Category:
Patents

Inflatable Dumbbells

Frewoini Kassa of Sausalito, California was recently granted a patent (No. 12,005,293) for inflatable dumbbells. In the patent description, Kassa makes the claim that, "Users can inflate the dumbbell devices to a desired weight for customized workouts."

In fact, Kassa makes this claim repeatedly. But how would that work?

A pound of dry air occupies about 13 cubic feet at sea level. So to add 5 pounds to a dumbbell you would need to compress 65 cubic feet of air into it.

By comparison, the air in a tire, compressed to 30 psi, doesn't even add up to a pound.

I'd like to see a working example of one of Kassa's inflatable dumbbells!







via Jeff Steck

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 19, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Exercise and Fitness, Patents

Anti-snoring Pillow






The original patent here has no suitable illustration of its product, so I've taken the liberty of having Copilot conjure up some images. Basically, the pillow would use Active Noise Control to cancel out the snores.





Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 17, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Patents, Sleep and Dreams, Twenty-first Century, Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

Lobster Leash

Lobster Life Systems of Lodi, New Jersey was just granted a patent (No. 11,997,992) for a "lobster tether and method of tethering a lobster."

This should be useful if, like the French poet Gérard de Nerval, you enjoy taking your pet lobster for walks. Nerval tethered his lobster with a leash made of silk ribbon.



Nerval walking his lobster



via Jeff Steck

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 06, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Patents

Beer Puppetry

Inventor Avi Zadok was recently granted a patent (No. 11,974,655) for what he calls a "Beer Puppet." It's a contraption that allows people to dangle a cup of beer in front of themselves and manipulate it with strings like a puppet.

Zadok argues in his patent that his invention can "increase the fun and social aspect of beer culture." He speculates it might be adopted by breweries looking for novel ways to market their product at beer festivals, sports games, etc.





I found a website, beerpuppeteergame.com, where you can buy one of these things (cost $115). And the video below shows beer puppetry in action. But it's not clear to me if the website is the work of Zadok or a rival. Perhaps there's fierce competition in the world of beer puppetry.

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 28, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Games, Inebriation and Intoxicants, Patents

Mr. Analyst, the mechanical golfer

In 1966, Golfcraft of Escondido, California debuted a robot golfer whose job was to test new golf clubs and balls. They held a contest to name him, and after receiving over 1500 entries decided to call him "Mr. Analyst."



More details from the Long Beach Press-Telegram (Aug 21 1966):

The perfect golfer is Mr. Analyst, a robot whose job it is to scientifically test and analyze new designs and materials for golfing clubs. He works for Golfcraft, a manufacturing firm based in Escondido.

The robot is the answer to all those who have ever left a course in disgust, muttering something about that not being a fit game for man or beast.

Mr. Analyst is the product of the tinkering of William J. Glasson, a golfer who also has concluded, from time to time, that it was a game fit not for man or beast.

Glasson started toying with his mechanical monster while trying to figure out scientifically how to lower his five handicap on the links. At the time he had graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was working on the Falcon missile.

"The monster was still a crude thing then," Glasson reminisces, "mounted on a wooden tripod. And I had to crank it manually to get it to work. At first it would only hit the ball about 125 yards. But, after making several modifications and adjustments it started belting it 200 yards and I got excited about its possibilities."

At a recent demonstration, the robot showed graphically how it has been improved by socking balls one after another in low, screaming trajectories to a distance of 400 yards on the fly. Even that isn't the most amazing aspect of its skills. Its accuracy at this distance is what is truly amazing. All the balls landed within a circle only 15 feet in diameter.

image source: Offbeat Golf (1998) by Bob Loeffelbein



Glasson was granted patent no. 3,373,612 for his invention. His patent drawings show a non-humanized version of his machine.

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 27, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Robots, Patents, Golf, 1960s

Illuminated Advertising Tower

I want to live in the alternate timeline where these towers have replaced billboards.


Full patent here.



Posted By: Paul - Fri May 24, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Advertising, Patents, 1930s

A toothbrush designed to be bitten

Invented by Anthony John Heath and granted British patent GB 2167995A.



Posted By: Alex - Wed May 22, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Patents, Teeth

Headache Hanger

Full patent here.




Posted By: Paul - Wed May 15, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Patents, Medicine, 1910s, Head

Nightmare Prevention Mattress

Walter Cleasby was granted a UK patent (GB2263399A) in 1995 for his "nightmare prevention mattress."

As far as I can tell, Cleasby believed that infant nightmares were caused by physical factors such as a) the hardness of cot mattresses, and b) pressure on a baby's heart from body weight.

His invention addressed these issues by having an inward slope as well as a recess "to protect the main organ of the body, (the Heart,) from excessive pressure."

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 10, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Dreams and Nightmares, Patents, 1990s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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