Problem 24 – Running out of Money

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Problem

Getting into debt can be very easy nowadays. The ease of getting a credit card and paying for most things on it can sometimes make us forget about how much money we’re really spending until we see the bill.

Possible Solution

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Staying out of debt is all about watching the amount of money we’re spending compared to the amount we’re earning. It can be quite easy to lose track of this, however if we let technology keep track for us then it will take the stress out of it.

It could be something as simple as an app that we tell the amount we earn, and the bills we pay. It can then tell us the amount we have remaining that we can spend on other things. If we are spending less than we earn then it can recommend putting the spare money into a savings account. If we are spending more than we earn then the app can suggest areas we can reduce our spending.

Banks can incorporate this feature into their apps and then it can also automatically track our ins and outs. Over time, it can even learn when we get money into our account and when money leaves through direct debits or other forms. It can then warn us to not spend a specific amount of money if we have a bill that is due soon.

The main problem with an app like this would be privacy, however if all the data on the app is stored locally on the device it’s on and encrypted then it will be safer.

As always, if you think you have a solution or if you have a problem you would like me to try to sovle then please feel free to comment it.

Problem 23 – Dirty Toilet Brushes

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Problem

Toilet brushes are probably one of the dirtiest objects we will have in our households. They are usually kept in a small container that can get just as dirty as well.

Possible Solution

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The main problem will be the bacteria transferred from the toilet to the brush when cleaning. A simple way to kill bacteria is to use UV light. If the brush was exposed to UV light when stored then it will stop bacteria cultivating on it. However, although the brush should be free from bacteria, it will still not be fully clean.

A simple method of washing a brush is to clean it with water, therefore if the brush was connected to a moving body of water then it could be enough to clean it. A place on a toilet where there is a moving body of water is in the water tank behind the seat. The brush could be inserted into the tank from the top, and the moving water combined with UV light should keep it clean.

The brush could also be rotated if the holder had a motor, which could increase the cleaning rate.

As always, if you think you have a solution or if you have a problem you would like me to try to solve then please feel free to comment it.

Problem 22 – No Guest Bed

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Problem

For people who live in quite small apartments, there might not always be space for a guest bed or even a sofa bed.

Possible Solution

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Bunk beds are probably the most space efficient type of bed. They are more space efficient than most sofa beds that require space to fold or pull out, however if only one person will be sleeping in it most of the time then the extra bed is wasted. Instead, if it was possible for a double bed to convert to a bunk bed when required, then the main user will have a more comfortable sleeping space most of the time and also have a spare bed when there is a guest.

This can be done by having half the bed on struts that are hinged. The user will just have to lift one side of the bed and it will lift up in an arched path to a position above the other half. Once there, it will have to click or lock in place to prevent it falling back. A ladder can also be built into one side of the bed that can then be extended down.

The lifting mechanism will probably have to be similar to a car boot lid, in order to help ease the weight for the user. Having the bed lift up this way could also mean that if the locking mechism was to fail then the upper bunk would less likely land on the bed below.

As always, if you think you have a solution or if you have a problem you would like me to try to solve then please feel free to comment it.

Problem 21 – What to Wear?

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Problem

Sometimes we just can’t decide what to wear and it might take a long time to lay our clothes out in front of us just to pick one and put the rest back.

Possible Solution

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If artificial intelligence could help us pick sets of clothes that match, and even learn from our style then it could take away the need for us to decide what to wear. In order for it to be able to do this, it will have to know what clothes we currently have. It can do this by taking a photo of the clothes we put into our wardrobe and drawer. It will then require an algorithm to determine what colours and styles match.

Once it has determined how it could match the clothes it will require an interface to display the results to us when we want to know. This can be done on our phone or tablet, but we will not be able to see how it looks on us. Another possibility would be to show it on a mirror that has a camera which can track the user. It can then overlay the clothes on the user’s body in the display on the mirror. The user can then use gesture controls to switch between different outfits. The problem will be that the user will still have to find the clothes after picking a set.

The user can also specify the occassion the outfit is for and the AI can then adjust its recommendations based on this. It also means that outfits can be picked ahead of time and then reminded to the user when the time comes.

