Back in 1996, two East German entrepreneurs came up with the idea of converting old telephone booths into shower stalls. They plumbed up two booths and sold them for 4000 marks each. However, their idea ran aground when Deutsche Telekom refused to sell them any more old booths, fearing that, in the words of their spokesman, "It would be problematic if someone wanted to make an emergency call and ran into the booth that was actually a shower."
is a new phone that promises to allow one to send scents via a mobile phone.
People have been speculating for a long time about the possibility of transmitting smells in the same way that we do sounds and images. But personally I've never understood the appeal of the idea. Beyond a small group of people such as perfume makers, how often do most people need or want to share smells long-distance?
This iPhone add-on, created by Dennis Be Bel, allows two people to send each other smoke messages. It's called the Smoke Messaging Service, or SMS. But the two have two agree in advance on what the smoke signals mean. [via likecool
A British man came up with a genius idea to discourage telemarketing calls. He has England's equivalent of a 900 number
that he gives to businesses he deals with. Friends and family get his private, non-pay number but all others who wish to contact him pay for the privilege. He receives less than half the number of telemarketing calls that he used to each month and so far he has made more than $450 from the line. Awesome!
An old-model Fujitsu flip phone has a devoted fan base in Japan because of its enhanced privacy features. It allows you to designate certain contacts as private, and, according to the Wall Street Journal
, "If one of those acquaintances gets in touch, the only signal of that communication is a subtle change in the color or shape of how the battery sign or antenna bars are displayed. If ignored, the call doesn't appear in the phone log."
This makes the phone perfect for philanderers, and has earned it the nickname "uwaki keitai" or "infidelity phone." Apparently no other phones offer such robust privacy features. For which reason, people are sticking with their old flip phones rather than upgrading to new models.
I can see a flaw in their strategy. Now that the phone is known as the phone-of-choice of philanderers, having one is a sign of what you are.
For those who might be interested in my recent Italian trip.
I'm thinking of resurrecting this product and offering it to evangelical cellphone users. Any venture capital folks out there who want a quick return on their investment?
Original ad here.