Not every successful invention was widely accepted when it first appeared on the scene. The first television was brought to the public in the mid-1920s, and radio enthusiasts mocked the wooden box. Yet today, more than 1.4 billion homes around the world have people’s eyes glued to the screen.
Sometimes it takes a little while for great inventions to pick up momentum and change the world like they’re meant to do. From the smallest success like a safety pin, to an era-defining accomplishment like a railroad system spanning the entire nation, every idea was new once. These 20 brilliant inventions haven’t caught on yet, but boy, we sure hope they do!
1. Umbrella cup holders: It’s pouring and you’re trying to hold your keys, phone, purse, and coffee cup all at the same time. You just simply don’t have enough hands to hold everything. This umbrella makes your life a little easier with its built-in cup holders for your morning caffeine fix.
2. LED traffic light poles: It’s not always easy to see traffic lights in the dark, especially in urban areas. One city in Ukraine implemented these glowing traffic lights to help you see better in the dark.
kfinny99 / Reddit
3. Train Loading Indicator: Commuting to and from work is a pain, and it’s even worse when you walk onto a crowded train car and have to stand for the next 25 minutes. Well, these signs make it very clear what parts of the train are crowded and what parts have space for you.
aquilaro / Reddit
4. Wheelchair accessible beaches: Lugging your beach gear across the sand is hard enough on foot, so imagine just how difficult it is for someone in a wheelchair. This New York town wants to make each beach friendly for all by making sure these walkways exist.
NYC Parks and Recreation
5. Pill bottle timer: We’re all guilty of saying, “I think I took my medicine six hours ago?” and just assuming it’s time for the second dose. You never have to wonder again with this handy gadget. When you open and then close the pill bottle, the timer resets, so you’re never left guessing when you took your medicine last.
CptnBo / Reddit
6. Bike ramp: Biking is a way of life. You bike to work, the store, a friend’s house, the bar, but not everywhere is biker-friendly. An architectural genius thought to put small thin ramps on the stairs so that cyclists could easily transport their bikes down the stairs.
7. Shopping cart calculator: It’s difficult to keep track of how much you’re spending at the grocery store, especially when they’re crowded with people trying to reach in front of you and shopping carts trying to run you over. This handy invention let’s you easily keep track of your expenses so you can make it out of the grocery store alive.
8. Pizza vending machine: This Italian vending machine prepares and delivers pizza — anytime, anywhere — within two-and-a-half minutes. This takes fast food to a new level.
mugentsu / imgur
9. Heated mirror: Fogging up the bathroom mirror while you shower is inevitable, but waiting for the fog to clear doesn’t have to be. This Japanese hotel has a heated portion of each bathroom mirror so that you can start getting ready as soon as you get out.
TheGamerEmerald / Reddit
10. Elevator weight indicator: For obvious reasons, elevators can only hold so much weight. So this weight indicator is extremely useful when people try piling into one elevator. It lets you know when to just wait for the next one.
bgrafnation / Reddit
11. Corner drawers: One of the biggest wastes of space is the corner area of your cabinets. Think of all the extra storage you would have if you just installed these handy corner drawers. They’re more practical than the lazy Susan.
TheSmartanator / Reddit
12. Pringles lift: Pringles containers are made for people with very tiny hands. It’s nearly impossible not to get a hand cramp when you try to reach deep down into the depths of the can. But you’ll never have to do so again with this Pringles lift — the Pringles come to you!
13. Ceiling fan pull indicators: If you’ve never accidentally turned the light off when you wanted to turn the fan on, then you’re lying! It’s so frustrating trying to determine which switch is for the fan and which is for the light, but you’ll never have to wonder again with these pull indicators.
Seamonkeyknifefight / Reddit
14. Toothpaste roller: Over 400 million toothpaste tubes end up in the landfill (and probably still filled with toothpaste that you couldn’t get out of the tube). These handy rollers help you squeeze out every last drop of minty paste for a clean mouth.
15. See-through highlighter: If you’re right-handed, the amount of times you went to highlight a line in your notes and completely missed or highlighted too much must be extensive. This super simple tweak to the classic highlighter would help you see exactly what you’re highlighting. No more goof-ups.
chillin_krillin / Reddit
16. Toilet seat lifter: Sometimes you need to lift up the toilet seat and having to grab it can be pretty gross. This toilet has a convenient tab that’s meant for just that. Petition to implement this handy invention for all toilets!
17. Shopping cart magnifying glass: Product packaging tends to squeeze a lot of important text — like the expiration date and nutrition facts — into a small space. Rossmann store has conveniently attached magnifying glass to their shopping carts so you don’t need to squint anymore.
18. Electric plug grip: Pulling out a plug from an outlet requires a little elbow grease. You’re tugging and pulling and shimmying (even though they taught you not to do that in elementary school), but you still can’t get the plug out. Every plug should have this little hole to help you safely remove it from the outlet.
f03vral0n3 / Reddit
19. Elevator call button: Wouldn’t it be great for the elevator to come before you reached the doors? This hotel heard your annoyed prayers and strategically placed the call button down the hallway so its guests can get a head start waiting for the elevator.
lukeallen1 / Reddit
20. Door toepener: This sanitary door pull is a nifty lever at the bottom corner of the door that allows you to use your feet to open a bathroom door instead of your hands. It’s a germaphobe’s dream come true!
happysunbear / Reddit
These inventions are brilliant and it’s a shame that we have to suffer until these catch on everywhere. Until then, we’ll wait.
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