We're a third of the way through 2016, and what a time to be alive. There are hoverboards that actually hover, "super bananas" that can prevent blindness, and technology for self-driving cars that's getting better by the day.
But this is America, and our appetite for consumerism knows no bounds, which is why it's great that both researchers and average joes haven't stopped thinking up product solutions to our everyday inconveniences.
New Times dove into the most recent U.S. Patent Office records and found the designs of seven recently granted applications from inventors right here in Miami-Dade:
7. Reflective surveillance system for police
Routine traffic stops are one of the most dangerous situations a police officer faces. An applicant from Homestead envisions patrol cars decked out with low-glare, shatter-resistant mirrors that allow an officer to keep an eye on the other driver while heading back to his or her car. The forward-facing mirror, which would be installed on the front bumper, would be attached to a mechanism allowing it to be tilted into position as soon as the officer pulls someone over.
6. Flag blower
Have you ever tried to fly a flag on a perfectly calm day? A Miami Gardens inventor is banking on other people having the same dilemma. Avoid black-and-white-tinted infomercial struggles with this wind-making flagpole. It’s even equipped with a speaker that can be programmed to play "audible sounds" of your choosing. May we suggest the eagle noise from the Colbert Report intro?
5. Shark-attack protector
Can't ya feel 'em circling, honey? In the event you get tossed off your floating tiki bar and into shark-infested waters, you'll want this ocean survival system at your disposal. The polyester bag deploys into a flotation device and is designed so the bottom part blends in with the water and the top part reflects light to attract help from above. And because it’s better to be gross than dead, the bag also encases your bodily fluids so as not to attract marine predators. Just think of the smell as an effortless way to chase off TV crews looking for exclusive footage of your miraculous rescue.
4. Illuminated leaf blower
Sometimes you get home from your job and want to do yard work, but it’s dark. Devised by a Homestead groundskeeper who starts work at a golf course at 4:30 a.m., the illuminated leaf blower allows you to beautify your lawn on your own time. Finding flashlights cumbersome and headlamps uncomfortable, the inventor mounted a battery-powered light smack dab on the leaf blower to make this annoying chore a little easier.
3. Rosé pineapple
Coral Gables-based Fresh Del Monte Produce has developed the Rosé pineapple, featuring a light-red color inside. It’s apparently been in the works for some time, but the company's patent was approved last August. Imagine the $18 brunch drink possibilities.
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2. Garbage-bag reloader
Meant for the bottom of a garbage can, this device snaps another bag into place as soon as you take out the trash. Now the only problem is running out of bags.
1. Square firing method
Some Miamian has invented a gun that simultaneously fires four bullets in the shape of a square “to increase the hit probability." Because Florida.