15 Inventions You Didn’t Know You Needed Until Now

Design, Food, Lists, Other, Technology, Weird

When we think of all the brilliant inventions in the world, what springs to mind? The automobile? The mobile telephone? The light bulb? These are all brilliant and life-changing innovations that have helped shape the face of modern society. But what about the little inventions that often slip under our collective radar?

Presented here are fifteen products that were – quite frankly – invented by pure geniuses. Honestly, when we look at this list, all we can think is how we ever managed to get along in society without these inventions. Prepare to add some more presents to your already-expansive Christmas wishlist.

Dripless Coffee Cup

Millions of people across the globe love nothing more than that first sip of coffee in the morning. But what people really don’t like (aside from getting up), are those annoying drips that collect on the underside of the mug.

This little innovation does away with that by simply catching any drips that fall south. No more ring stains on the table! Now you might be thinking that the addition of a coaster under said mug would be just as effective. Pfft! Obviously you’re not a coffee drinker. You see, the morning ritual of making a cup of coffee has no room in its agenda for the coaster.

Adding a coaster to the schedule is time wasted that could be better spent drinking our coffee. A dripless mug such as this is an ingenious device. Have we made our point yet? A coffee cup that catches those annoying drips could literally put makers of coasters out of business forever. Ah. Now we feel bad for people who make coasters.

Bag Re-Sealer

We’ve tried everything to keep food in bags fresh: rolling the top of the bag, clipping it closed with pegs, yelling verbal abuse at it. Nothing works and we end up with soggy Cheetos that we can’t bring ourselves to finish. But now with this thing, our Cheetos will stay crunchy and macho. So how does it work we hear you scream at your monitor (you are a loud bunch aren’t you)?

Initially we thought it worked a bit like a stapler, clipping the open bag closed with staples. Oh how wrong we were. Besides, that would make the re-sealer a pointless invention when compared to the…stapler. No, it works by heating the bag ever so slightly so it becomes airtight, encasing all the goodies inside the bag where no moisture can taint it. Whatever next? Maybe there’ll be some brilliant contraption that stops our hands from getting cold when we drink a can of Pepsi.

Oh wait…

Can Handles

There are two things that happen when we drink from a can, 1) our hands become cold, especially if the can has been in the fridge; and 2) eventually our body heat combats the chill, our hands become warmer, but inevitably that warmth transpires onto the can and heats up the drink inside. Boo lukewarm Pepsi!

We could always just leave the cans out of the fridge and be done with it, but who in their right mind wants a room temperature drink? No one, that’s who. Or maybe we could just pour it into a glass or a cup (a dripless cup?) What are you, an animal! The above inventions are the ideal solution so we can drink directly from the can without that irritating frost-bitten feeling in our hands. Do they look silly? A little bit, but it’s such a simple solution we’re surprised we didn’t come up with it ourselves.

Cable Clamp

This is such a 21st Century invention. With all of our modern technology and fancy gadgets, our lives have become engulfed with a new epoch of information and flashing buttons. But with it comes a downfall: cables. Oh so many cables, draping this way and that without a care in the world. No matter how many attempts we make at keeping the area behind our TV sets or computers neat and tidy, cables just do whatever they feel like. The modern office has become an anarchist playground for computer cables and it’s about damn time someone did something about it. Which they did.

You will probably have come across variations of this item, but it’s ultimately a god-send. Why have phone chargers lying across the floor like some lazy snake-like creature when they could be there ready at your disposal? And no longer will we have to trace our wires to their intended plug socket because they’ve become tangled together. We want our wires standing to attention like disciplined soldiers.

The Flippable Bench

So you work in a town or city centre and you’ve just started your lunch break. The weather has just broken so you decide to have it outside work because you want to spend as much time away from there as possible (also, office politics. Are we right, folks?) You grab whatever delicious repast you desire and head for a bench, but lo and behold, it’s still damp from this morning’s drizzle. Whatever do you do?

Fear not, for the flippable bench is here to save the day (or the hour, as it were). This genius contraption can be turned over to reveal a dry side for you to park yourself on while you eat. We like to think this is the kind of invention that encourage whole nations to install them all over town. We also like to imagine that pranksters will seize opportune moments to quickly flip the bench while people are sat on them, causing the unsuspecting fools to spill the contents of their Subway sandwich. Oh man, that’s going on YouTube.

The See-Through Toaster

We all know toaster settings are weird. Toast either comes out too burnt or still practically bread. And don’t get us started on bagels! Finally someone had enough and said, “let’s make it so we can actually see how much our toast is done.” So the good people at Magimix have come up with this simple solution: a see-through toaster. Honestly, what could possibly make toast better than having a window in which to be able to see it turn golden brown before our eyes?

No more will we have to second guess when our toast is good and ready. How has this not been a mainstay in people’s kitchens already? We can peer into the slots at the top (burning our eyebrows in the process) or press the cancel button umpteen times, but we never get it spot on…and now we have no eyebrows. Finally the see-through toaster has the answer we’ve been waiting for.

Rechargeable USB Batteries

There’s a reason why the “U” in USB stands for “Universal”. There is literally a USB version of just about everything. Well, okay that’s not actually what it means by being universal, but our point still stands. This one gets a special mention in our list as it combines old technology with new technology. Yes, we have rechargeable batteries, but they always have to be accompanied by those bulky charge packs that heat up hotter than the dying embers of a thousand distance stars.

By combining the usefulness of the AA battery with the versatility and ubiquitous nature of a Universal Serial Bus connector, we have the best of both worlds. Why spend so much money on expensive rechargeable packs or disposable batteries when we can simply plug the above into our laptop and away we go? We have reached a golden age, people. Our days of foraging for berries in the wilderness are well and truly over.

