Compact Living

After moving flat time and time again one thing is true of all rented accommodation it seems. There is very little storage. I appreciate space is at a premium these days but some places I’ve lived have been pretty ridiculous.
One thing that you’ll need in most flat is a mop and bucket, and one thing that’s not so compact is a bucket. Usually unsightly enough that you want to squirrel them away when the Jones’s come round but if you don’t have the storage space what do you do.
One solution is this:

Fold Up Bucket

which is definitely a space saver for the car washing amongst you, however I’d like something with some structural integrity so that I could wring out a mop on the top of it.

I’d been mulling this over on and off for a while and I was always trying to work out a way for joints and hinges that enabled the folding up of such a invention to be water/air tight. It struck me today that I’d been thinking of the problem from the wrong angle and I didn’t need water/air tight hinges I just needed a plastic bladder inside the bucket that was flexible so the hard structure could create the rigidity and the fold down method and the bladder could create the water seal.

Another application for this idea is collapsible lunch boxes.
When I was working up town I used to take a packed lunch with me most days and it was pretty much the only thing I was taking with me, and it was somewhat bulky. But carrying the empty lunch box home with me meant that I was carrying bulky nothingness with me. If I could collapse my lunch box I’d reclaim all that space again.



USB Power Sockets

A discussion came up amongst friend about devices that charge via USB socket, such as phones, Nintendo DS etc. We then went on to talk about some of the solutions for having somewhere to plug in your USB device to charge.
Dan pointed out that the Nintendo Wii’s USB ports are always powered and so there is one solution, Ian mentioned that there’s now multi gang power adapters that have USB on them too.
Alex Thompson mentioned that you can also get face plates for wall sockets that feature USB ports too. Alex went on to suggest why not make a wall socket that the three pin holes, as used here in the UK, are also each USB sockets.
The sizes certainly aren’t that disimilar and I could imagine that they be made with a mechanism for delivering the correct power and also for shielding disused ports appropriately.

I’d follow this up with my own suggestion that power and usb/whatever-new-tech-replaces-usb sections of wall sock face plates should be removable. After all you don’t want to have to get all the sockets rewired each time they change the standard for charging such devices.


iPhone Frequently Used Apps

The iPhone, and the iPod touch’s navigation is fine…. whilst you only have a couple of pages of apps installed. But once you get five pages of apps installed it starts to get a little impractical.

Seeing as last time I suggested to a friend that it would be good to be able to arrange the icons on your computer, thru iTunes or such, it was announced at the very next apple conference and released in that version of iTunes.

So my suggestion to get in before the next Apple conference on the 27th, is not a major overhaul of the UI, but simply to give a page or two to the fix icons down the bottom of the iPhone/iPod Touch UI.

iPhone UIHere you can see the iPhone UI with the default icons in the fixed ‘dock’ at the bottom. I’m simply suggesting allowing that to be 2 pages that you can swipe between to allow 8 icons that are fixed, independently of the other pages of icons above it.

You’d only have to swipe one way or another to get to the call functions etc but could access a further 4 apps easily and quickly.



OLED Wallpaper and all that comes with it

Not long after OLED first came to light I began, as I’m sure many futurists did, thinking about the ramifications of it.
I considered the many applications that would be useful initially as things like the roll out screens that were already being discussed at this point. However what I went on to was marvelling at the possible future of OLED wallpaper where by a whole wall or your whole room/house is wallpapered with OLED paper.

The use of this becomes nearly as limiteless as you can imagine. You can pick and choose your wallpaper on a daily basis with next to no effort, you could have it randomly changing like your desktop wallpaper. You could wake to an epic sunrise and fall asleep to a beautiful sunset, you could gaze at the stars or watch the Aurora Borealis, all from the comfort of your own home.

Then consider that OLED tv will soon be with us and you can imagine the next convergence technology that’s hot will be TVs sold and OLED wallpaper. Imagine being able to sit in your front room and decide you want a 52″ tv on your wall right in front of your line of vision, with a few gestures recognized by the system controlling your OLED wallpaper image their you have it. You want to do some work on your computer whilst watching tv, you gesture into existence a 15″ monitor on the wall next to the tv and using a remote device or maybe more high definition gesture recognition where you type in on a projected keyboard on your lap, you tap away on a few emails.

A few friend drop round and you want to watch a film together so you gesture the screen larger on your wall to fill the whole wall and enjoy a film together.

The next day you’re off to a meeting at a clients office in a part of town you don’t know, you bring up Google maps and your email on your wall, you copy and paste the address into Google maps and find it, you hit street view to help you get your bearing ahead of time and your are immersed in a full wall street view that you can drag around to see where the office is, where’s the nearest place to get coffee and lunch.

The next step from this is of course full wall video conferencing, your room can easily become an immersive  multi-environment. For example, you could chat with friends from around the world and all feel like you’re sitting in the same room, you could virtually be in the office at your desk, seeing other’s sitting at their desks, all on your walls. You could play a game panning round your whole room, checking behind you before looking round the corner and rushing the guard.

This is all surely just the tip of the ice berg for OLED wallpaper with the innovative minds of  the world coming up with creative ways of rendering content from all forms of media and sources on your wall in beautiful ways.



Publishing my thoughts before the mecons get them!

As someone who is naturally very creative and also naturally very lazy I’ve always been one to have bright ideas but not to put them into action.

It’s come to my attention lately that my ideas are becoming predictions and several of my ideas have crept into the real world without my participation. Now I’m by no means saying that pixies are coming and stealing my thoughts in the night but I wanted to make my ideas sort of open source. An open source idea would be one that anyone could act on but that I would be credited for coming up with the initial idea, no financial motives here, just pure ego.

The following posts will detail an idea of mine as thoroughly as I can.



Ideas and Innovation from the active mind of a lazy body