From life savers to head scratchers: 21st century inventions. Part 1.

The first in a series of looks at some brilliantly useful and brilliantly useless innovations.

“At last someone invented it!” to “I think we need to sit down and talk…”

Robot cleaners? Yes please!  Toilet golf putters? Thanks, but I’m okay.

The 21st century has given us some truly inspired products and innovations that have helped to improve and transform our lives.

Obvious ones that come to mind are smart phones, automatic cars and a multitude of social media platforms.

Not so obvious and/or helpful are the noodle eater hair guard and the lonely person pillow hugger.

No matter the success of the invention, the thought and ingenuity behind each one is to be applauded. Usually.

Roli Lumi

The Lumi is designed for those who’ve always wanted to play the piano but…can’t.

No more need to blame it on incompetent teachers at school, having sausage fingers or simply being musically challenged. The Lumi overcomes all barriers. As its creator Roland Lamb says, “UMI is here to bring the light of music to everyone.”

It works by simply illuminating which keys to play as users can gradually build their skills and progress towards playing Beethoven concertos blindfolded.

Farmer’s Fridge

It’s your lunch break but you were too busy to bring your own and there’s no cheap store or restaurant in sight. There’s always the vending machine but it just sells junk like candy bars, potato chi…WHAT?! It sells vegetables! And other healthy stuff!

Farmer’s Fridge, take a bow. They supply vending machines with freshly made wraps, salads and sandwiches, delivered daily – yes daily – to the machines.

All for 7 bucks. Sold!

The Chicago-based firm has expanded into major US cities and will keep on growing. Which is exactly what its customers’ waistlines will cease doing.

Stevie the Friendly Bot

Ireland has developed a very approachable robot named Stevie who was designed to help in the ever-growing elderly care sector.

The helpful bot has a cheery face, upbeat voice and can engage in chitchat with residents. Grumpy humans in service jobs take note.

Stevie is able to perform the mundane tasks usually done by aged care staff which frees them up for more meaningful engagement with the occupants. These could be politely reminding someone to take their medication and making deliveries.

Stevie’s not just a pretty face though. He can offer Skype chats, play games, chinwag and probably host bingo nights.

Battle Scratch T-Shirt

Don’t you hate a back itch that you can’t reach! Is there anything worse?

Probably, but relief has arrived.

Japan is renowned as a country rich in innovation and hi-tech. Yes, the Sony Walkman and bullet train are very impressive but real genius comes to the fore with the Battle Scratch T Shirt.

The itchee simply guides a friend (or innocent stranger) to the exact spot of the itch, using a handy layout card.

No more “Up a bit, down a bit, left a bit…oh don’t worry!”

Simply, “D9…actually make that D10…ooh lovely!”

Noodle Eater Hair Guard

The days of fretting about your beautifully prepared hair drifting into a bowl of noodles are no more. And for those with short or no hair – keep reading. This could be the best gift ever.

The Noodle Hair Guard is expertly designed to protect well-maintained luscious locks from harm. Whether it’s getting noodles stuck in your hair or dropping into the soup, the Hair Guard solves all problems.

Made of light foam in a variety of colors ranging from pink to dark pink, the Hair Guard fits easily around the face before eating.

It can be used in the comfort of your home or at a restaurant in full view of the public.

These are just a taste of some of the incredible creations over the past 20 years. Plenty more to come!

They make life easier and solve problems – sometimes problems you didn’t even know you had.

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