There are products on the market today that are just so brilliant that you simply must wonder why they didn’t exist all along. There are also those products out that make you wonder how you lived without them in the first place. For example, how did we live without smart phones? For years there, you had to carry around a phone and a computer. It was pure insanity.
How did we, as a society, live through the dark days when you had to watch commercials instead of fast forwarding through them? Commercials are pretty terrible, especially if you’re watching television at six in the morning. In the United States, that is when the worst commercials air. You see a lot of commercials for this certain kind of pillow, rehab, and a product that will allegedly cure your skin problems.
There are a lot of problems that exist in the world today, but at least we have neat stuff to distract us.
Here are thirteen examples of brilliant inventions that should have been around a lot longer than they have.
1. The Toothpaste and the Ingredients
Toothpaste has been around for a while, and I have been using it all of my life. I have never really stopped to consider what is in the toothpaste, though. I just know it leaves my breath minty fresh and allegedly helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
There are so many different types of toothpaste out there, and they all make these ridiculous claims. One brand prevents cavities. Another brand is good for sensitive teeth. If you have a problem with your mouth, there’s a brand of toothpaste that will allegedly solve it. There are toothpastes that claim to whiten your teeth. I’m surprised there isn’t a brand of toothpaste designed for people at risk of oral cancer.
Even if I don’t know for sure that glycerin is good for moisture protection—for example—it is nice to see a list of ingredients laid out in such a format.
It probably wasn’t very good back then, but toothpaste-like substances have actually existed for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians made a powder that was supposedly good for the teeth. One of the ingredients was myrrh.
2. The Vending Machine That Sells Electronics
This is a pretty great vending machine. A lot of vending machines sell things you really don’t need, like candy and sugar-filled soda. Years ago, they used to sell cigarettes in vending machines.
There are times in life, though, when you absolutely need to buy a keyboard; often, you don’t have time to go to an office supply store. You just need to type something right away.
The price seems pretty reasonable, too. This vending machine can apparently be found in an office building somewhere. Whoever manages that office is brilliant.
You can apparently buy headphones from this vending machine, too, which is great if you want to muffle the sounds of your coworkers gossiping to one another.
3. The Automatic Seat Cover
This is a pretty great invention. I hate using public restrooms, and I avoid them whenever it is possible to do so. They are almost always disgusting. If they don’t smell like urine, there is urine on the seat. Those paper toilet seat covers don’t do a great job, either. Moisture, if there is any on the seat, sort of soaks through.
Plastic would probably do a much better job than paper. I wish this device was installed at some of the places I frequently dine and shop at. As far as I am concerned, it should be required by law.
To be fair, there are a few stores and restaurants I know of that do a great job of keeping their restrooms clean. I would take a nap on those floors if I was tired. For example, if you go to a really high-end department store like Neiman Marcus, there is nothing to fear from the restrooms. They are as clean as the rest of the store; arguably, they are even cleaner.
Neiman Marcus, which is based in Dallas, Texas, is an interesting department store chain. There are only 42 of them. If you plan to buy anything at one of those stores, be prepared to spend a lot of money.
4. The Microwave With the Chaos Setting
I don’t know why a microwave would need a chaos setting, but I am definitely curious. It sounds a bit extreme.
I have never had a serious problem microwaving food, but I have made quite a mess at times by forgetting to cover my food before I started to heat it up. Perhaps that’s what the chaos setting is for? It would be great if microwaves could clean themselves.
Unfortunately, that’s not what the chaos setting is for. It is just a quicker, better way of defrosting food.
5. The Shopping Car With the Cup Holder
The grocery store at which I currently shop has a cup holder built into the carts. That wasn’t always the case, though.
Personally, I now shop at a Wegmans. There are less than 100 of them, and I am lucky to live near one, because it might be the greatest supermarket chain ever. In fact, I’m relatively sure it is. The stores can only be found in the United States, and the company only serves New England and the mid-Atlantic region. If you live on the west coast of the country, you are out of luck.
