Covid-19 Crazy Ideas
Here in Silicon Valley we are entering our second month of sheltering in place. We’re inundated with news about Covid-19 and feeling the strain on our communities, our economy, and our mental health. But we are also seeing examples of innovation that remind us that humans are incredibly resilient and creative. They can also be incredibly wacky; there is nothing like a bit of cabin fever to get inventors to start thinking of crazy ways to address our new reality. The thing about crazy ideas is that sometimes they can be the ideas we love the most.
We thought we’d share a few of the bonkers ideas we’ve come up with lately. How about a personal space perimeter? It is something akin to a hoop-skirt frame that provides a comfort zone and visual reminder to maintain social distancing. What about an easily disinfected hand extension, a little like a retractable claw, that allows you to grab items, open doors or even shake hands without touching? We’ve seen some people in the grocery store wearing professional face shields. Given that professional equipment should really be reserved for medical personnel on the frontlines of fighting Covid-19, what about simple, clear visors that fit over your ears like eyeglasses or easily attach to a hat? We’ve thought about ways to make contactless delivery of take-out food safer by using a two-part bag, so the delivery person can safely remove the portion of the bag they touched, leaving an untouched bag on your porch. We’ve also been thinking about ways to make gloves that can automatically disinfect whatever they touch and then disinfect themselves, so you don’t get contaminated when you take them off. An added bonus would be that they can be reusable.
Sometimes the whiteboard drawings lead to outbursts of incredulous laughter and no small amount of headshaking.
The funny thing is, we’ve started to see similar ideas showing up for sale in ads on social media or promoted on Twitter. This Belgian company is giving away a free 3D printing design for a device that lets you open doors with your arm. We aren’t surprised to see that it was an engineer in Germany who came up with this clever way to get a refill on beer while maintaining social distancing. You might have seen the man with a pool noodle hat meme, but here’s a guy who took the idea one step further and included his dog.
If you’ve seen a creative idea that is just wacky enough to be brilliant, we’d love to see it too. Share them in the comments below or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like help getting your idea off the whiteboard and into the patent office.