Admittedly, I haven’t done the exhaustive research needed to verify the feasibility or originality of all of my business ideas, but that’s not the case for this product. I know it would be salable because I want it, and I know it would be original because I’ve looked and can’t find it.
Many DVD and computer game discs come in boxes that contain multiple stacked DVDs, with nothing separating them. (This is also the most common way to store packs of writable discs.) After a while, discs stored in this way become scratched and unreadable due to rubbing against each other. The solution? Disc separators. What would work best would be thin (plastic?) platters, with a scratch-free (cloth?) coating on either side, and outer and inner diameters the same as the discs themselves. Each disc would be stored with a separator in between, and a problem would be profitably solved.
Many people who suffer from high-frequency hearing loss complain that the hearing aids they’re forced to wear to treat it amplify the lower frequencies they hear normally to the point of discomfort. Is it possible to make frequency-specific hearing aids, such that only the higher-frequency sounds are amplified?
How about this for a pet idea? Cows! They’d have to be bred to be small, and would have to wear poop-catching bags like city-based horses do, but otherwise they’d be perfect pets, what with the not-moving-around-very-much, the stately unflappability, the cud-chewing, and the intermittent mooing.
What to do with that leftover currency one has after an international trip? There are receptacles for it at some very large airports, where it’s donated to charity, but those aren’t prevalent at all. Aside from that, there’s not much. Keep it as a memento? Throw it away? Maybe, but that can very quickly become expensive.
How about a mail-in currency exchange? On the business end, it could be run from a website that lists current exchange rates, the percentage or flat fee charged to do the exchange, and a customer service interface that keeps track of amounts and addresses. On the customer end, all one would have to do log into an account, let the system know how much is coming from what address, stick the money in an envelope and send it. Once it arrived at the business, it could be combined with all the other incoming cash to make a deposit big enough that the cost of exchanging it would be smaller than the value of the currency.
There are companies that do this as part of their larger currency exchange operations, but as far as I know none accept coins, and most require minimum amounts of foreign currency. I’m sure the reason for that is that they just don’t want to have to deal with such small amounts, or don’t think they’ll be profitable. But if a business specialized in those amounts, it could work.
One final thought: to increase profitability, the business could, instead of incurring the expense to exchange and ship currency back to the customer, pledge to donate extremely small amounts (minus a small fee) to charity. Many people, including me, would pay to send their leftover international cash somewhere, if they knew it would be going to a good cause.
I’m not the first to have thought of this, but since I didn’t know that when I did so, I’m adding my voice to the other proponents of, and researchers working on, wearable heat engines. Take a full-body, insulating, form-fitting suit, and run wires from all parts of its interior to a thermoelectic generator in the suit, whose low temperature side is exposed to outside air, 30 degrees cooler. This could provide power to, for instance, recharge pacemakers, or insulin pumps, or personal electronic devices. And if I’m understanding their operation correctly, generators would actually reduce the warm (so the human’s) temperature, cooling the body, and forcing it to burn more calories to compensate.
From what I’m reading the hardest part of making this idea work is developing materials that are electrically, but not thermally, conductive. Here’s hoping they’re able to do so, with resultant efficiencies high enough that production is viable. I want my calorie-burning, cell phone-charging super suit. :)