Ideas that would be fascinating to market, and implausible to invent. They may change your life, though.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The George Formby Grill

The problem: my fat free grill cannot be used as a musical instrument.

The solution: a part-banjo, part-ukulele, part-electric-griddle - the George Formby grill.

Prognosis: this has a novelty value and will certainly provide food and entertainment to someone. The boiling hot griddle, coupled with the strumming action to make the notes, may be a health and safety risk.

Marketing Statement
The George Formby Grill will ensure that your food is always "turned out nice again". Who can forget such classics as "Lean chicken on a lamp post" and "When I'm searing tuna"?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Personal Policing

The Problem: people's personal safety can be compromised while alone at night, or in a crowd situation among undesirables. Alternatively, some people may find themselves tempted to engage in illegal activities if they think that nobody in authority is watching. If questioned, the average person would hope that they were safe and unlikely to act in a way which would get them into trouble.

The Solution: the personal policeman, an electronic device which has the power to protect you when in danger and to arrest you if you do something illegal. At the slightest provocation, this device will don a high-visibility jacket and start making calm and reasonable demands for the attack to stop, the drug deal not to go ahead, or for you to relax your speed because "it's not a race" and "is this your car sir?". This personal policeman (or woman) called the iPlod, will provide the long arm of the law wherever you are.

Prognosis: everyone needs some policing sometimes, and a personal policeman can be tailored and customised to your individual requirements. For the single female, walking alone through the woods, this might provide company. For the parents sending their child off to university, this may provide peace of mind. With an optional Blue-light-tooth connection to the broadband, this device could even be customisable with downloadable sirens and hilarious celebrity voices.

Marketing Statement
The iPlod is your one-stop-cop. This time, it's personal.

Rock Concert Safety

The problem: it can get quite crushed at the front of the crowd of a rock concert. Additionally, if someone falls off the stage, they might hurt themselves in the gap between the stage and the audience. The gap cannot be breached for safety reasons, but the people at the front can be crushed against the barrier maintaining the gap.

The solution: potatoes. Rock concerts usually come with catering vans selling various potato products, so the supply of potatoes can be increased slightly and a percentage of them can be fed into a machine which will skin, boil and crush these potatoes, outputting the results as a soft slurry which can be poured into the gap between stage and audience. The audience members pressing against this will have some resistance, but will also have no desire to wade through it, so the gap will be maintained, but safely. A performer falling off the stage, or failing to cross the gap during a stage dive will land softly in this potato and will be unharmed. This potatoey solution, called the "mash pit" will be environmentally friendly as it is biodegradable and could easily be fed to the more hungry concert goers once the concert is over.

Prognosis: people like music and people like potatoes. Though the number of concerts is relatively low, they happen at peak potato production times and they always have a large budget for health and safety. The machine could easily be adapted from a concrete mixing machine, though it would have to be washed if people are going to eat the potato. There's the possibility of allowing add-ons like a gravy or mustard machine to make the mash pit more exotic.

Marketing Statement
Safe, affordable, and natural. The mash pit is your root to success.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Pub Navigation

Problem: every pub has a different layout, and sometimes it takes a bit of time to work out where the bar is, where the toilet is, and how to get out. All of this is exacerbated by being drunk. For the average drinking person, it would be desirable to be able to get some help with finding the place to buy the next drink, the pocket with the money in, the toilet to use to wee it out, the door to get out of the place at closing time, and the way home when you're too drunk to even remember how to get a taxi.

The Solution: a small handheld device for drunk people with three functions: drink, wee and home. This device will use GPS technology to assist the drunk and will simply point in the direction to face before the drunkard then simply puts one foot in front of another in a deliberate fashion to get there. If the person forgets how to walk, the device will explain that too, with a reassuring voice saying things like "You can do it" and "I love you, mate". This will be the absolute assistance for getting around the place for drunk people and will be called the "Sot Nav".