There is a lot to love about Wegmans. For one thing, the produce is remarkably fresh. At the one I go to, you can buy beer and wine, which is super convenient. There is also a really nice little restaurant inside the store.
It is also considered one of the best companies in the United States to work for. If a company treats its employees that well, you can be sure that’s the sort of place at which you want to shop.
There’s a good reason the company has been around for over 100 years. The company employs almost 60,000 people, and its revenue is over $8 billion a year.
6. The Stand For the Popcorn
I would definitely make it a point to go to a movie theatre where there is a stand for the popcorn. That’s something that was missing from the movie theatre experience for far too long.
Having to hold food and beverages is one of the many reasons I rarely go to the movies. If you order anything more than popcorn and a soda, you are going to end up making a mess. It also seems ridiculous to spend four dollars on a hot dog. It also seems insane to spend twelve dollars a person to see a movie that will be available to rent just a few short weeks later—if it even takes that long.
Also, I always end up having to pee in the middle of a movie I’m seeing in the theatres, which means I invariably end up missing something important. When you watch movies at home, you’re able to hit ‘pause’ on the remote.
7. The Cereals
These are great products. Lucky Charms combined with Frosted Flakes? How is it I have never seen such a thing available where I shop?
I never much cared for Fruit Loops, but I would be willing to give them another try if there were marshmallows in the cereal.
Frosted Flakes is my favorite cereal these days, even though I rarely eat it. It isn’t exactly good for you, but it definitely tastes great.
Frosted Flakes may be older than you think. The cereal has been available for purchase since 1952. Tony the Tiger has been its mascot since the very beginning.
8. The Door Opener
I definitely love this one. This is very clever.
There is a lot to dislike about using public restrooms, including the toilet seats themselves. However, just opening the door to the restroom is a disgusting experience, even on the way out. You like to think that everyone washes their hands after they do their business, but the simple fact of the matter is that they don’t. People are disgusting.
9. The Calculator
This is a neat idea, but I am not sure it is necessary anymore. A lot of people are bad at doing math in their head, true; however, most restaurant chains these days basically tell you how much you should tip—that’s the case in the United States, anyway. If you want to tip 20 percent, they’ll tell you exactly how much you should leave.
Also, almost everyone has a smart phone with a built-in calculator app.
Still, it is a nice feature. It isn’t hurting anyone, and it probably doesn’t cost the restaurant very much.
10. The Television With the Level That is Built In
This is a great idea. There’s nothing more to say about that.
I would, however, like to complain about televisions that are actually mounted to walls. I know it looks cool, but it is a giant pain in the rear. Accessing the wires and the cables can be, depending on the setup, practically impossible. Heaven help you if something goes seriously wrong—you’ll need to hire a professional.
Things will go wrong, too, because televisions these days aren’t made to last. Forty years ago, buying a television was an investment. People made a living doing television repair. These days, televisions are practically disposable.
I also don’t understand why companies keep making bigger and bigger televisions. At what point will enough be enough?
11. The Vending Machine and the Meat
This vending machine sells meat. It apparently sells nothing but meat. That’s an interesting choice, but it certainly isn’t a bad one.
In theory, this is actually a great idea. I just hope the interior of this machine is refrigerated in some way. Meat needs to be refrigerated.
It is hard to tell from this picture exactly what is being sold. It looks like you might be able to buy bacon, which is positively fantastic. If you’re a fan of eating meat, bacon makes everything better.
12. The Library and the Fishing Equipment
This really isn’t an invention, per se; it is just an idea. Still, it is a great idea. A library that rents fishing equipment is pretty clever.
I used to have a fishing pole, but I don’t anymore. I don’t know where it went. I probably tossed it, as I haven’t gone fishing in more than a decade. There aren’t many places nearby to fish, and I wouldn’t eat anything I caught anyway. I wouldn’t even know how to cook it.
I suppose it is theoretically possible that I might want to go fishing in a nearby pond one of these days. I wouldn’t buy equipment to do so, though. Therefore, borrowing equipment is the only logical thing to do. It’d be great if a library loaned it to me for free.