I’d like to present you with a few ideas for products that might make life a little bit easier: the skimmer sock, the floating fire pit, laptop legs and the scanner shredder.
The Skimmer Sock
This one is for use in an in-ground pool. In-ground pools have surface skimmers (example) that suck water and debris from the surface of the pool through a basket and into the filter system. Reaching into the surface skimmer to pull out the basket of muck presents several problems. In the winter, early spring and late fall, the water is cold and the basket is usually quite full of leaves or pollenating parts. Enter the skimmer sock. Think of an upside down wind sock. The “toe” end of the sock is fed through the skimmer opening down into the strainer basket. The “ankle” end of the sock fits around the skimmer opening inside the pool and has a frame that snaps onto the frame of the skimmer. The sock frame also extends up and back to serve as a handle that rests on the pool deck. To empty the sock grab the handle and pull the sock through the opening and empty as you would a net. With the pump running, the toe of the sock would be sucked back down into the strainer basket and you would snap the frame back onto the skimmer.
The Floating Fire Pit
This is another pool product. It’s basically a practical pool heater. Think of it as a cooking wok with a wooden handle around the full circumference of the bowl. The handle would serve as a bumper to prevent the hot bowl from burning the side of the pool or swimmers. The bowl could be used to burn a small fire or host candles. The candles could be for mosquito control. A small fire could not only light up the pool but also transfer heat to the water. An optional anchor line would keep the bowl floating in one spot. This idea would require a bit of legalease to suggest that the owner bears full responsibility for preventing burns, injuries and deaths caused by the use and misuse of the product.
Why do desktop keyboards get pop-up feet to raise the back of the keyboard and yet laptops, which undoubtedly have more cooling issues, don’t come with anything besides a little fan to abate the heat? If you use your laptop on a desk, little pop-up feet would certainly help with the cooling. About the only way I can think to explain this is to suggest the upper case letter “F.” The legs would be sold in pairs and the small arm of the F would be spring-loaded to pull it towards the top of the F. Stretch the arm away from the top of the F and slide the F onto the side of your laptop. The spring-loaded action would clamp the leg in place. Use two pairs of legs to completely elevate your laptop off the desktop.
The Scanner Shredder
This idea has passed it’s prime. In the days before paperless billing and e-bills, you’d get monthly statements from the phone company, the electric company, the cable company, the bank and everyone else interested in your money. These were usually at least two pages but sometimes more like ten pages – front and back. The scanner shredder would scan your statement (both sides), use image recognition to “file” the document image according to the logo found on every page of the statement and then, once the document image is stored, the document is then shredded. Alas, this idea has been canned because I can’t remember the last time I received a paper statement.