Prognosis: people like gadgets and they like to get drunk. This can be put for sale in Argos as a slightly reduced price and can come with upgrades like "How to find the pub", "How to apologise to the wife", "Where the nearest kebab shop is" and "Which way is up when I've fallen over".

Marketing Statement
Sot-Nav will be the new sweaty-palm-top choice for drunks everywhere. Give it a shot.


The Problem: sometimes it's hard to get to sleep. Sometimes you want to listen to music to soothe you to sleep, but if you put your head on the pillow, you may be unable to hear the stereo as the pillow will block your ear. To turn the stereo up to make it easier to hear will make it too loud for other people in the vicinity to sleep.

The Solution: the iPillow. A personal music device which you can plug into the internet in order to download lullabies. Each iPillow can contain up to 10,000 lullabies and attaches via USB to the internet if you have the correct equipment.

Prognosis: everyone sleeps and everyone likes music. This should be easy to sell to people. Some people use two pillows, so it may be possible to sell the same person more than one unit. One disadvantage of this unit, though will be that the sound will be a bit muffled.

Marketing Statement
This is a dream of a personal music solution.

Individual Sausage Cooker

The problem: sausages are hard to cook perfectly and by the time you've bought some and arrived home with them, you've got quite a wait before you can eat them. Given that undercooked sausage can cause diseases and that buying ready-cooked sausages is no substitute for the real thing, the world needs some means of getting people home with perfect cooked sausages in seconds.

The Solution: the cooking time of a sausage is about the same as the time it takes to get them home from the shops. So, what we need is a mobile individual sausage cooker. You would charge this up at home and take it with you to the shop. Each cooker will be able to cook a single sausage, so if you're planning on eating 3 sausages, you will take three of them out with you. You operate the sausage cooker by unscrewing its lid and placing the sausage inside. It will be approximately cylindrical and approximately the size of a sausage. When the lid is screwed shut, this will automatically start the cooking process and the lid will be locked until the sausage is cooked. If the sausage is cooked before the lid is removed then the sausage cooker will go into warming mode, keeping the sausage warm indefinitely.

Prognosis: this product could easily have benefits to people who haven't the time to cook sausages properly - students, who are impatient, and old people, whose remaining hours are so precious that they cannot afford to waste them on sausage preparation - ironically, these people are also most susceptible to the ill effects of a badly cooked banger. The simple operation of the sausage cooker and the one cooker to one sausage ratio will make it easy to sell to almost anyone, even those people who only want one sausage and don't want to waste the energy of running a device which could cook two. For people on the move, there could even be a car cigarette lighter attachment for those people who want to drive and eat a sausage. For those people who like barbecuing, the outside of the sausage cooker could be made fire resistant, so that it can be placed on the barbecue to create the pretence that the sausage is actually being barbecued, without interrupting the precise operation of the sausage cooker.

Marketing statement
This product is set to put the banger back on our tables where it belongs. It'll be a 'mash hit!

Mobile Urinal

The Problem: sometimes you're not near a toilet and you need to go.

The Solution: a urination adapter for your mobile phone. This can be in the form of a foldable plastic bowl, if you're a man, or a cup-like device if you're a woman (like a ShePee). The adapter receives the urine and then converts it into a message which your phone then transmits wirelessly to the nearest public toilet.

Prognosis: with an easy to use adapter, which can harness bluetooth technology to mean that you can use it even while on the phone, this device could be used by most mobile phone users. Establishing a receiver for the body waste at toilets will not be difficult either, provided they're not underground. The beauty is that you don't necessarily need to transmit the waste to a toilet in your area if there isn't one available. So even one toilet will provide 100% coverage.

Marketing Statement
This is one product that's set to take the piss.

Welcome to MarkInventions

Welcome to this occasional set of amazing ideas for revolutionising the world. Each of these promises to be a major problem solver in your life. It promises it. Whether it delivers it is unknown, but if you want to buy one, then get in touch and we'll organise for someone to work out how to make one.