Clothes shopping can also be built into this if retailers allow their clothes to be able to be downloaded and tried on by users in their own homes. It can then also work out the user’s size and even order the clothes straight away.

As always, if you think you have a solution or if you have a problem you would like me to try to solve then please feel free to comment it.

Problem 20 – How did I Cook that Last Time?

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Problem

It can sometimes be difficult to cook something exactly the same as before. The timing and amount of heat applied can have a big effect, but are not always the easiest to control.

Possible Solution

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Nowadays, technology is present in almost every product, however it usually attempts to be one step ahead of us and give us what we want before we even know we want it. I think there might be some things that technology will ever be able to master like humans and cooking is one of them. Therefore, instead of technology trying to teach humans how to cook, why couldn’t humans teach technology how to cook and then it can just help us cook more efficiently next time?

Cooking can involve a bit of luck sometimes, perhaps we think we apply too much heat or take it off the heat too soon, however it can sometimes produce surprisingly good results. However trying to remember all the small details that made a dish good last time can be difficult.

If our cooker and oven could remember exactly how long we left a pot or pan on, exactly what heat it was on as well, and remind us next time then it can reduce the stress we can experience trying to remember what we did last time.

We can tell the cooker when we start cooking and when we finish, and it can remember how we used it and even automatically do the same thing the next time we choose to cook the same thing. It can link to our phone or tablet and each session can be renamed to the name of the specific dish that we made. If we want to cook the same thing again then we just have to select the dish and either have it remind us what we did or automatically copy what we did.

Perhaps a camera can even be added to the extractor fan above to record exactly what we did, which can then be replayed when we cook it again.

Of course there are other factors that can affect cooking such as the amount of each ingredient, however just getting reminders sometimes can prove to be quite useful.

If you think you have a solution or if you have a problem you would like me to try to solve then please feel free to comment it.

Problem 19 – Crutches

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Problem

Crutches can be tiring to use and also cumbersome to carry around.

Possible Solution

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The main purpose of a crutch is to support a person’s leg if it is injured; so that they can lean their body on the crutch instead of the leg when walking.

I think a better solution would involve the injured person not having to walk differently to how they normally would. This means that they will not have to carry a crutch and lean on it, which also means that they will always have both arms free.

If a tougher and lighter material was used to make a crutch then its size could be reduced, and it might even be able to be hidden under trousers. A material such as carbon fibre could be used and create a thin frame around the injured leg. The frame can then extend further down the leg than the foot, and so the foot will never have to touch the ground.

The main problem would to be finding a place to attach the crutch. The thigh is a possibility but might have to be quite tight and so could be uncomfortable for long periods of time. The hip is another possibility but would mean that it would have to be quite a bit larger.

Of course, carbon fibre crutches will be a lot more expensive than existing ones, however if there is a comfortable place for it to be held on the body and it can be discrete, then it could be worth it.

As always, if you think you have a solution or if you have a problem you like me to try to solve then please feel free to comment it.

Problem 18 – Bike Thefts

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Problem

Bike thefts are a common problem, particularly with parts being stolen. Quite often, even if the bike frame is locked, the wheels can still be stolen and vice versa.

Possible Solution

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Some people use 3 locks when securing their bike; one lock per wheel and one on the frame. The locks will also have to be strong enough to stop theives cutting through them. This usually involves the cyclist having to carry 3 heavy locks with them whenever they use their bike.

I think the locks can be more integrated with the bike, so the cyclist will not have to carry them separately and they will always be ready to be used. Two locks can be secured on the bike by the front and rear wheels and lock the wheels when the cyclist activates them. Another lock on the body can then secure the bike to a railing.

Adding connectivity between the locks and the cyclist’s phone will mean extra functionality can be put on the locks. They can contain GPS for the user to locate their bike if it has been stolen. They can also contain a remote locking feature so the user can lock the wheels and prevent the bike being used if it is missing.

These locks will have to be made out of a very hard and tough material to prevent it from being broken by thieves. They might also have to be recharged or have batteries replaced if it has the extra functionality with a phone. However they could encourage more people to cycle if they know that they can track their bike, and know that it will be very difficult to steal.