Imagination leads to Possbile

Imagination is the first step towards possibilities - from Henry Petroski's "Small Things Considered"

Friday, April 15, 2005

better night license plates for cars

Reading license plates of cars at night is very hard, even when there is small light bulb illuminating it. How about having license plates with back light? The plate background would be black metal, and there will be white translucent numbers identifying the car. At day time, the number will be visible as normal, but at night, the back light will filter through translucent material, making it easier to read.

Another idea would be to have programmable license plate built into the car, which the Department of Motor Vehicle only programs, and otherwise the plate functions same as above.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

rental laptops in flight

I would like airlines to provide rental bare laptops. I would bring my own OS boot CD (e.g. knoppix linux) and my own data drive (e.g. USB drive) and hook into the laptop, do my work. Why do I want this? It is still a hassle to carry laptops into some countries. And a lot of people still do not own laptops.

rental video games and console in flight

I would like airlines to rent video game console and soft games inflight, so I can keep my son busy. The back of the seat would have an LCD display with a jack for game console input. The game console would be very small (like the size of PSP) and would allow me to rent games from a selection. The airline can ask me whether I need this service when I book the ticket, and even ask the names of games I would like to see or types of games I would like to see. They would also provide me with rental controllers to play it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Package Delivery in Local Loop

Why not have a single company for delivery of packages, for all package delivery companies e.g. FedEx, UPS and DHL.
Cut the number of vehicles on the road. Save the cost for each company.

Would this boil down to single monopoly?

Not really. The courier companies (FEDEX etc) would find another ways to differentiate themselves. The package would still say FEDEX or UPS. They would simply deliver the package to this local delivery company, who would do the rounds of the local area to deliver to the end user. Does the end user really care who put the package on his door? One other draw back is that the issue of responsibility shifts from one company to two?

My incoming package notifies me about arrival time

My package inside the FedEx truck, alerts me when it is coming towards my house (delivery address) so I do not have to wait for two hours to collect packet, but can leave for my house only half hour before. The pacakge can have an RFID tag, which is read by RFID reader on the truck, and then sent to my cell phone, via SMS or alert me through email.
This would allow me to take less time off from work, and first time delivery rate of packages would increase as well.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

realtors per hour

Why not pay the realtors per hour as well, and not percentage of sales (actually 3% of sale per side)? If they are professionals, then they should be paid just like other pros e.g. lawyers etc. This would also allow me to work with more than realtor at a time, to get different opinions/services.

I think any service a realtor provides should be hourly based, be it market data, buying, marketing a house, advertisements for selling a house, writing and reviewing contracts and even going to closing with the buyer or seller.

RFID for mail stamps

Use RFID for first class mail stamps.

Users will buy an RFID writing (programming) pen from USPS, and write the address and zipcode on the raw rfid stamp, which also appears in Ink on the envelope.

Mail sorting facilities would use RFID readers to sort mail for each zipcode using RFID readers.

Names for checking accounts

I have a few checking accounts - one for this business, one for that. Whenever I go to my bank, I need to remember my account number for a transaction. Why not allow me to assign names for these accounts e.g. RENTAL, BUSINESS1, BUSINESS2, ABC etc. My checkbooks will carry these names as well. When I go to bank, I tell my bank ID (Social may be?) and the account Name for the transaction and that is it. The deposit and withdrawl slips will have a new box to put my account name in it.

color changing shirts

A shirt that will change color and stay that way for the rest of the way. I will then have to buy one shirt and use it on two different days (ofcourse I will wash it in between) with two different pants.

bookmarks at the back of books

At a given time I am reading at least two books, one light and one heavy (for my work) and ofcourse there are other books which I have read to few chapters and marked and left on shelf for later reading. Ofcourse, any time somebody moves my books, the book mark is dropped and moves to some page completely different.

Why not have a bookmark at the back cover of the book, on which I can write the page number I am currently reading and page number my kid is currently reading.

It could be made of e-paper (by phillips), which could be written and then erased as well. file_1054.html

It could be an RFID read-write tag on the back of the book, and the user buys a single RFID reader/writer (just once for all books), which he can use to program/read which page he is on.

Hotel room per hour

Whenever I travel and I have a connecting flight to take, with a break of few hours, and I need rest and shower and change, I rent a hotel room on airport. I stay for three hours and pay for full day. Why do hotels not offer rooms per hour, say $20 per hour, minimum two hours and that is it?

cigarette packing and vending

Cigarette paper boxes waste lots of paper. How about selling cigarette boxes of metal or wood? Take the box to superstore (e.g. Safeway) and it gets hooked to cigarette vending machine, punch some numbers and the cigarettes are dispensed into this box.

That way, we can have personalized cigarette boxes, electronic cigarette boxes (one that give me a cigarette per hour, a different cigarette each time etc.) and save the paper.

Kids SMS/GPS device

I would like to see a cheap ($25)device that has GPS and does SMS only to the phone number I want (my phone only). The device has to be rugged enough to handle the kids abuse. I would like that to put into my kids bag and be able to SMS to find out what is going on or say Dinner is ready. GPS just to make sure he is where he is saying.

dvd player for playing rated movie parts

I would like to see DVD players which would give me buttons to play a DVD for PG, PG-13, R or M versions. If the parts of the movie (e.g. each frame) is rated different (e.g. G, PG etc), then I can buy/rent one DVD and pop into my DVD player, push PG button and it plays only PG rated parts of the movie and skips anything nasty(!) than that e.g. PG-13, R and M. If the movie industry and DVD player manufacturers did this, we would surely see lots of these DVD players sell.

The DVD player will be password protected.