From Our Readers
March 04, 2015 10:47 am

We all have those “inventions” we think of when we have a problem that needs solving (. . . or when we’re trying to fall asleep). Usually, we end up seeing our bright idea pop up on TV years later and say, “Hey, that guy stole my idea! I thought of that! Do you remember when I thought of that?” And we nudge our companion until they agree with us that, yes, they do remember when we said we wanted to invent a bacon rack. Or whatever.

So, just so it’s in writing, here are a few inventions that haven’t been invented yet — but totally need to be.

A way to retroactively apply coupons to your credit card bill.

I hate the feeling of realizing I forgot a coupon the second I start to check out. I know, it’s not a huge deal, but it’s the principle of the matter! How great would it be if there was a way to apply a valid coupon — or even a gift card — to a credit card bill after-the-fact? There must be some technical reason for why this hasn’t been done yet. If not, let’s figure it out! Penny pinchers unite!

Note board wallpaper for your shower.

All my “greatest” ideas come to me in the shower, and I want it to be a place where I can write or doodle whenever inspiration strikes. There are already some things out there you can buy, like these AquaNotes, but I want something bigger — something that I can write on and erase without having to tear off a sheet. I’d love if someone could invent an invisible film that rolls onto your shower wall like a giant whiteboard, perfect for when you just need to get those ideas out.

An app that lets you make a collaborative collage.

I made my family some custom calendars last Christmas, but because I didn’t take that many pictures this past year, the content wasn’t fresh, and I wish I’d had the help of someone else (and their pictures) to really take it to the next level. How awesome would it be if you could create a collage or publication or what-have-you with the help of a friend, sibling, or colleague? Kind of like a Google Doc for design, where multiple people can drag and drop pictures to fill a template. It would make group gifts a total breeze!

A search engine that recommends things you might like.

There has to be a way where if I want to find other shows like New Girl or books like Yes Please, it’ll tell me where to go. Some websites have similar concepts — Amazon has a “people also viewed” section, Pandora plays music via “stations,” and Barnes and Noble makes recommendations based on your purchases — but I want a search engine that does it all. Books, music, quotes, TV shows, places to visit. Everything.

A secret site you can “check in” to when you’re going somewhere alone.

I don’t always want to tell Facebook or FourSquare or other public sites exactly where I’m headed — especially when I’m alone — but I definitely want to be safe. Someone should invent a secure, private site that allows you to check in anytime you’re going anywhere potentially dangerous by yourself. It’ll serve as a kind of “heads up” if you don’t feel like telling your roommates (or your entire friend list) where you’re going, but also don’t want to completely disappear off the grid. In case anything happens or you go missing, the information is stored somewhere for loved ones or the authorities to access so it’s easier to find you. Maybe that’s kind of morbid and not that preventative, but it’d still make me feel safer.

Better technology that translates images into editable text.

There are some apps that do this, but they’re kind of expensive — and not very accurate. At work, we “whiteboard” ideas during meetings. At the end of the meeting, we end up taking a picture of the board so we don’t forget what we wrote. I would love the person who invents an app that takes a picture of a diagram or a whiteboard full of notes and accurately translates both the drawings and the text into something editable.

A wand that melts the snow off my car and cleans it at the same time.

My arms aren’t long enough to reach the three feet of snow on top of my car, and at this point, my car looks like it’s been dipped in the sea (yay for #Linus and #blizzardof2015 and living in New England). Let’s invent a heat wand soaping cleany thing that melts the snow off our cars without scraping, and cleans off the salt in the process! (. . . A girl can dream.)

Carina Sitkus is the creator of The Curious Cat Project and has a passion for connecting writers. Some of her other loves include squirrels, her cat Louie, books (never enough books!), and the ocean. Write and read with her @CarinaSitkus on Twitter.

(Image via.)

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