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!
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.
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.
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.
Bottle Opener Remote So You Won’t Miss A Second
Most people have had the issue of getting some kind of beverage that requires a bottle opener, only to realize that you don’t have one lying around. This can be particularly annoying, especially if you don’t want to miss something going on while you’re watching TV.
To help remedy this problem, in comes the remote control bottle opener. Not only will you be able to stop missing critical plays during a sports game, but you’ll know that there’s always a bottle opener in the TV room.
A Cooler That Does Everything
Whether you’re going to the beach, the park, or wherever else involves bringing a cooler, the cooler isn’t likely the only thing you’re going to be bringing. Chances are you’re also going to need to bring a bottle opener, a blender, phone charger, speaker, and more.
Luckily, the Coolest Cooler has you covered and comes with all of the attachments mentioned above. All you have to bring is this cooler, your drinks, and food, and you’ll be set all day.
Hold Your Glass And Plate With One Hand
If you’ve ever been in a situation that involves eating and drinking while standing up, you know that it’s no easy task. If you want to safely take a bite of your food, you most likely have to find somewhere to set down your glass or awkwardly ask someone to hold it for you.
This plate that doubles as a glass holder makes these tricky situations all that much easier. All of your guests will be thankful when they see these.
Self-Heating Butter Knife To Get A Perfect Spread Every Time
Spreading butter can be difficult at times, especially if the butter is too cold. If it is, you’ll have a hard time spreading it, and can even end up ruining the food that you’re trying to spread it on.
With the self-heating butter knife, this issue with butter will be a thing of the past. Plus, you don’t have to worry about ruining a good knife on a gas stove, or the possibility of melting all of your butter by leaving it out.
Compartment With Water Bottles
If you’re an active person, the chances are that you know the struggle of carrying all of your belongings with you if you’re on a run, hike, or whatever it is. However, this water bottle allows you to put all of your essential belongings into a compartment, so all you have to worry about is carrying a water bottle.
It’s simple and efficient and will make any physical activity that you’re doing that much more convenient.
Transparent Highlighters Will Prevent Mistakes
Using a highlighter can sometimes end up in disaster since you can’t always see where the line is going. Although this might not be a huge deal to people who don’t use highlighters often, for those that do, this can change everything.
With transparent highlighters, you can perfectly see the line that you’re drawing so you can make a smooth and straight line every time. You can also ensure that your mark stops where you intend it to.
Kneadable Erasers Will Keep Your Mind Busy
If you’re someone who fidgets a lot at work or in the classroom, kneadable erasers are perfect for you. They’re quiet and useful, allowing you to fidget with them as much as you want without it making a lot of noise or being distracting to the people around you.
Not only can it help you keep your mind busy, but it can also be used as an eraser if you’re writing with a pencil. Plus, it’s small enough to fit in your pocket!
The Mirror Wipe Will Make Getting Ready A Breeze
There are few things more annoying than getting out of the shower and having to use your hands to wipe the mirror in order to see yourself. Not only do you leave behind marks on your mirror, but you can hardly see yourself anyway.
With a mirror wiper, you can eliminate this problem, and see yourself clear as day with just a few wipes upon getting out of the shower. It simply sticks on the mirror with a suction cup and you’re good to go!
A Citrus Spritzer Can Elevate Any Snack
A citrus spritzer is an easy way to get the juice of any citrus fruit onto whatever you are eating. This way, you don’t have to go through the process of cutting up fruit and getting your hands all stick squeezing the juice out of it.
All you have to do is screw the nozzle on and press down! The juice will come out like any other spray bottle, allowing you to control just how much you desire to use.
A Couch Armrest Can Prevent Accidents
Most people enjoy lounging on the couch. And how could you not? It’s a comfortable place to sit and is usually in front of the television. However, one of the biggest problems with couches is that not all of them have a place where you can safely set your drink.
