SparkFun Electronics will be closed on November 26, 2020 and November 27, 2020 for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will begin normal operations at 9:00 AM Mountain Time on November 30, 2020.
We rag on the patent system pretty often here in Open-Source-Landia. Let's take a look at a few positive contributions patent holders are trying to make to our lives!
Here are just a few of the patents I found that could really find a place in my life if someone wants to get them on the Home Shopping Network sooner rather than later.
You know how sometimes you really want to go relax on the lake and catch a few fish, but you don't actually want to have to do any fishing...and you do actually want to have to clean some fish? Don't worry! There's a patent for that!
The only thing better than this autonomous suitcase is imagining hundreds of them in an airport, all trying to get to different places. It's like "Fantasia" for road warriors (your call whether it's an elegant "Waltz of the Flowers" or a nightmarish "Sorcerer's Apprentice"!) Also, the sensor is in your shoe! Fifty points to wearables*!
Okay, maybe I don't need a flaming prank wallet full of flaming prank money, but someone does. That said, I do think a little more consideration is in order before we move forward with the suggestion that it would be a hoot and a half at a gas station.
Sorry. Blame 2016 for this one. I don't want to live in a world without Leonard Cohen, and I think a swarm of weaponized autonomous underwater swarmbots are probably on the same page. I mean in that they also don't want me to live ~~in a world without Leonard~~.
I want it, you want it, everyone who has ever wanted to print a D&D figurine that they can roll in Cheetos powder and munch on after a vampire's pet coffin mimic perms their character wants it**. This is a goldmine.
Taco Tape. Open source community? We really dropped the ball on this. It was right in front of us, if we'd only opened our eyes. And Mr. Schreiner? Please don't patent troll us on this one. We need you. The world needs you. My burrito needs you.
Everyone feeling better about patents? Yeah, I was too until I found a 2014 patent for "pants."
If these products were open source, users would be empowered to get out there and make them even better. Make the robot clean the fish! Make the filament taste...better? OK? I don't know where our filament flavor standards are, truthfully. Consider maybe autonomous underwater hugbots! Make the suitcase follow literally anything that will make the TSA less antsy than your shoes will! But because they're patented, they're static until the inventor acts on them. So get out there and open source something! (But not pants. They're already patented. Try shirts!)
*The points are meaningless; Dumbledore's just going to give it to IOT at the end of the year regardless of standings.
** It happens.