TUNEFUL phone ring instead of shrill one we’re used to hearing. Mrs. Wertko, Carthage, Mo.

WAKE-UP pills to arouse snoozer at a predetermined time. Jeff Crawford, Levant, Me.

TIME-CHANNEL changer to turn on TV at set time. Joanne Gadin, Chateauguay, Que.

FRAME with several pictures on a roll to permit quick change of scene. Jerry Patee, Ridgefield, Wash.

COUNTDOWN clocks on dryers so that mother would know how much longer she must wait. George Leduc, Central Falls, R.I.

WIN $5 for your invention idea. Describe on a postcard and mail to Inventions Wanted Editor, Mechanix Illustrated, 67 W. 44th St., New York, N.Y. 10036. Each idea that we publish wins $5.

  1. Jari says: April 13, 20119:58 am

    Everything else is there in some fashion, except wake-up pills. That sleeping guy obviously OD:d them….

  2. whoozle whaazle says: April 13, 201111:27 am

    The ‘rolling picture frame’ reminds me of the ‘moving images’ picture frames that people have (it’s kind of hard to describe what it is).

    Usually, there will be a picture of a waterfall and when you look closely, it looks like the water is flowing in the picture. Also, the picture frame can play music…kind of tacky IMO.

  3. jayessell` says: April 13, 20111:12 pm

    Like the fake aquariums with the fish on moving transparent belts?

    Of course, for the photoframe, we now have LCD ones.

  4. Toronto says: April 13, 20111:17 pm

    Whoozle: The restaurant I ate lunch at today had one of those. It wasn’t a waterfall, but a river with a Chinese junk on it.

    But this “invention wanted” made me think of LCD frames.

  5. whoozle whaazle says: April 13, 20112:52 pm

    @ jayessell
    @ Toronto

    Yes !!! those are the ones. I guess the one in ‘inventions wanted’ relates better to the LCD frame ones we now have.

    Does anyone actually use them? I bought one when they were on sale on Boxing Day 2009 and it has only been used twice since…

  6. Jayessell says: April 13, 20115:09 pm

    PS: Our cell phones have ringtones, and our TVs have Tivo.

    The wakeup pills: 5 hour energy?
    Do dryers indicate time-to-go on their touch screens?

  7. Jari says: April 14, 20119:04 am

    @ too many… 🙂 I had electromechanical billboards in my mind, that works the same way than that picture frame. Scrolling alternate ads every few seconds. And there were the kind (in 70’s?), that had a lot of vertical triangular slats side by side, which revolved slowly, showing 3 different ads.

    @Jayessell, There are such dryers and washing machines, that show approximate remaining time.

  8. John says: April 14, 201110:19 am

    Those washers and dryers with digital display are becoming more common as seen here.

  9. DrewE says: April 14, 201111:19 am

    Many laundromat (or coin laundry, for non-Americans) dryers these days have a countdown timer. It makes a lot of sense in that application, as the dryer use is based on time, not on dryness. For home dryers with moisture sensors, it would be somewhat harder to give a good estimate of time remaining.

    Washers can give a pretty good ETR; the only variable is the flow rate of fill water, and that shouldn’t change very much from load to load for the same wash temperature. Still, I’d guess that many with a time display base it on some fixed fill rates and don’t recalibrate themselves ever.

    I’d think a time-release caffeine pill would be at least theoretically possible; you’d have an outer coating that takes some time to be broken down by stomach acid and digestive enzymes. Some similar techniques are used for some medications (though usually the goal there is to produce a long-lasting steady dosage by mixing up several different delays).

    The changeable picture idea is (or rather was) frequently seen on public transit vehicles, except instead of artwork they show street or town or route names.

  10. Charlie says: April 14, 201112:25 pm

    DrewE: Yeah, estimating the time until dry would be an interesting problem. I remember I had to write an FTP client for windows 15 years ago or so and one of the trickiest parts was coming up with a good algorithm for estimating the time remaining.

    Also, I have never actually had a good enough dryer that the moisture sensor actually worked well. Every time I try to auto dry my clothes they come out wet.

  11. whoozle whaazle says: April 14, 20112:47 pm

    @ DrewE

    Interesting. I know caffeine can make you feel more awake when you feel tired but can it wake you when you have gone to sleep?

  12. Mcubstead says: April 16, 20114:36 pm

    Dang if I owned A Mac I could created an app named “Wake up pill” that sounded an alarm to make the user. Sure they come with an alarm, but mine would be an app and it would be immune to those embarrassing “issues” with time changed and updates.!!!!!

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