Ideas from fellow Explorers
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DESIGNS FOR LIFE
CNN asked leading figures to describe the inventions and discoveries that have changed their lives.
"The jet engine has had an amazing impact on our lives."
"When I escaped to art school it was a Mini that took me there."
"Without planes I wouldn't be able to do what I do."
Dear Explorers. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their ideas. We have been inundated with great innovations.
Keep the ideas coming. We will continue to publish the best ones. Send your bright technology ideas to Explorers. Here are some of the latest e-mails we have received.
I have invented smart card devices that controls time spent in front of a television or computer screen, to help counter obesity. A smart card, with an amount of playtime programmed, is inserted into a special device that controls the television or computer screen signal. When the playtime allocated is used, transmission on the screen is cut off. The smart card can be removed or "paused" to stop using up the playtime quota. It can also be attached to exercise equipment, so that playtime is earned. For example, 30 minutes of exercising gives 120 minutes of playtime.
Charles Chan, Canada
My idea is a nylon net that is loosely attached to the walls and base of a swimming pool. If someone falls in accidentally, then the net can be used to pull the person out.
Nagendra Singh, New Zealand
While we walk, our body weight is transformed to pressure under our feet over our shoes. This pressure can be quite easily used for small cooling and/or heating loads purpose (very small refrigeration system). At least our own feet can be cooled or heated, meaning survival, or at least comfort.
Victor Ashkenazy, Israel
Need for speed
I have invented a very simple fuel modification device, which, when road tested, achieved excellent mileage results. No other modifications were made to the car, apart from the addition of my device. The car was driven daily for months and there were no problems -- except that everyone who drove it couldn't resist testing the power gains made to the engine! The car became much more powerful with almost double the gas mileage.
Scalarist, The Netherlands
When an aircraft lands, the chance of puncturing the tyre is high because the wheels are at zero velocity but the plane is traveling at a high speed. It would be better if the tyres were attached to a system that could rotate them so they move at a speed similar to the aircraft itself. This would reduce the chance of a puncture, saving time and money.
Vincent van der Gugten, The Netherlands
What about an umbrella that won't go to pieces as soon as the weather turns bad?
Jillis van Delsen, The Netherlands
Bumper to bumper
I'd like to see all cars and trucks fitted with the same size and shape bumper. Bumpers are easily damaged but expensive to replace and this would bring the cost of repairing minor damage to vehicles down.
I want a remote control for my computer. I have one for my television, DVD, video, stereo so why not one for my computer? It could change volume, activate music and switch tracks. I could program 10 to 30 of my favorite Web sites into the remote control and all I would need to do is press a number to get my favorite site. If I want to change Web sites I just press another number.
Gary Gloc, United Kingdom
My idea is to magnetize road surfaces and the undercarriages of cars. This would reduce effective weight, friction and energy needed to propel them. Cars would still use conventional tyres and systems to accelerate. Braking could be assisted by reversing polarity of the undercarriage and creating attraction between the road and the car. It would be easy to fit existing roads by applying a layer of artificial magnetic material. Existing cars could be easily modified by adding strong electromagnets to the undercarriage. Modified cars would still work normally on regular roads, albeit not efficiently.
Nick Neskovic, Canada
Is it a bird?
My idea is to have a vehicle in the upper atmosphere that receives energy via a powerful laser from the ground. This platform would float in air at about 10 to 20 kilometers above sea level and would serve as a communication link for cellular and broadband applications such as the Internet. It could replace or reduce the need for ground-based link towers and cover a much larger area than link towers. It could also serve as upper atmosphere research probe for solar wind as well as work as an early warning station over big cities against terrorist activities. As a technical solution, this vehicle could be in form of a "flying saucer" where laser energy is converted into heat for jet engines.
Hannu T. Tanskanen , Finland
Energy from the atmosphere
Future generations will not have to worry about where the energy to run electrical appliances will come from. In the not-too-distant future I hope the energy source will be our atmosphere. Nano-technology will create engines so small that they will run with the energy, including electricity and solar energy that exist in the atmosphere; these nano-engines will work combined integrating one big engine, depending how big the engine will be needed.
L. Gonzalez, Mexico
Motion sensor escalators
I often see escalators running idle with no passengers. My idea is to equip the escalators with either motion sensors or weight sensors to detect if there is any passenger who will be going to use the escalators else to switch off until the next passenger arrives.
Automated insulin monitor
My idea is for diabetics. I would like to design an implantable device that consists of an in-line blood tester and a reservoir with external port that can be access with a syringe and re-filled with insulin. Once implanted, the device will be monitoring the sugar levels continuously and releasing insulin depending of how much is needed.
Manuel J Ramos, Florida
My idea is for telemetric control of avionics to be gradually introduced to all freight on flights. This could allow control towers to divert flights that should threaten security of cities. No terrorist would be in control because tower staff (or military) would be alerted. Control tower staff would take-over telemetrically and guide the aircraft to safety. New aircrafts could incorporate the technology and existing ones could be adapted.
Dust that gathers on computer motherboards reduces computer efficiency. Dust clings to anything electrical, so why not create a motherboard with two pegs that sit on the board that generate its own electrical charge (without harming the computer's mainframe) that will magnetize all the dust to the pegs? They could be the size of a pencil eraser, and once every month, it would be really simple to open the case up, take a piece of cloth, and wipe the dust off the pegs, so the dust won't harm the circuitry of the motherboard. It would be much more efficient than getting out the dust buster.
Tim Preston, South Korea
CNN reserves the right to abridge e-mails. Not all e-mails can be published.