prior art

Ideas that I publish, just to make sure someone else can not patent it later.

idea: spectral shift hearing aids

This is part of a series I have been thinking about for a long time. When I have a fleeting thought about some neat idea, I should publish it to ensure that it can not be patented later.

I saw an ad for hearing aids, and that made me wonder if instead of simply amplifying, hearing aids could do some more sophisticated sound transforms. Maybe they do already.

Since hearing loss is typically non-uniform across the hearing spectrum, it would make sense to transpose sounds from “bad” ranges to “good” ranges. Of course, in practice, that might sound weird. For example, someone with high-frequency hearing loss might have high-pitched consonant sounds transposed to a lower end of the spectrum. I’m sure the listener would have to adjust to that, since we’re used to vowels sounding low and consonants sounding high.

idea: car sobriety switch

This is part of a series I have been thinking about for a long time. When I have a fleeting thought about some neat idea, I should publish it to ensure that it can not be patented later.

This morning I read an article about a drunk driver that killed a motorcyclist. I know there are companies that make sobriety tests that tie into vehicle ignition systems. Some courts order offenders to have these installed.

I thought it would make sense to use the car’s existing controls (buttons on the steering wheel) and displays to run a reaction-time test that has to be passed before the car can be started.

Of course, this would be annoying. So maybe the car could be configured (via web page?) to require this test only at certain times. I log into car.com and set it to require a sobriety test to be started between 10pm and 4am. It could provide options if I fail. Say, after two failures, the car could phone a friend, or it could (via a service like OnStar) call a cab to my location.

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