This can make it difficult to drink a beer while watching the football game or curl up with a cup of tea with a good book. Luckily, the couch armrest can solve all of these problems without harming your couch!
The Ultimate Cat Desk
There’s no denying that cats like to be around their owners. This usually results in them walking all over you, or getting in the way if you’re trying to do work on a desk. It can drive people insane but can be solved with this desk.
This unique table allows your cat to have a play area beneath the surface you’re working on so they can still be as close as possible to you without getting in the way.
A Lego Key Holder Can Solve A Common Problem
If you’re like most people, you might find yourself scrambling to find your keys on your way out of the door. Trying to retrace your steps of where you put them after you unlocked the door when you got home. One trick to avoid this problem is the Lego key holder.
You can either buy it as a set or individual pieces, but either way, it will help you from losing your keys. It’s an incredibly simple concept and cheap as well!
Don’t Let Separating Yolks Be A Chore!
A lot of recipes, whether you’re baking or cooking, require either just egg whites or egg yolks. This means you have to separate the yolks using whatever means you think is the best, although it’s not always an easy job.
However, using a yolk separator such as the gulping yolkfish, you can separate eggs in a breeze, without even getting your hands dirty! Say goodbye to pieces of eggshells in your food or spending forever trying to separate that yolk!
A Baby Shower Cap To Make Bathtime That Much Easier
Showering a baby or giving them a bath can be a big ordeal. You have to keep a watchful eye on them as well as prevent getting water and soap in their eyes.
Thankfully, there’s the baby shower cap that causes the water to run away from the tot’s eyes so you don’t have to be constantly worrying. Not only is it effective but it’s also adorable! It is sure to make bath time fun for everyone!
Knife Finger Guard
Chopping vegetables can be a dangerous task, especially if you aren’t completely comfortable with a knife. All it takes is one small slip and you can find yourself in the emergency room in need of stitches.
Well, with this finger guard, you can prevent any serious accidents from happening, and you can learn to cut vegetables like a pro. It will also help to keep your fingers off the vegetable that you are cutting, so you don’t have to worry about getting juices on your fingers.
A Bathroom That Makes Ambient Sounds
Using a public bathroom is already awkward enough, and everyone has their own way of trying to avoid becoming the center of attention. The most common is to wait until someone else flushes and use that 30 seconds of noise to your advantage.
This Japanese bathroom comes equipped with a button that makes a flushing sound so that no one will suspect you. If this isn’t one of the greatest inventions you have ever seen, then I don’t know how to help you.
Heated Mirrors Don’t Fog Over
The hotels in Japan have mirrors that are heated so that when your shower gets nice and steamy, you can still see yourself.
It seems like a silly invention, but anyone who’s had to get ready immediately after a shower knows that wiping the mirror over and over can get annoying.
These Need To Be In Every Bathroom In The World
Japan’s back at it again with the great bathroom ideas. Cell phones are ten times dirtier than a toilet seat, which makes them one of the dirtiest possessions we own. But no one thinks to clean them on a regular basis.
I need a personal supply of these smartphone cleaners. I’m sitting here cringing about the number of times I touch my filthy phone and then my face throughout the day. At least my immune system must be in top shape, right? Right…?
Prevent Static Shocks With This Invention
We’ve all been living a life doomed to static electricity shocks everytime we use an elevator. If putting up a sticker is all we have to do to stop the madness, why hasn’t it happened already?
This doesn’t seem like one of those things that will cost too much. Get on it, American elevator makers. No one wants to be shocked. With the state of our country already being a raging garbage fire, let’s do whatever we can to lessen the depressing blows…even if it’s something as small as this.
This Sign Gives Parents A Break
I understand why the candy corporations want to have chocolate bars in every grocery store checkout line, but please, give American parents one candy-free zone. This Australian grocery store understands a no candy checkout line is probably the best part of any parent’s week.
Now all of the annoying kids who live to make their parent’s lives miserable asking for 20 things at the checkout willl have to find something else to do.