Modern technology is constantly evolving and that means a lot of competition to have your inventions highlighted among an ocean of options. Beneath the shadow of large, popular companies, these inventions still shine bright.
We’re here to bring these lesser-known, equally ingenious inventions into the spotlight. From a strainer/cutting board hybrid to a touch-screen desk to rotating outlet extensions, these products solve problems that some of us forgot we even had. Here are inventions that’ll make you lament, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Hold Your Onion For The Perfect Slice
If you worry about slicing your fingers while chopping vegetables, then you may want to look into this product. The Orblue All-in-One Onion Holder allows you to keep food in place without using your hands. This fork-like instrument sticks into vegetables and divides your food into perfectly even slices.
Although the holder is marketed toward onions, you can use it for tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, carrots — any vegetable that’s big enough. If you want a hands-free vegetable cutter, you can get the Mueller Onion Chopper. It works like a waffle iron and dices your onion with a single press.
The Perfect Car Mattress
Calling all road-trippers! Sleeping in your car is never fun. If you’re camping or traveling, you’ll want this inflatable car bed. FBSPORT designed an inflatable mattress that’s built to fit in a car’s back seat, including inflatable pillows.
This option is ten times easier than trying to catch some Z’s on a stiff car seat. Many of these mattresses come with all the parts excluding blankets. You can buy them in a variety of colors from Amazon, Walmart, or Poshmark. Most of them cost $30, $40, or around $80 for a full trunk-sized mattress.
Container, Colander, And Cutting Board All In One
If you’ve prepared veggies before, you know the drill: You have to chop the food, strain them to get rid of the tiny bits, and carry handfuls to the pan or tray. Typically, you’d need several tools to pull all of this off. But why not save counter space by using one tool?
The Rinse & Chop board is a cutting board, holder, and colander all in one. The board folds slightly so you can rinse your vegetables without moving them to a colander. Then, you can swiftly transfer the veggies to a bowl, pot, pan, or tray. And it’s only $15 on Amazon!
Who Needs Pedals?
Have you ever dreamed about driving a vehicle Flintstones-style using only your legs? While we may not have people-powered cars, the German company FLIZ launched a person-powered bike. According to its designers, the pedal-less bike was based on Baron Karl Dreis’ Velocipede, the precursor to our modern bicycle.
How does this bike make life easier? Well…it doesn’t, really. Unless you want to run more, a pedal-less bike simply allows you to pedal less. You’ll also feel like you’re flying when you lift your legs off of the ground. And it’s guaranteed to turn heads.
A Coffee Cup That Catches Drips
Kiss coffee rings goodbye. Korean designer Kim Keun Ae invented the Drop Rest mug that’s designed to catch every spare drip of coffee. On the outside of the cup, there’s a slight groove that catches all drops and protects your furniture.
The invention’s company, BABOSARANG, sells Drop Rest mugs in a variety of sizes, designs, and colors. Most of them cost around $25 to $30 per cup on YesStyle. Because these mugs are Korean products, English-speakers may have to search a little longer for them. But they’re well worth the effort.
Sand Glass Tells You How Long A Light Will Take
Traffic lights as we know them could change in the future. Yanko Designs has invented a traffic light shaped like an hourglass. During yellow lights, the hourglass features a countdown of how long cars have until the red light. No more guessing whether you’ll make it across the intersection in time.
During both red and green lights, the “sands” pour down the hourglass to indicate how much time is left. The traffic light, called Sand Glass, was invented by designer Thanva Tivawong. Time will tell whether this invention hits city streets.
Rotating Power Outlets
This is one of those products that we needed a long time ago. ECHOGEAR sells a power strip with eight outlets that individually rotate. You don’t have to hurt your wrist trying to bend a cable into an outlet; just turn the outlet and slip the cable in easily.
There are a couple of other swiveling outlets on the market, but none are as flexible as ECHOGEAR or Belkin. Each one costs $30 for eight rotating outlets and an eight-foot power chord. Not a bad deal for a life-changing device.
This Desk Is A Touch Screen
Most people sit at their desk to use their computer. A new product from Media Computing Group is both a desk and a computer. BendDesk is a large touch screen that you can interact with. Technically, it’s made up of two screens: one is the part below the curve, and the other rests above the curve.
If you’re worried about opening Chrome every single time you set your coffee down, don’t be. The lower half of the desk features all the benefits of a regular desk, such as not playing iTunes whenever you rest your wrist on the wood.
A Virtual Keyboard For Your Phone
These days, you can do anything from answering emails to watching YouTube videos on your cell phone. As convenient as that is, some people miss using a regular keyboard. Luckily, Serafim invented a portable keyboard for smartphones — in other words, a virtual keyboard.
Keybo projects a laser keyboard that people can use. The projector hooks up to your phone, and it sends everything you type to your device. All you have to do is carry around a tiny box, not a clunky keyboard. The bonus? Keybo comes with a virtual studio where you can play four different instruments. It costs just over $100 on Amazon.
An At-Home Sauna
Saunas are expensive. Skip the big bill and enjoy your own sauna at home. SereneLife offers a portable infrared sauna. Although it may look ridiculous, it does the job. The device includes a chair and a unit to sit inside of.
