Critical Section

Skymall: the inventors parade

Sunday,  05/24/09  12:51 PM

I'm sure it's happened to you; you're sitting on a 'plane, waiting to take off or whatever, and you idly pick up the SkyMall magazine in the seat-back and glance through it.  I did this recently, and I was struck by the amazing inventor's parade on display.  All of these weird and wonderful gadgets were invented by someone, and after they had the idea they built a prototype, iterated, tried to get someone to make it, iterated, and finally found someone to distribute it.  Whether the idea is great or horrible, each product in the SkyMall catalog represents a lot of work.  Impressive, really.

eVision video glassesConsider these things, if you will:

  • Pen which records video.
  • Eyeglasses which display video on the inside of the lenses.
  • LP record to CD recorder.
  • Tiny universal cell phone charger.
  • iPod to iPod media transfer device.
  • A 7'x7' crossword puzzle.
  • Keychain WiFi signal locator.
  • Tabletop photo studio.
  • Automatic water dispenser for cats & dogs.
  • Pump-action gun that shoots mini marshmellows.
  • Swiveling deck chair.
  • Insect repellent hat.
  • 'Birdwatchers' motion-activated camera.

And that's just the first twenty pages.  Who said innovation is dead?

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained