Inventions We Wished We Had To Make The CB Easier
STORY: Pearlyn Tham
09 May 2020
In Japan, a whole industry centred around chindogu has existed for decades.
Nope, chindogu has nothing to do with your chin. Or dog. It means un-useless inventions. Too cheem for you to grasp?
Think: something you never knew you really needed but when you see it, it sounds like a not-bad idea. But then when you have it, you realise it’s a not-so-good idea.
Pretty much describes the 99 items – hello, animal-shaped Post-It labels that are too tiny to scribble anything on; earring holders that you never used because you don’t even have ear holes; and bath sponges with pom-poms that get stuck in all the wrong places – that you bought at Daiso or drunk-ordered on AliExpress last month.
But what if you could have a wish-list of un-useless inventions that would tide you through this extended CB period?
1. An extendable dining table
Yes, we know these things exist: the ones that can morph from compact table for two to a longer communal affair (whoever invented fold-down, extra table panels needs to be given a Nobel prize) for when your 20 uncles, 30 aunties, 40 nephews and 50 nieces descend upon your humble home for potluck Sundays (before social distancing days lah).
But we want more. Like a dining table that can be extended and expanded to infinity and beyond. So that the entire family can crochet, play table tennis, type reports, do HBL, knead dough and, of course, eat on it. All at the same time.
But since don’t have this yet, here’s what to use for now: Your regular dining table, all the chairs that come with it and the floor.
2. A remote-controlled grocery shopping trolley bag
Imagine keying in your grocery list and this bag will zip along to the supermarket of your choice, pick up whatever you need, even spot and propose cheaper or gluten-free alternatives, pack everything itself (and in itself), make payment and claim your Passion Card points, then zip back home again. And if you pay for a system upgrade, V2.0 will even unload your groceries and store them neatly in your fridge and cupboards for you. The bonus: a remote-controlled grocery shopping trolley bag does not need to have its temperature taken.
But since don’t have this yet, here’s what to use for now: Online grocery shopping (er, if you can get a delivery slot, that is).
3. Dyson vacuum-cleaner bedroom slippers
Until they let your Helpling part-time cleaners scrub and rub your home again, what if you could clean up the entire flat simply by padding around in the most comfortable bedroom slippers (and got kawaii plush cartoon duck heads on them too!) that are equipped with powerful Dyson-grade vacuum cleaners on the outer soles?
But since don’t have this yet, here’s what to use for now: A broom, a mop and a dustpan… and your five-year-old who, for now, thinks that it’s fun to sweep the floor.
4. Portable sound-proof, BTO cubicles
With the click of a button, one pops up and cocoons you in your very own safe, sound-proof tent until you are free to respond to your parents’ never-ending requests to help bring in the laundry. Then all you need to do is press another button and your BTO cubicle shrinks back to the size of a pillowcase.
But since don’t have this yet, here’s what to use for now: Your noise-cancelling AirPods Pro.
5. A smartphone that automatically trashes “very-funny-meh?” videos and “read this because it happened to my friend Alice” fake news from your Boomer relatives
It was bad enough pre-CB but now that she can’t meet her mah-jong kakis, your mum is sending you 38 cute-cats-who-look-like-they-are-using-a-laptop videos every minute (you’ve seen them all before, like in 2008). Or your uncle insists that you will be fined $120,000 if you wear a white, and not blue, mask.
But since don’t have this yet, here’s what to use for now: The "block this number" function. And never “read” the messages. Because two blue ticks indicate that you liked the messages enough to pay attention to them and so, you will be getting more.
6. Talking, AI-powered holograms of ourselves
Because everyone is now working or studying from home, me-time becomes we-time, 24/7. What if we could beam up different holograms of ourselves so that one of them does full-day HBL with the kids, one of them listens to the spouse’s endless work grouses and the last one plays catch with the family dog? Then the real us can Netflix and chill (out).
But since don’t have this yet, here’s what to use for now: A perpetual scowl.
7. A teleporter with Singlish voice command options
Speak into the in-built mic and virtual assistant Ah-Li-Sa, who’s programmed to understand Singapore accents as well as our local slang and food vocab, will search for the nearest available item of your desire and zap it right into your home.
But since don’t have this yet, here’s what to use for now: GrabFood, Deliveroo, Foodpanda or LalaMove.