For less than $200, you can sit down, zip up, and enjoy the heat. If it sounds silly, imagine that it’s not too different from a massage chair. And it costs far less than a massage chair, which charges $700 on the cheap end. You can find the SereneLife sauna on Amazon.
Finally, A Way To Guard Your Ice Cream
If you live with roommates or kids, your ice cream isn’t safe. Plenty of late-night snackers will steal your ice cream without a second thought, if it hasn’t happened already. Fortunately, Ben & Jerry’s invented a way to protect your dairy delight: the Euphori-Lock. It’s literally a combination lock for your ice cream.
The Euphori-Lock is specifically designed to fit Ben & Jerry’s single-person ice cream cartons. In that way, it’s a great marketing strategy. Although they usually sell for $25 on Amazon, you can buy 3D-printed ice cream locks for $12 on Etsy.
Cut Your Pizza And Serve It Too
Were you a college student who cut pizza with scissors? Not all of us own pizza rollers. Dreamfarm Scizza can cut your pizza and serve it too. The scissors are bent to make pizza-chopping easy, and one blade includes a platform for lifting up the slice.
Other companies incorporate wider spatulas into their scissors that say the word “pizza.” You can buy several different kinds on Amazon for anywhere from $10 to $30, depending on the brand and design.
Hold Your Coffee With Your Umbrella
When you’re walking through the rain, you might be grappling your umbrella, purse, and Starbucks at the same time. Fortunately, the company Urban Zoo invented umbrella cup holders. Genius, right? If you’re worried about spilling, know that the cup holder pivots. So your coffee will always remain upright, even if your umbrella is upside-down.
In case you’re wondering, companies have created a similar products for beach umbrellas. You can buy full cup trays that hook onto your beach umbrella; some of them even include snack compartments. No more sandy bottles at the beach for you.
These Slippers Glow
If you hate walking around in the dark, wear some light-up shoes. No, we’re not talking about Sketchers; we’re referencing LED light-up slippers. Although the entire slipper doesn’t glow, the toe does. The slippers project a light from the toe so you can see where you’re walking. Smart.
Light-up slippers come in a wide range of styles. Some are unicorn-shaped, while others look like your average fuzzy pink sandal. Although many of these products are limited to children’s sizes, you can find adult versions on eBay, Amazon, and Poshmark.
Mirror One Day, Ironing Board The Next
These days, many young adults don’t own ironing boards. They’re large, unyielding, and difficult to fit into a small apartment. Ironing board designer Aissa Logerot created a dual-functioning ironing board and mirror. One side is a standing full-length mirror, while the other can be flipped over to iron your favorite dress shirt.
You can find similar products on eBay where the ironing board/mirror is also a cabinet. Simply hang the cabinet somewhere and use it as a mirror. When you need to iron your clothes, you can open the door and the board will come out. Of course, the cabinet includes shelves to store all of your ironing supplies.
Ring, Or Bottle Opener?
Companies have invented plenty of convenient bottle opener designs, from keychains to tiny wrenches. But the company ZRAMO invented more discreet bottle openers in the form of rings. These stainless steel rings come in a variety of colors, and no one will recognize them as a bottle opener.
With this product, you can open your bottle without taking the ring off. Just use the hole that serves as the ring’s design and primary function. You can buy one on Amazon for only $2 to $4.
Your Faucet Has A Thermometer
Some parents worry about the temperature of their newborn’s bath. Other people need a specific water temperature for recipes. Faucet thermometers make life so much easier. They record the temperature as your sink distributes the water, so you don’t need to bother with a stick thermometer.
Some of these thermometers stick on top of the faucet, while others screw in between the spout and the piping. The latter blends into the rest of your kitchen. You can buy faucet thermometers on eBay, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Amazon, and AliExpress. Some don’t even require batteries.
Wear Your Umbrellas Instead
Do they look silly? A little bit. But umbrella hats make life a lot easier. You won’t need a cup holder umbrella if both of your hands are free. Umbrella hats are inexpensive — only $4 to $20 on Walmart, Amazon, and AliExpress. And they’ll definitely help while traveling.
If you wouldn’t wear that as an adult, would you like one for your toddler? HOOYEE sells cute baby umbrellas to keep soap and water out of a child’s eyes. They look adorable and save parents from having to wipe soap out of their baby’s eyes.
Make Two Breakfast Sandwiches With Little Effort
Do you like breakfast sandwiches? Many people do, although they rarely make sandwiches at home because they’re such a hassle. Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker makes it easy. With some models, you can even cook two sandwiches at once.
The sandwich maker includes three layers. The first stores an English muffin/bagel slice, cheese, and meat or veggies. The middle layer cooks the egg, and the top layer toasts the other bread slice. In less than five minutes, it cooks and assembles breakfast sandwiches. And it only costs $25 on Amazon! This is a lifesaver for people with busy mornings.
Grooved Spaghetti Forks Help You Twirl More Noodles
Have you ever felt frustrated while trying to twirl your spaghetti? No matter how many times you spin your fork, the noodles keep flying off. That’s what grooved forks are made for. RSVP International sells forks with tiny grooves in between the prongs that help the noodles stay in place.
You can buy a pack of four spaghetti forks for $18 on Amazon or $16 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Some have the grooves on the outside of the prongs, while others have them in between the prongs. For the sake of your mouth, we recommend assigning the grooves to in between the prongs.