We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

10 product patents we want to see made

Why can't we buy products based on these patents yet?

They're clever. They're creative. And some of them are just plain bizarre. How come we can't yet buy products based on these patents?

Heckler's delight

For centuries, audiences have shown their contempt for lacklustre entertainment by booing, hissing, or (in Europe) whistling.

This Sony patent harnesses a technology that lets unhappy campers go a lot further.

Using a game controller, they can send avatars right into a movie or TV show to fling rotten tomatoes at the actors - or even give them a swift kick.

Admittedly, videos must be specially prepared by their producers to make all this possible.

But it's not as though studios and networks are funnelling so much money into scripts these days that there's nothing left for CGI.

And if you ask us, Horne and Corden should never be allowed to make another programme without this technology in place.

It's odourific!

Back in 1959 and 1960, competing technologies called AromaRama and Smell-O-Vision invited moviegoers to use their sense of smell to experience everything from pipe tobacco to exploding firecrackers.

Then the idea went away (save for John Waters' brief fling with 'Odourama' in his 1981 film Polyester). But with 3D back in cinemas and booming, why not give odour-based entertainment another chance?

IBM's 'Computer Controlled Olfactory Mixer and Dispenser' uses cassettes filled with fragrances, mixing their contents together like ink from inkjet cartridges to produce an array of scents to accompany multimedia presentations.

It's a far cry from scratch-and-sniff cards.

The patent shows cassettes with (relatively) uncontroversial fragrances such as banana, almond, and vanilla.

But if you ask us, the gent depicted in this drawing just caught a whiff of something slightly gamey.

NEXT PAGE: Getting all emotional

  1. Clever and creative, why can't we buy the products based on these patents yet?
  2. Heckler's delight
  3. Getting all emotional
  4. Well armed
  5. Personal zipper network

IDG UK Sites

What to expect from Google I/O 2015 | Google I/O live video stream | Google I/O live blog |...

IDG UK Sites

Why Intel’s vision of the future is a future I want to live in

IDG UK Sites

Ben & Holly's Game of Thrones titles spoof is delightfully silly

IDG UK Sites

Jony Ive 'semi-retired' into new role: kicked upstairs as Chief Design Officer