Almost Possible Dream Inventions [NOT 28/10/22]

Impossible But Plausible

Roger Bacon Conducting an Experiment
Roger Bacon Conducting an Experiment / Michael Maier / 1617 / Source:

What Invention Would You Like To See?

There are fantasy invention ideas, of course, like Star Trek transporters and time machines, or devices which suddenly turn beastly humans into divine angels. But there are also more everyday inventions which are just out of reach but we’d like to see.

Flying cars are the classic example. There are always prototypes being tested, but the reality is always a decade away — air traffic control, takeoff and landing, parking — none of the old issues ever get resolved.

Elizabeth Holmes was terrified of needles, which set her off on her Theranos blood testing quest, but she never overcame all of the technical challenges.

As for me? I would love to see some kind of dental cleaning mouthwash which meant you didn’t need to get your teeth scraped at the dentist. My dentist office uses some kind of ultrasonic cleaner folowed by a once over with a metal pick, and I’m not a fan of the vibration and sound or of dental picks clicking away at whatever deposits there are on my teeth.

Of course, the reality is that any solution which could dissolve plaque would most likely dissolve your gums too, but it would be nice to skip the standard cleaning.

So tell us, Deadsplintery Ones, what kind of technical fix, handy invention, or practical device you’d like to see, even though you know it’s not likely.

Mary Hallock Greenewalt, Inventor of the Electric Light Color Organ / 1925 / Source:

Self heating pots and pans that don’t need a stove so you can cook anywhere. A leash for dogs which prevents all pulling in a totally friendly way. A hovering overhead light attached to a drone that follows you wherever you go in a dark place.

And tell us why you want this basic innovation. Maybe you have a neighbor who always runs a leaf blower at 8:00 AM on Sunday mornings, and you would love a directional noise cancellation device to let you sleep in. Or maybe you often oversalt what you cook, and you’d love a programmable salt dispenser that can measure the salinity of something and add exactly the amount you want.

What do you want and why do you want it?



    • Cars should come with some sort of device that screams “I’m an asshole” over and over at ear splitting volume  whenever someone turns without signaling. And delivers a mild shock or punch in the mouth when they stop their car. Something to humiliate them while they’re doing it and punish them after.

    • One-hour workout in a can! Drink it like a soda, get all the muscular and health benefits of an hour at the gym.

      Yes! And have it taste exactly like a black & tan from a Manchester pub and give you the same buzz.

    • Decades ago, I had some very serious health challenges and I had to get a lot of blood drawn.  I thought that it was terrible that in the late 20th century, they still had to tear a hole in your arm and take out tubes full of blood to diagnose simple tests.  I really believe that by the 21st century, surely they’d be able to pass some sort of tri-corder in front of your body and get the same information.  But no.  I go for my annual physical and they’re still poking holes to figure out my blood chemistry.

      I don’t know everything about the Elizabeth Holmes story, but she might have been on to something.

  1. time travel

    i have a few things i’d like to unfuck

    and thats just on a personal level….. dont think id go round preventing the wars or nothing….that shits none of my doing

  2. I was told by now I would have a jet pack or flying car & be able to breathe under water.  I know those first two are out there but not realistic for us non-millionaire types.  Right now I would just like an auto-mute for all political ads!!!!

  3. I’d be interested in long distance travel à la Fifth Element. You just climb into a capsule chamber and they knock you out with gas for the duration of the journey. The upside of this is that would eliminate the need for all those line ups and delays would not be stressful because you won’t find out until you arrive at your destination. You show up at the airport and climb into a pod, get knocked out, then the automated system carries your pod to your plane. Of course this would require airports to be fully staffed with well paid workers and have a flawless operating system…oh and diapers?

    • Side effect free, perfectly timed knockout drugs for airplane flights would be great.

      For that matter, side effect free sleeping pills in general would be great. I’ve never wanted to take them because I don’t trust them.

  4. Fyi, there are dog harnesses that cut down on pulling. They’re very helpful.


    I’d like to see our space program come up with a plan to shoot our garbage into the sun.

  5. I would love all the smart home functionality and then some – like the “kitchens of the future” sort of thing that was popular in 1960s promo videos.

    Except the data would be secure and only exist in your house.


  6. I would like to un-invent a bunch of shit we put on cars now, because how the fuck is your average working stiff supposed to keep up with the repairs on all that shit on a used car?

    But also, why don’t we have a lawn mower that functions the same as one of those robotic vacuums?

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