STRANGE INVENTIONS: Many of which never made it to the shelves
There are over six million patents in the U.S. alone — most of which have never been taken seriously and made it to the shelves. Some of them are quite practical while others make one ask: “Just what were they thinking?” Below are the most bizarre if not the most humorous, patented strange inventions from around the globe.
Self-perfuming business suit
Patent date: 2009
Inventor: Hyuk-ho Kwon (Korea)
Description: This suit is impregnated with substances which contain scented micro-capsules which break when pressed. That means that the suit perfumes itself whenever you sit in a chair, cross your arms, bump into somebody, or somebody gives you a pat on the back.
Washing machine for cats and dogs
Patent date: 1998
Inventors: Eduardo Segura and Andrés Diaz
Description: The Lavakan — a side-loading automatic pet washing machine. The co-inventors of the Lavakan decided that their dogs deserve the same treatment that humans get from a shower massage. The side-loading automatic pet washing machine is said to be safer and less stressful for animals than washing them by hand. The Lavakan soaps, rinses and dries dogs and cats in less than half-an-hour.
Santa Claus Detector
Patent Date: 1996
Inventor: Thomas Cane (USA)
Description: With this wonderful gadget your children need never miss Santa Claus again. Hang the stockings over the fireplace and it will detect Santa the moment he emerges from the chimney. When the chubby chap is detected lights on the stocking will flash – heralding his arrival.
Patent date: Unknown
Inventor: Chris Niswander (U.S.)
Description: Software that detects cats walking across the keyboard.
When cats walk or climb on your keyboard, they can enter random commands and data that may damage your files and even crash your computer. PawSense is a software utility that helps protect your computer from cats by constantly monitoring keyboard activity by analysing keypress timings and combinations to distinguish cat typing from human typing and quickly detects and blocks cat typing.
Electromechanical Teenager Repellent
Patent date: 1993
Inventor: Howard Stapleton (Wales)
Description: A device that makes an annoying high-pitched noise that’s audible to teenagers only.
The “Mosquito” ultrasonic teenage deterrent aims to solve the problem of unwanted gatherings of youths and teenagers in shopping malls or anywhere else where they many be causing trouble. The device claims to be “the most effective tool in our fight against anti-social behaviour”.
Apparatus for facilitating childbirth by centrifugal force
Patent date: Unknown
Inventors: George and Charlotte Blonsky (United States)
Device description: To aid women in giving birth by strapping them onto a circular table, which is then rotated at high speed.
Blonsky and Blonsky argue: “In the case of a woman who has a fully developed muscular system and has had ample physical exertion all through the pregnancy, as is common with all more primitive peoples, nature provides all the necessary equipment and power to have a normal and quick delivery … [This] apparatus will assist the under-equipped woman by creating a gentle, evenly distributed, properly directed, precision-controlled force that acts in unison with and supplements her own efforts.”
Patent date: Unknown
Inventor: Buck Weimer (U.S.)
Description: “Under-Ease” — airtight underwear with a replaceable charcoal filter that removes bad-smelling gases before they escape.
As the slogan says: “Wear them for the ones you love”.
Dog-to-human language translation device
Patent date: 2002
Inventors: Keita Sato, Dr Matsumi Suzuki and Dr Norio Kogure (Japan)
Description: Bow-Lingual – a computer-based automatic dog-to-human language translation device.
The Bow-Lingual device consists of a wireless microphone that attaches to your dog’s collar, and a walkie-talkie-like handset with an LCD screen. Barks and yelps are transmitted to the handset, where your dog’s “voiceprint” is analysed and placed into one of six emotional categories: happy, sad, on guard, frustrated, needy or assertive. Once the appropriate emotional state is determined, the Bow-Lingual randomly selects a phrase belonging to that category and displays it on the screen.
Alarm clock that runs away from you
Patent date: 2006
Inventor: Gauri Nanda (Massachusetts, U.S.)
Description: Introducing “Clocky”, the alarm clock that runs away and hides if you don’t get out of bed on time.
Clocky allows its owner to snooze just once. If you still don’t wake up, Clocky will jump off the bedside table and wheel away — mindlessly bumping into objects until he finds a spot to rest. The only option is to then get out of bed and silence his alarm. Clocky is said to find new hiding spots every morning.
Gravity-powered shoe air conditioner
Patent date: 1994
Inventor: Siegel (Israel)
Do your feet sweat so badly that even your dog avoids you? With the gravity-powered shoe air-conditioner this can be a thing of the past for it will keep your feet at an ideal temperature all day long. Incorporated inside the heel is a compressor-expander which is powered by gravity pressures placed upon the shoe when you walk. A network of heat exchangers, containing a low boiling-point liquid, transfer this energy to the soles of the shoes and you can heat or cool your feet. Just be careful you don’t walk so fast that you get frostbite.
South African car alarm
Patent date: Unknown
Inventors: Charl Fourie and
Michelle Wong (Johannesburg)
Description: An automobile burglar alarm consisting of a detection circuit and a flamethrower — to provide a deterrent to car-jackings.
The inventors argue: “when a carjacking occurs, the driver steps on an additional pedal next to the accelerator and flames erupt from the outer sides of both front doors, “neutralising” the assailant. The device essentially functions as a liquefied petroleum gas flamethrower.” The inventor claims it is unlikely to kill but would “definitely blind” the assailant. In South Africa, it is legal to use lethal force in self-defence if in fear of one’s life, and ownership of flamethrowers is unrestricted.
Pat On The Back Apparatus
Patent Date: 1986
Inventor: Ralph R. Piro
Description: A device for providing a self-administered pat-on-the-back or a congratulatory gesture providing (in the words of the inventor) “a needed psychological lift.”
The inventor argues: “The device of the present invention may also be utilized to impart significant psychological benefits to the user. In this connection, it is well known in the art and practice of self-administered positive reinforcement activity that various techniques can be successfully employed to extol the virtues of one’s actions and thoughts. For example, it has been reported that many wealthy and successful individuals engage in conversations with themselves, that is, they talk to themselves. Such an activity is understandable in view of the often small populace of self-motivated individuals and in view of the large volume of self-defeatist conversation known to emanate from those of low self esteem.”
Flying Saucer Camera