Video Game Door Locks

Video Game Door Zelda Key

Wouldn’t it be neat to hear a familiar video game chime when you unlock your front door? Like the sound when opening a dungeon or treasure chest in a Zelda game. Suddenly the mundane task of entering or exiting your home would sound like an adventure.

I feel that creating a deadbolt with a speaker would be the best way to accomplish this. Another way is to incorporate a sound chip into the key itself, but that would be difficult to create an electronic key fob that will fit onto any key.

Special thanks to my friend Matt Rose for suggesting the latter idea (the chime built into the key).

UPDATE: You might have noticed that Zelda chime when the door rang at the beginning of the Scott Pilgrim movie! I think an accompanying door bell would be great too.

BTTF Alarm Clock

Time Coordinates Alarm Clock

This one is pretty self-explanatory: an alarm clock based on the ‘Time Coordinates’ input device from Back to the Future. This would include a dimmer for those irritated by light while trying to sleep (I can relate). It would be smart enough to display the next day for the alarm, but if you need it to skip a few days forward (like when you don’t want to wake up on the weekend) that should be easy to do.

(UPDATE Dec 6/2013: the above is an updated render. Originally this featured a cord that tethered into an iOS device but I got rid of it!).

Star Trek Viewscreen Lights

Star Trek Viewscreen

I know what you’re thinking: these don’t exist? I was a bit shocked too. I spent a few hours trying to confirm that these don’t. You would think in this modern age of flat-screen monitors and TVs that maybe this product would be out there. I’m sure many Trekkies would love to have this Viewscreen effect.

I propose a light bar device that would sit under a TV or monitor (UPDATE: or it could be embedded into the TV itself). Its LEDs would blink in a sequence just like the light array beneath the view screen on the bridge of the Enterprise.

A few extras bells and whistles, like the intermittent “ping sounds” or the red alert siren could be included. As long as all the lights and sounds could be managed by remote, as they might get distracting at times.

UPDATE May 3rd 2014: a few years ago Thinkgeek told me they were going to make this, but I don’t think they’re still going to make it in all honesty.

R2-D2 Assistant

R2D2 USB Desk Toy

This is an open-ended idea, so bear with me. Basically it’s an R2-D2 figure on a platform interacting with one of those revolving gears (as he often does). There would be 2 motors, one to revolve R2’s head and one to revolve the gear. This toy would feature lights and sounds.

As for its function this gadget could be: a bookend, a USB hub, a recharging dock for your phone, a wireless speaker, a desk lamp, and so on. The gist of the idea is that R2 appears to be “assisting” you by turning that gear.

Personally I’d love to have him placed against the wall on my desk (like the picture above), connected to my computer via USB. He’d then react to me opening programs or writing files, stuff like that.

There are many possibilities for this gadget! I have a feeling that we’ll see something like this one day, as there seems to be a new electronic R2-D2 toy coming out every week.

Ecto Containment Unit USB Hub


This is an all-in-one gadget design that is loosely-based on the Ecto Containment Unit from Ghostbusters. It’s a case for an external hard drive, USB hub, and a card reader. For fun I’d like to see it come with a USB Flash drive that looks just like a ghost trap (more on that here). The ghost trap would have it’s own dedicated port, like the one seen above.

Flat Component Electronics To Match Flat TV’s

Flat Electronics To Match TV

Flatscreen TV’s are an amazing space-saver. So why don’t other electronics follow suit? With the same flat orientation of the TV applied to other electronics (like DVD players, stereos, and game systems), you could have an entertainment unit as deep as 6 inches, or about the width of a DVD case.

Sure you might have to fasten things down to keep everything firmly in place, but it’s a small price to pay to gain additional room. The reclaimed real estate would be beneficial to those living in a smaller space.

As for the component electronics themselves, a few design changes would be needed, like the DVD slot (see above). and a way to conceal the wires (something like this flat PS4 concept).