Flat Extension Cord

This gets an extra seal of approval for its health and safety applications. With Christmas just around the brightly-colored corner, it’s that time of year when millions of households will have extension cords strewn about the floor as we desperately try to find the perfect place for that light up Santa that pulls down his pants. It’s an accident waiting to happen. Sure we can just cover any loose cables with a rug or two, but frankly that’s a temporary measure at best. Also it makes our living rooms look lumpy and unattractive. We’re trying to create a Winter Wonderland here!

With this flat extension cord, we’ll no longer have to worry about the dangers of tripping over as we head to the TV to change the channel because our USB batteries for the remote are still on charge. But seriously, kudos to the inventor for this device. We genuinely believe that more homes should have these all year round. It’s going to save lives.

Inflatable Car Mattress

If you’ve ever slept in your car, you’ll know how uncomfortable it can be. You can tilt the seat back as much as you want, but you’re only deluding yourself if you think it’s going to be as comfortable as your own bed. That’s why this inflatable car mattress is something every driver should have on-hand. It may not be the same as sleeping at home, but given the circumstances, it’s got to be a lot better than sleeping in crushed up positions on the expensive leather upholstery.

What we particularly like about the inflatable mattress is it doesn’t have to be something you can sleep on. Placing it on your back seats will create extra space to rest those large objects on. This is something we didn’t even consider until we read up on it, but we can definitely see the useful applications for having more space in the back of your car, especially for those who have a small boot (or trunk, if you will).

Scissor-Tape Combo

Of course we had to include at least one Christmas-related item. We’ve just finished wrapping some of our presents and let us assure you of one thing: resting your knee on a flap of wrapping paper so it stays in place while you reach for the sellotape is no match for the above invention. With this scissor-tape combination, we can tear off some sellotape before we’ve finished the last cut.

To some, this may seem like such a trivial thing to get annoyed about. But anyone who has spent even a millisecond trying to stop wrapping paper from unfurling while tearing off a length of tape knows only too well the rage that can be induced. And at a time of year when we’re meant to be jolly, this is one little stress we could all do without. When you start wrapping presents on a regular basis, you too will come to understand how much you will want this item.

Pizza Scissors

Who knew scissors could be so versatile? Honestly, when they’re not used for cutting and sticking wrapping paper in one go, they’re working part-time cutting pizzas. Most homes probably have the classic circular pizza cutter, which is handy and all, but it doesn’t quite cut it (we rule at jokes!) when it comes to slicing up a hot pizza. For one thing, they don’t have an extremely useful little slice attached to it that directly lifts the pizza once it’s been cut.

With a pair of scissors like this, we’ll be able to cut the perfect slice and not have to worry about burning our hands as we lift it onto our plate. It really does seem like the geniuses behind this contraption thought of everything. Just make sure you don’t get these confused with the above scissor-tape combination. That’s one mistake away from ruining a perfectly good pizza. And who wants that?

The Baggy Holder

This one probably doesn’t need much explaining. It’s equal parts simple and genius and for anyone reading this who is the kind of person who frequently makes home sauce, we’re almost confident that little squeal we just heard was your excited gasps when you saw this. Honestly, even for those of us that don’t cook often, how irritating is it to have to pour a near-liquid into a flimsy food bag?

The answer is very. Sorry, there are no prizes for guessing that. But what a neat little invention that not only keeps the bag upright so you can pour things in steady, but it holds it open for you as well. It’s quite clever when you think about it. It’s sort of like having your own little chef apprentice who hands you the relevant knives and puts things in the fridge for you while you work your magic. Your magic being some home-made tomato soup.

Bookmark And Pointer

It may surprise you to learn that plenty of people still read physical books. Yes, the age of eReaders and digital novels is well and truly upon us, but it’s not quite taken over as the default means of reading. No, people still need books and subsequently, people also need bookmarks so they don’t lose their page. While the bookmark itself isn’t such a terrific idea (it’s been around for god-knows how many years), what is useful is the little pointer on it.

You’ll be reading in bed and drifting off to a peaceful slumber. In vain, you try to reach the end of your chapter so you can pick up where you left off. Closing a book halfway through a page or even a paragraph guarantees you’ll lose your place. But with this little green hand aiding you, you can close your book at pretty much any point and know exactly where to continue from next time. Dog-earing just doesn’t cut it anymore.

The Bath Book Holder

Speaking of books, this is one that many of us could use. Reading in the bath is one of those luxuries that’s sadly becoming a dying tradition. People would much prefer to just take their phone or tablet device in with them, perhaps not realizing the dangerous road they tread by doing so. But for those of us who do read books while soaking in the tub, there is always that thought at the back of our mind: what if I drop this in the water? A mild soaking sure, but irritating all the same. That’s where this comes in.

Okay, we’ll admit that from the look of the image above, this one doesn’t so much look like an actual invention we can buy as it does a home-made contraption concocted from a retractable dog leash. While we’re not sure if there is an actual market for something like this, you can’t deny the brilliant light-bulb moment this person must have had when they came up with this. Inventors of the world, get on it.

The Drunkard’s Keyhole

We can down as many beers as we want and walk in as many zig-zags as humanly possible on our way home, but we’ll never feel more drunk than when we try to put our key in the front door. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve lived in our homes and how well we know the exact co-ordinates of our locks. We can practically throw our key at the door from a distance and it will slot neatly into the hole (like that Michael Jackson video where he flips a coin and it lands perfectly in the jukebox), but all that goes out the window when we’re steamed.

We’re not quite sure who came up with this invention, but we like to think it was someone who just got fed up of jabbing their key at the front door only to find themselves hitting the wood instead. With this handy v-shaped design, your lock literally guides your key in so you can spend less time frantically unlocking the door and more time passing out in the dog basket.