In the 1880s, a Congressman (MAGA before there was MAGA) proposed eliminating the US Patent Office, “Everything worth inventing has already been invented,” he claimed.
One hundred forty years later, brilliant inventions continue to flow from clever American minds. Patents are numbered. 2023 may find Patent 12,000,000 issued. That’s a long way from Patent 1 issued in 1793.
Some patents are arcane and some make everyone’s life easier. The two most recent patents are “Application of a Multi-Objective Optimization Model for Automatic Liner Shipping” (Now that’s one I’ll use every day) and “Toilet Tank Tablet Dispenser” (Nobody thought of this until now?)
Great patents meet human needs. The mad scientists at Doritos surveyed more than 3,000 people — including in China, India, Portugal, Britain and the United States — and found that computer gamers like to snack while playing, but they also think the sounds of other people snacking are distracting. Of the 200 people surveyed in the United States, 90 percent snack while gaming, and the majority said chips make the most bothersome noise when another gamer is eating them.
Dorito’s lead scientist is also an avid gamer. He stated, “That’s always been a distraction for me. I’ll lose my focus when one person starts eating. That sound of crunching can just take you out of the experience, but you still want to enjoy your snack because realistically snacking and gaming go hand-in-hand.”
That snacking / gaming connection explains the lack of “ripped abs” and minimal body fat among Mortal Kombat aficionados.
Doritos dared not remove the “crunch”. A soggy Dorito is not a Dorito at all. Instead, the snack food giant developed AI software that effectively blocks out crunch sounds. While the AI software is “trained exclusively on Doritos,” according to its developers, it actually works on some other crunch sounds, including different types of chips, crackers and raw vegetables.
As if Kyle Who Lives In His Parents’ Basement and Won’t Get A Job Because It Would Cut Into His Time Playing “Call of Duty” would chomp on raw celery or carrot sticks.
Patent 12,000,000 should be for something that meets real human needs like allowing us to crunch away on Doritos without becoming distracted from our video game.
By Ed Dufton