Have you ever had a design idea that was so good it had you thinking: hey, that should exist everywhere? Well, these geniuses did, and they did something about it. Not all of these ideas have made it around the globe yet, but I think it’s just a matter of time. Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most genius ideas that should exist everywhere.
Countdown Traffic Light
Road rage is an ugly thing. Whoever’s in charge of our highways should do whatever they can do reduce it, right? And what better way to do so than add a nifty little countdown timer to traffic lights, so impatient road users have some idea when that light’s about to turn green.
Serbian designer Damjan Stankovic claims the lights will help drivers relax more. Let’s hope that as that timer goes down, so will everybody’s blood pressure.
Say goodbye to hard to reach wall sockets with this outrageously smart invention from designer Meysam Movahedi. The Rambler Socket has an extension cord built into the wall itself, and can also be used in the normal way. The reel contains 1.5 meters of extra cabling and requires only a gentle tug to coil it back into the wall. Perfect if you ever feel like vacuuming your backyard.
Are you a loser? Not like that… do you lose your keys? Phone? Wallet? Well, fear no more, losers! This handy tile can be tracked via Bluetooth and GPS through an app your phone, so you can locate your lost objects whether they’re near or far.
If you ask me, that black and silver Pro version looks pretty slick. You can make it beep, too.
If you want to make an Italian cry, show them this. It’s a chunky robotic pizza machine that can make you a fresh Margherita any time of the day or night in just 3 minutes flat.
The machine actually offers four different varieties of pizza and will gladly eat your pesky coins in return for hot doughy goodness. Honestly, I’m kind of mad this has been kept from me all my life.
Pay With Plastic
This amazing idea incentivizes people to keep hold of their plastic trash. Chinese subway stations now contain machines where you can deposit your plastic bottles in return for credit on your metro card.
Each bottle gives you about 5 cents worth of credit, so you can get a single ride for as little as ten bottles. This should be adopted worldwide, so everyone can ease their conscience by paying with plastic.
Austrian-based mobility company Mattro are redefining accessibility – one all-terrain wheelchair at a time. This ultra-powerful super-chair, called Der Ziesel, uses tank tracks to go wherever it wants, which means its user can too. Perfect for snowy or steep environments where traditional wheelchairs might struggle. Just look at that thing go.
Tabletop Beer Chiller
When it’s hot, the last thing you want is for your drink to warm up after you set it down. This clever bar in Seoul, South Korea, offers a solution in the form of a tabletop beer chiller, which hugs the bottom of your glass until it gets nice and frosty. So you can crack open a cold one with the boys, and it’ll stay cold.
If you like to hang out by the bar rather than at a table, Louisiana-based company Chill-Rite 32 have got your back. These extremely chill dudes install cool-looking frost rails on the inner edge of the bar, so you can literally put your drink on ice, making sure the last sip is just as refreshing as the first.
There’s not much worse than mistakenly grabbing the underside of a table, only to feel an old piece of gum squish beneath your finger. Thankfully, the Japanese have found a way to reduce gum vandalism by providing tiny Post-It-type papers that gum chewers can use to dispose of their waste effectively.
One of the gums this paper comes with is Black Black – an exclusive Japanese brand that contains a high dose of caffeine.
Train Loading Indicator
The days of people being unequally distributed across train carriages are almost over. Trains and platforms in parts of London have been fitted with Loading Indicators that tell you how busy each carriage is, sometimes even before you board.
So you can find the space you need without having to fling yourself like a loose salmon against a wall of angry commuters.
Shopping Cart Calculator
Staying within your budget is important, but how are you supposed to shop for groceries and keep track of your spending at the same time? Meet the Shopping Cart Calculator.
This handy device helps you to spend within your means and find the best deals, while also making your shopping cart look kind of like a poorly-disguised, low-rent time machine.
Adjustable Heat Hot Sauce
Do you have trouble finding the right hot sauce heat? Well with Dave’s Gorumet Adjustable Heat Hot Sauce, you can get really specific with your spice levels. The clever device mixes a blend of mild and hot sauce depending on how you twist the cap, so you can literally crank the heat up, or down.
Drip Catcher Coffee Mug
Drinks coasters? Who needs ‘em! You’ll never have to worry about a coffee ring staining your desk again with this crazily simple Drip Catcher Coffee Mug. The mug’s encircling indentation utilizes basic fluid dynamics to make sure those wayward drops never reach the table. While slightly harder to wash, it’s a lot easier than buffing out a stain ring from unvarnished oak.
Vertical Parking Lines
For some people I know, bay parking is a total nightmare. They just can’t get the angles right. So, in recognition of this problem, certain car parks have decided to paint their lines right up the wall, to help those with poor spatial awareness figure out where they need to go. It’s such an easy fix, that it makes me wonder if those line painters just like to watch people struggle.
Airless Bike Tires
I’m sick and tired of getting on my bike only to realize that the tires are getting flat. Thankfully, the folks at Tannus are looking out for me with their revolutionary airless bike tires.
They’re 100% puncture-proof, lightweight, and grip just as well as normal tires, without the need for a pump or repair patches. The argument for bike tires full of air is starting to seem pretty hollow to me.
