I have no longer any money or patience to file for inventions. Yet, I would like to give a simple list of the things that have struck me in the recent past.
I know some of them are patentable. In making them public, I am simply putting captains of Indian industry to shame—why did they keep me unemployed and so, unable to save enough money that I could go out and patent these ideas. (Earlier, in an iMechanica posting, I had blamed IIT Bombay. I continue that blame too…)
The ideas are almost self explanatory, so I will just jot them down:
(1) Multi-Purpose Mobile Phone Cover: Why can’t someone introduce a cheap plastic cover for mobile phones (i.e. cell phones) that (i) mechanically covers all the buttons so “locking” is not necessary, and, more importantly, (ii) when you receive a call, the cover pops open with a spring to give an acoustic deflector so that people don’t have to shout. You see, unlike the old conventional phone handset, the mobile is too short. So, you do need an acoustic deflector. Often, you see people holding their palm to the same effect. Why can’t a simple spring-operated push button do the same trick? (iii) Plus, the cover, if done right, will let even cheaper mobile models look like their far costlier counterparts. Good show, it will be. (iv) The piece could cost just a few tens of rupees (or a dollar or two) and can be easily manufactured using plastic injection moulding by millions.
(2) Steering-Wheel Mobile Socket: Redesign a mobile phone in such a way that it could be easily inserted in a socket on or near a steering wheel of a car. Upon pressing the mobile in that socket, automatically, the loudspeaker option and a directional microphone would get active. (The microphone could be a permanenet mounting in the car. Its signal will get routed when the mobile is in the socket.) This will allow people to use the same mobile phone hand-set while driving their car. Of course, privacy could be compromised, in which case, provision could be made to rather have a single headphone. Ideally, people should not drive and talk on cell-phones, but they do so all the time anyways. At least, this way, there is some kind of a safer option for them (and RTO) to consider and evaluate…
(3) A Consumer-Controlled “Replay” Button on TV Sets: It always amazes me that [stupid] people at SONY (just for example) didn’t think of this obvious one before. Sachin Tendulkar (just to take an example) plays a great shot, and you want to see it replayed. Precisely at that moment, a commercial takes over, and you have to wait until the time that the TV station transmitter gets in the mood of showing you the replay. Instead, since digital memory is so goddamn cheap these days, why not arrange to have the last 10 seconds (or 30, or 60 seconds) stored in the buffer. (The buffer will have a continuously varying content, of course). When you want, you just press a button on your remote, and it will begin replaying from the buffer, that’s all… Extra bonus: Provide a socket for the buffer to be downloaded in MPEG format on to a computer. (The commercial copyright agreements will have to be changed a bit, I suppose. But it won’t be impossible…)
(4) Healthier “baTaaTaa” “waDaa” and “baTaaTaa iDli”: Potato is not so bad for health—it has no oil. It is the process of deep-frying which makes it bad. Hence a solution: Start with a low-oil or zero-oil “saaraN” (i.e. the stuffing that goes inside the ordinary “baTaaTaa waDaa”). Then, simply place this roundish ball of potato-stuffing in the middle of the depression for making iDlis in the iDli stand. Pour a little iDli flour mix around that potato ball, and steam the idli as usual. You wil get a sandwich-like “baTaaTaa iDli”. Two tastes mixing into one!! Eat it with green “chutney.” Another variation: In Maharashtra (and Gujarat, I suppose), there are “paaT waDyaa” made of “besan” (i.e. “chanaa”) “daal”. This delicacy is made by steaming—not frying. Hence, it is low fat. So, you can use it… Note that before making “waDyaa”, you first have to make flat “chapaati” like thing with the “besan daal”. The idea is: Wrap the potato ball with that “chapaati” like thing, and then steam the resulting “waDaa”. Now, you will have the taste of “besan” for the outer cover too, just as in “baTaTa waDaa” So, I predict that it should be tasty… (Try it out and let me know!!)