Rain-proof benches and other clever ideas at Geneva inventions fair


  • TECH
  • Sunday, 14 Apr 2019

One inventor showcasing his design at the Geneva inventions fair has developed a bench whose seat and backrest can be flipped over. — dpa

Inventors from all walks of life offered new products to help dog owners, elderly patients and time-pressed personnel recruiters this week as the annual international inventions exhibition got underway in Geneva.

Michael Koenker, a German bricklayer, brought his novel park bench to Geneva. "I often walk my dog, and it always made me mad when a park bench was wet or dirty," he said.

Koenker developed a bench whose seat and backrest can be flipped over to protect them from rain and bird poo when no one is sitting down.

Swiss inventor Pierre Cretin was inspired by his work at an ambulance service. After seeing many elderly patients with fractures, he and two colleagues created an airbag for people who are prone to stumbling.

The airbag's sensors detect a fall within 70 milliseconds and tell the device to inflate itself. "The impact force is reduced by a factor of ten," Cretin said.

German engineer Reinhold Kett said his nine-year-old son Nathan gave him the idea for a smart cycling jacket with break and turn signals that can be activated on the bicycle's handle bars.

Taiwanese students from Taipei City University poured their creative energy into a solar-powered umbrella with built-in lighting, a heating radiator and a ventilator for hot weather.

Romanian psychologist Dumitru Grigore showcased his MindMi hand scanner that creates psychological profiles, using algorithms that were created with data from 10,000 test persons.

"It could be highly interesting for HR departments," Grigore said, adding that he has already won a defence innovation prize in Romania. – dpa
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