpark* is to have grocery stores stock disposable six-pack chillers in a freezer near the beer section.
Read on for more details…