If you’re all about that beach life, you’ll know that it’s kind of a tricky task having to apply sunblock to every inch of your body. That’s why New-York-based sun-lover Kristen McClellan invented SnappyScreen – a kind of tanning booth in reverse that spins you round and coats you in a perfect layer of sunscreen.
You can choose your desired SPF, and the booth comes with disposable shades to keep the sunblock from getting in your eyes. It’s convenient, safe, and it’s the quickest way to get ready for a day of fun in the sun.
I don’t know about you, but in the bathroom, I do everything I can so I don’t have to touch any undesirable surfaces, door handles in particular. Then I discovered the Toepener, a foot-operated door handle that’s so smart and simple that you’ll be kicking yourself for not having thought of it first. Finally, there’s a reason to use the phrase Toe-pen Sesame.
Best Before Strip
Food waste is a big problem for both supermarkets and consumers; worldwide, roughly 1.3 billion tonnes of food is thrown away every year, at a cost of almost $1 trillion. Norwegian company Keep It want to change that, so they invented an accurate, day-by-day indicator that shows you the actual remaining shelf life of a product.
This handy strip could help reduce worldwide food waste by a huge amount, so with products like these, I can only ask: what are we wasting for?
Credit cards are convenient, but boy do they make it a hassle to tip – which is exactly why the DipJar was invented. The ice blue device is pretty much just an electronic tip jar, but the process is so quick and satisfying, you might even think about double-dipping.
According to one of the co-founders of healthy fast-casual restaurant chain Modern Market, overall tips have almost doubled since he rolled out the device, and an average of $1 per hour has been added to employee salaries.
Tip N Tell Packing Label
Whether you’re a supplier or a buyer, nobody wants to have the products they’ve paid for mishandled. Now, thanks to this incredible indicator, you can always ensure that your delivery has been carried with care. The simple Tip N Tell sticker uses blue beads that flow into an empty chamber if your package hasn’t stayed vertical. It’s easy to use and makes it easy to prove if whoever’s been doing your packing has been slacking.
Self-service machines are pretty much everywhere, but they’ve got nothing on this smart checkout. Just place your shopping in the purchase area and within seconds the machine has scanned every item you’ve selected. It does this by registering a tiny radio chip contained in each product, so you can say goodbye to barcodes and lasers.
IBM, the inventors of the system, claim that it’s 15 times faster than standard self-service checkout, meaning less time in the queue and more time for you.
Shopping Cart Escalator
Multi-level shopping malls are great unless you’ve got to get your trolley from one level to the other. The innovative superstore Target has come up with a great fix for this in the form of a shopping cart escalator, which helps take your shopping to another level. If only the rest of the world would stop carting around and get these installed.
Ring Pull Coconut
If you don’t have the right tools, getting into a coconut can be a headache. But now there’s another way to get to that precious milk with the incredible ring pull coconut from Genuine Coconut. All you have to do pull the ring and a hole opens up in the shell. Then you just stick in a straw and start drinking, or you could even just chug it Castaway-style. Sorry, Wilson.
Movie Stall Screens
Now I’m not a hundred percent sure this even exists yet, but it definitely should. These bathroom stalls in a cinema in Switzerland appear to allow you to watch your big-screen movie on a little screen, even if you couldn’t hold it any longer.
The screens probably don’t have sound, and may even just play ads, but the idea lives on and is perfect for people who don’t want to miss even a second of viewing pleasure.
Now you may think these rails look kind of messed up, but think again. They’re actually designed to be not only guard rails but seats. Civil engineering meets masterful metalwork with this space and cost-saving barriers that can be found in Hong Qiao Park in Shanghai.
Just be careful your phone doesn’t slip out of your pocket because unless you’re a qualified diver, you won’t be getting it back.
Unless you’ve got a service dog, you’re probably not going to be able to take your dog into most stores with you, and nobody wants to risk becoming the victim of dognapping.
That’s why Danish company Den Dogs invented these dog booths. The temporary kennel features anti-theft security, automatic disinfectant and a cooling system so your pet doesn’t overheat. Let’s just hope it doesn’t become some sort of raccoon hotel.
Big Truck Little Truck
Fans of fire trucks and Russian dolls alike can get behind this amazing idea: it’s a small fire truck carried inside a big one.
Japanese firefighters use the small truck to get down alleyways where the big truck can’t go, which makes them a formidable blaze-tackling team. I don’t know about you, but I think MTV needs to start making Pimp My Fire Truck immediately.
Need another great way to get people to bin their trash? Make it worth 3 points. You’ve probably seen little plastic hoops over paper cans, but these things should be on public trashcans all over the world. So you want to be a baller, huh? First, you gotta take out the trash.
South Korea is full of clever ideas, but this one is seriously cool. While it looks like these jets in the center of the road are used for cleaning, according to various sources on Reddit, they’re actually used to spray saltwater onto the roads for de-icing in the winter, and to cool down asphalt in the summer so it doesn’t melt.
It’s an amazing example of time-saving automation that not only preserves the roads but could also prevent injury from ice slippage. I’d like to be one of the guys who activates these; my catchphrase? Ready, set… jet.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling seriously inventive after that. Have you had any genius ideas you think should have been on this list? Does your town have any genius life hacks that need to go viral? Let me know in the comments below.