"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Make money fast!

Today I'm going to tell you how to make a million bucks.

I have an idea for a product, and if you're the first one to patent this thing and get it to market, I guarantee that it will sell like hotcakes. Yes, I see you're skeptical my friends, but let me explain and it will all make perfect sense:

Remember back in the good old days before fever thermometers went digital? They had a thin strip of mercury inside them which you had to "shake down" before taking a reading, and then struggle to hold the damn thing just right so you could read the result? You'd try turning it a little bit each way to catch the light, finally if you were lucky you could see the bar. Of course, then you'd have to figure out what each little mark represented to determine if your temperature was 99.1, 99.2 or 99.4, etc. Of course, stick thermometers like this have almost disappeared from drugstore shelves, and not just because they're hard to read. The glass can break if they're dropped, and the tiny amount of mercury they contain could be hazardous.

Today, thermometer technology has advanced considerably. When I was in the hospital for my procedure recently, I was amazed that they took my temperature simply by waving some sort of a wand across my forehead, giving an instant reading without ever physically coming in contact with my body. At home, it's also fairly common to use "in the ear" thermometers to get a reading within a few seconds, which is great for small kids who can't hold still long enough, or have trouble getting a conventional thermometer under their tongue. But while these devices are very convenient, they're still relatively expensive, in the $30-50 price range. By and large, the glass stick thermometer has been replaced in the home by the plastic digital thermometer; they're cheap ($5-10), accurate, and quick -- generally giving a readout in under a minute. They also have a design flaw, and this is where somebody stands to make some big bucks.

As the boomer population ages, they become more health-conscious and for various reasons, may need to monitor their body temperature more often. But having spent a lifetime listening to loud rock and roll music, often the first bodily function to go south (alas, among many) is the hearing -- especially at high frequencies.

Are you beginning to see where I'm going with this?

All of the digital fever thermometers on the market these days signal that they have achieved a stable maximum reading by beeping at you. If your high-frequency hearing ain't what it used to be, there is no freaking way you are able to hear this sound. You must wait until you think the damn thing has been in there long enough, and hope you have guessed correctly. Most often, you wait way longer than necessary. What the world needs is a digital fever thermometer with a bright red LED on the very end of it that will blink at you to signal that it is ready. There is currently no such device on the market.

I know, because I have spent the better part of two days looking for one.

So, I present this idea publicly in the hope that someone will take the ball and run with it. I guarantee that you will make a fortune from all the old codgers like me whose hearing has gone to hell, and who will snap these things up like candy. I ask for nothing in return, except this: when you finally make this product, please send me one. I want to take my damn temperature.


  • At 7/18/2007 07:53:00 PM, Blogger April said…

    DUDE!!! It's funny you bring this up, just yesterday my friend Blake was talking about this amazing thermometer he saw at the store that he just had to buy! Not only does it light up when it is done, but it has "fever insight technology". It lights up GREEN if your temperature is in the normal range, Orange if you have a slightly elevated temp and RED if you have a high temp. He found it at Walgreen's for $13.50it is called the.....
    Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer


  • At 7/19/2007 01:04:00 AM, Blogger Mr. Toast said…

    What was that? Could you please speak up a bit ... I couldn't hear you.

    I will check this out, thanks. It looks like it has definite possibilities, even if my brilliant idea seems to have been usurped by a giganormous soul-sucking corporate behemoth.

    At least I still have The Milk Moatâ„¢ cereal bowl. Never heard of it? You will...

  • At 7/19/2007 07:37:00 PM, Blogger Sphincter said…

    My mom has an alarm clock that has a display several inches high and that is as loud as a foghorn. Maybe they could make this into some sort of thermometer?!? I'm not sure I can get into this fancy-schmancy fever insight technology...


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