Window Air-conditioner Noise Shield

Does your window air conditioner drive you crazy on rainy days and nights?
It is a big metal drum with a persistent musician playing away.
If your idea of music while you are trying to work / sleep /etc is not a Haitian or Caribbean steel drum then you had better keep the musician away from the drum.

Assuming you want something quick and easy. Solution is to create a tent that you can place over the A/C unit aka drum. It needs to handle the weight of snow and all that rain.

Try this easy cheap idea with things easy to obtain. Put a tray over the unit at a slight angle with some foam in the tray. The water should get absorbed and flow to the low point. It can then go over the edge onto your favority neighbor walking under it or send it towards the house, down the wall and into your favority neighbors window. At least you will sleep well until they come knocking.

Feel free to comment with your solutions - from wire mesh to slow down the water speed, placing a stell drum over the A/C and let the rain be in tune, to a funny solution on a chat group to create an electric field to scatter away the water. Loved it.


See My Race

I think this invention is needed and should be built and launched. It has a market waiting to use it and the technology is currently available.

well ... what is it you may ask.

Summary: It is a SaaS website where runners and their loved ones (fans) can go to see photos of the race from various spectator and runner perspectives. During the race viewers can see race times and photos as they are uploaded to the site and later can review the days event with more photos as they are added. The site can be used for everything from marathons, fun runs, bike races, charity walk-athons, and more.

Idea: Many of us love to see ourselves and relive those special moments. You access the site and see pictures people (spectators, professional photographers, other participants) have taken of the course, the fans, you and your fellow runners. You get to see all pictures taken at the time you where at that location during your race. Pictures where you have been identified will be highlighted and you can mark and tag additional photos.

Interface: You access the site and enter the name or bib number of the person who you want to see. You are then shown the course with runner information including where they are now if the race is not completed and times they where at each place during the race. Each place a pictures of that runner was taken will be marked and the images can be selected and viewed. Similar to Google Maps street view, you can move your viewing perspective along the entire course and the time will match up with when the runner was at that location. This allows you to view pictures taken of the route at the time you where there and maybe even find additional photos of yourself. The interface also allows you to move through time at the specific location you have selected. This feature would allow a fan to see all the pictures taken at that specific spot during the race so they could watch various runners coming across the finish line or struggle up a tough hill or maybe look at pictures of themselves being spectators.

Recap User Experience: This site will enable both time and location based viewing of photos of a race and of yourself. The user can attach themselves to a participant in the race or using a drag-able icon pick locations on the course. Move the time slider to follow the racer the length of the course seeing all the photos taken or move through time in the fixed location.

Technology: Some of the technology is already in place and others need to be developed.
  • Looking up participants and getting initial information as to their location is commonly used in various races using RFID tied onto the shoe laces and collection points along the route (every mile or kilometer). You can use the NYC Marathon Athlete Tracker from TATA Consulting Service to shows times at each marker and do look-ups by First and/or Last Name, Bib number, City, Country, and Team.
  • Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, and other sites allow you to post your photos and videos to the internet. They allow you to share these photos with your friends and if desired, the world.
  • Many of these sites allow for GeoTagging of the photos using GPS information from your camera (or phone) or enter it manually when uploading the photos.
  • The photographing devices also store time information as meta-data along with each photo which is available to these websites.
  • A face recognition algorithm is a feature Picasa and monitoring software already has to recognize people that have been previously identified or tagged. Facebook has also gathered a library of over 500 million people and their faces as provided by user tagging of billions of photos.
  • OCR (Optical Character Recognition), the oldest technology that has been around for decades is the last piece of the puzzle that can be used to identify bib numbers. It can also aid in identifying places (building numbers, street signs, etc) as Google uses with its street view and GPS information to validate locations. Image recognition technology can also be used for identifying landmarks.
  • Google Maps, Google Earth, or other viewers can then be used as the viewing environment. You can setup a course flyby in Google Earth and use their time slider to see photos over time.
TADA - We have the pieces, now we put them together
  • Using the RFID information we have a good idea where a runner is during the race and extrapolate times between check points.
  • People upload photos in real-time or post race using their iPhone, Android, Blackberry, computers, cameras, etc. If in addition to the common time stamp information the location information is also provided, then we greatly reduce the set of valid Bib numbers the OCR system can select from.
  • Once someone has been identified via bib number or manual tagging the face recognition algorithm will aid in additional identification, increase correctness, and cross checking against the bib identification algorithm.
  • As the matrix of information grows. Photos without locations can be placed in the correct location, participants identified, incorrect photo times corrected.
  • Using some of the interoperable applications, you'll be able to log into your Facebook account and see all the pictures people took of you during your race.
  • Lastly, I tried out the low tech version manually and what fun. I had taken some great photos during the NYC Marathon and was able to lookup the runner by Bib number. From that information get their name. If their name was not too common, find them on Facebook or LinkedIn and contact them to share your photos with them. Like all information in our current age, use it for good. Does contacting some you thought was cute to ask them out count as good, I leave that decision to you, your peers, and match.com.
There you have the technology and the long awaited user experience. These images can then be explored through time and space.

Notice we have sponge-bob at two locations 40 minutes apart.


Throw a Tantrum

Some of the best inventions are so simple.
Throwing a Tantrum is a great energy release for children and adults.
My latest invention comes in the form of plush toys, napkins, balls, pillows, and more.
They all have Tantrum written on them with trademarked logo and font.
Now you can throw a tantrum, squeeze one, step on one, stomp on one, kick one, blow your noise into one and so much more.

Second million will be donated to adult anger release programs. First million goes to the inventor. This is not a contract and subject to change. Don't like it ... go throw a tantrum.

Here are some other suggestions:
Here is the first prototype produced:

First Prototype of Throwable Tantrum


Camera lens shmootz cleaner for news and sports coverage

Many of you have been watching the 2010 winter Olympics. You have probably noticed the times the camera gets shmootz (water, snow, mud) on the camera lens. The current solution appears to be a hand that sneaks in and cleans the lens, when the camera is off-line (not the select shot for the network, between riders for snowboarding, etc).

This invention will save the day and work great for that automated camera that goes on a track and follows the event. Can also be used for those floating stadium cameras that are out of reach of a human wiper. It is a windshield wiper of sorts but with better cleaning and without the a wiper blade showing up in the screen view. A high speed wiper that goes by in under a 1/30 of a second to hide between frames is just not practical and won't do as good of a job.

2 layers of lenses mounted in front of the camera's lens. Often cameras are already placed inside a box to keep them dry and protected from the elements. These 2 lenses are on a pivot and swing out of the way into a cleaning solution tank or sprayer. The exit from the tank has a squeegee on both sides that the lens passes through. This cleans off the lens upon swinging back into position. No blade passes in front of the camera view and the lens has no boarder so clear view during the short pivot process. The cleaning solution tank is optional but will produce better cleaning.

Why 2 layers of lenses, here is the best part of this design. As one lens is being cleaned the other is blocking new shmootz from getting on the actual camera lens. Once the front lens returns from cleaning the second back lens goes through the process and back into place waiting for the next time the front lens requires a cleaning.

System can be controlled manually by user trigger or automatically based on the patented laser guided shmootz sensor. OK, unpatented shmootz sensor but you get the idea. Record use of Yiddish for this post, just like saying shm... and ootz