Ideas for New Products and Inventions
How many ideas can you come up with in an hour? Quite a few
if you know the techniques of innovation and creative problem
solving. Here are an hour's worth of ideas for new products and
inventions, with some notes at how they were arrived at.
One way to invent new things is to start with an existing
concept and apply it to new areas. Starting with the concept
of inflatable things, the first thing that comes to mind is inflatable
shelters for emergency situations, such as after earthquakes
or hurricanes. They could be transported easily, and erected
quickly with a simple air pump. They could be a basic large tent
design, but with inflatable ribs instead of poles.
How many people drive into water and die? A solution might
be inflatable flotation that is activated automatically when
the car begins to sink. Like air bags meant for collisions, they
would quickly inflate. In an accident involving submersion, they
would keep the car afloat. One could be in the trunk, and another
inside the car, or they could come out from the wheel wells.
To prevent accidental inflation, the triggering device would
be activated by water, but be in a place where rain and car washing
water couldn't reach.
Babies provide a fertile ground for new products and inventions.
An inflatable crib or playpen comes to mind. When deflated, it
can be folded up and stored almost anywhere. The simplest design
for a playpen might be a plastic floor with a simple wall that
surrounds it and is attached to it. Imagine air mattresses for
swimming set on their sides end to end and wrapped into a circle
and you'll get the idea.
We used to go "tubing" down rivers in Michigan,
and we were forever trying new ways to carry a cooler with us
while keeping it convenient to get a soda or beer out of it.
One solution could be an inflatable bar. It could not only have
a cooler built into it, but have can and glass holders, and maybe
even a secure place to set snacks. It could be used in a lake,
pool or river.
New Vending Machines
The first thing that came to mind when I thought of new vending
machines was a beer vending machine. This could only be used
in a bar that was restricted to adults, of course. The primary
advantage is that it would lessen the need for bartenders, since
half of all the drinks sold in a bar are just simple beers. This
innovation could be implemented tomorrow, using beer in cans
and an existing pop machine.
A book and magazine vending machine might do decent business
in an airport, bus station or other places where people are forced
to sit for hours. This may already exist, but I haven't seen
it yet. Add a little padding to the drop chute, and existing
snack vending machines could be used.
Phone cards are sold everywhere now, but I haven't yet seen
them in vending machines. Those small collapsible umbrellas could
also be sold from a machine. There are probably a dozen other
things that could be profitably sold from vending machines. Using
simple techniques like this extension of existing concepts, there
are also thousands of products waiting to be made.