Science and technology have given us innovations like self-driving cars, the ability to peer into deep space, and 3D printers that can create everything from toys to body parts.
This is all very well and good. But why can’t some of those brilliant scientists and engineers devote a fragment of their attention to little day-to-day things? Here are a few inventions I would like to see that would make life just a tiny bit safer or more enjoyable.
A container for leftovers with a pop-up sensor to warn you when the contents have been in the fridge long enough to contain microbes that are unsafe for human consumption. The more sophisticated version might even be able to search scientific archives online and alert you that whatever is growing on that leftover lasagna might be a previously undiscovered life form.
A cup for hot chocolate with a device—maybe a little mesh insert somewhat like a tea strainer?—to keep marshmallows at the bottom of the cup. Then you could save that extra sweetness for last instead of slurping it first and leaving the rest of the cupful to taste disappointing by comparison. You’d avoid the telltale marshmallow mustache, too.
A miniature water heater for that sprayer at the dentist’s office that the hygienist uses to rinse out your mouth. Surely a couple of engineers with sensitive teeth could figure out a way to get rid of that awful jet of cold water. And while they’re at it, they could do something to warm up the air from that evil dryer nozzle.
Eyeliner and mascara applicators with extra-short handles for nearsighted people who have to get within a couple inches of the mirror to put their makeup on. As a bonus, these could be sold with little face masks to keep your breath from fogging the mirror and also avoid those pesky nose prints on the glass.
Hats for sun protection or warmth that stay on in the wind but don’t squash your hair until you resemble Donald Trump in an overcrowded elevator. Maybe something like a construction hard hat, which has an inner ring you can adjust to fit while the actual hat sits away from your head? Oh, wait—I’ve seen myself in a hard hat. Maybe this concept needs a little more work.
A fitness/diet tracker programmed not just to nag you about steps and calories but to tell you warmly, at random intervals, “You need a reward. Go sit down and have a brownie.”
Inventions like these would truly use science and technology for the betterment of humankind. Nobel committee, please take note.
Thanks for the smiles. Let’s hope an engineer reads this article and starts pondering new ideas!