Getting Ideas for New Products

How many new products and inventions can you dream up with in 30 minutes? At least a few if you know the techniques of
innovation and creative problem solving. The following are 30 minute's worth, with some notes at how they were arrived
at.

New Products and Inventions From Old

A fast way to invent new things is to start with existing concepts and find new applications. With the concept of
inflatable things, the first thing that comes to my mind is inflatable shelters for emergency situations, such as after
earthquakes or hurricanes. Such shelters could be transported easily, and erected quickly with a simple air pump. A
basic large tent design, but with inflatable ribs instead of poles might work.

We can always find new products and inventions for babies. Inflatable cribs or playpens come to mind. Deflated, they
could be folded up and stored almost anywhere. A simple design for a playpen might be a plastic floor with a simple
wall that surrounds it and is attached to it. Think of air mattresses for swimming, set on their sides, connected end
to end and wrapped into a circle and you'll get the idea.

When we used to go "tubing" down rivers in Michigan, we were forever trying new ways to carry a cooler with us while
keeping it convenient to get a soda or beer out of it. A solution could be an inflatable bar. It might have a cooler
built into it, have can and glass holders, and maybe even a secure place to set snacks. It could be used in a pool,
lake or river.

Many people drive into water and die each year. One solution to this problem might be inflatable flotation that is
activated when the car begins to sink. They would quickly inflate in an accident involving submersion, and would keep
the car afloat. Put one in the trunk, and another inside the car, or have them come out from the wheel wells. To avoid
accidental inflation, the triggering device would be activated by water, but be in a place where rain and car washing
water couldn't reach.

Vending Machine Products and Inventions

When I considered the concept of vending machines, the first thing that came to mind was a beer machine. It could only
be used in a bar that was restricted to adults, of course. A big benefit is that it would lessen the need for
bartenders, since half of all the drinks sold in a bar are just simple beers. It is an innovation that could be
implemented tomorrow, using beer in cans in existing pop machines.

A vending machine for books and magazines might do decent business in an airport, bus station or other places where
people are forced to sit for hours. They may already exist, but I haven't seen them yet. Add some padding to the drop
chute, and existing snack vending machines could be used.

There are dozens of other things that could be profitably sold from vending machines. Use simple techniques like this
extension of existing concepts, and there are also thousands of other new products and inventions waiting to be made.