Creativity Pool
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AdamHeckman
 USA
PatchWatch Printer Friendly Version
Yesterday while sitting in school trying to see how much time we had left in class, I scanned the room for the clock and realized that it was too far away for me to read. I realized that it would be much easier to have a simple watch on my wrist to tell the time rather than squint at the clock (I usually would have had my contacts in but woke up late and had to rush to school). About a year ago I received a moderately nice watch as a Christmas present, which would have been perfect to have in such a scenario, but I had rarely worn the watch in the past due mainly because I did not like feeling of it always being there, the cold metal, the tight fit, and the unnecessary weight all added to the uncomfortable feeling that having a watch gave me. I am sure many people would disagree that a watch is uncomfortable, and it really is a help and a normal part of their every lives, yet still, I believe there is a much more affordable, convenient, and practical way to be always be able to tell the time.
The PatchWatch is just a name for the product that I created writing this, but in truth it describes it very well. It is just speculation and imagination at work, but I envision a nicotine "patch" or band-aid like looking thing that would have the same adhesive principle which would stick to your body. The difference from the similar adhesive products is that when tapped once, the patch will illuminate the time immediately. This may sound rudimentary, because it is. Many things about such a product are undecided, like how it would stick, how it would know the time, and how expensive and light it would be. One of the main ideas behind the product that it would most likely be undetectable when off, making it much more convenient to have on during work or just in everyday lives. One major concept of the PatchWatch would be its adhesive side and how it would interact with the skin. I envision that after a set number of hours the adhesive will dissolve and it will easily remove, as it could be marketed as having a range of 6, 8, 10, or 12 hours depending on what the customer would require (it could also be possible someday that when a button is pressed it releases a chemical that counteracts the adhesive properties). As it would preferably be clear, there would certainly have to be wires and/or batteries (unless we made it solar) and we would try to keep it as thin and light as possible. One way of doing that is concealing the wires underneath the blurred area where the numbers would appear, which will hopefully keep the Patch/Sticker smooth and "clear". One of the pros of the PatchWatch would be its accessibility, it wouldn't be limited to only the wrist like a watch is, it could be placed almost anywhere like inside a book or in the car, which adds to the convenience of owning something.
Another aspect of the watch that is up for question would be weather it would be disposable like band aids, or rechargeable (possibly solar) which would last much longer. It would also be difficult to keep such a thing at a low and affordable price, but I believe it can be done. The Patch would also be helpful because of the lack of the chance of losing it like a watch has, and hopefully the lightweight and bendable technology it contains (bendy is almost required for such a patch) will add to the durability and convenience. The idea of a time telling band-aid may seem laughable at first, but I truly believe it would be much more convenient to just tap a small, painless, and almost undetectable patch on your arm, and have the time. It would be easier than a watch, and hopefully would be unnoticed during the day unless you are looking for the time. I understand that everything about this product is just in theory, but I firmly believe that the technology needed for such a product exists today. As of now I am still in high school for three more years, so I won't have access to a laboratory to make something like this, but I hope to someday. There are so many more aspects and ideas of this I have not discussed, but I don't want to take up your whole day, so thank you so much for reading this.
Reward: All I can ask for is official credit for the idea so at least I can get into a top engineering college, thanks! 

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135°

      
Steve
 Austria
Copier Forgotten Document Warning Printer Friendly Version
Around the world, this is probably happening every other minute: Someone takes a xerox of an important document - passport, school test, classified airplane construction plan - and ultimately forgets it in the copying machine.
I guess it would be really easy to create a sensor that can tell whether or not a document is still lying on the copying glass. So the ingenious part is to come up with a clever algo to determine if the document is actually being forgotten, or if the guy at the copying machine is just taking a short break.
Reward: I'd actually like one of those for my home copier - thank you. 

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48°

      
imax500
 Australia
New Automotive Reflector Printer Friendly Version
The invention is composed of two parts:
1. The first part is a modulated retro-reflector structure where current or charge is used to modulate say, a MEMS retro-reflector structure. These devices are known in the literature having being proposed solely for optical communications where they need to operate at very high frequencies. See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modulating_retro-reflector
2. The second part is a device that drives the modulating feature of the modulating retro-reflector. Typically this will be a MEMS structure that requires current or power modulated by a semiconductor device built into the structure or in a separate board. The power source can be either:
a. a low power long-life battery and a photodiode that is used to detect (1) nightime/dark conditions and (2) incoming incident light, such that the modulating feature is only used when necessary to conserve power, or,
b. more advantageously a built in photovoltaic solar cell that uses some of the incident light to drive the MEMS switching structure to enable modulation. This device can also include a rechargeable battery to store power during daylight periods.
This invention is made by a number of means:
1. The Modulating MEMS structure is made in a typical MEMS fab
2. The control electronics are made in various semico fabs and them fabricated into printed circuit boards - as per typical electronic devices
3. The whole lighting device is then packaged in a plastic housing, typically in Chine where this is done manually
The invention is used very simply where it replaces current static light reflectors.

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39°

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