Game #3: What was the inventor thinking?

A patent drawing of a device that, oh come on, everyone knows it sort of resembles a pacifier. Sort of.

Even if this is what you think it is, and I’m not saying it is, but if it is, it’s not an ordinary one. The numbers refer to aspects of the device that its inventor described in his patent application.

Your challenge: identify this object and guess its special function.

Two winners will be named, one for the correct guess and one for the
funniest guess. And yes, this invention pertains to young children
and/or parenting young children.

No links! If you discover a website describing this invention, keep
it to yourself. All will be revealed in time. You are competing for the glory.

Patent drawing of a rectangular device with three buttons labeled music, lights and stop function. A switch is labeled Beep.

The Answer at Long Last!

Congratulations to Honu-girl who identified the invention almost entirely. Yes, it’s a Pacifier Locater System. Using a remote control, you can make your pacifier beep, play music or activate LED lights (for nighttime use). The hook on the end of the device is for turning it into a key chain.

Plaudits to Audra for being the first to suggest it was a pacifier "with an internal air filter to remove pollutants and allergens as your baby sucks on it."

Smirks to STL Mom for suggesting "it’s a pacifier that whistles when kids suck on it. You can find your child by following the annoying sound." Hey, a Baby Locater System. That’s not too far off.

Amused chagrins to Marketing Mommy for suggesting the pacifier "amplifies baby’s suck-suck-suck sound so that paranoid parents can be confident their baby’s alive — even over the baby monitor." Ahh yes, it’s a my-baby-isn’t-dead alarm.

An it-just-might-work raised brow goes to Pableaux for the notion of using the pacifier’s slats to grate food to later be inserted into the semi-porous pacifier bulb, thus infusing your baby with nutrients as he sucks. Meals Ready to Suck. (It’s a military joke.)

Sad head shakes to everyone for not proposing a pacifier MP3 player that coaxes the baby to sleep with lullabies.

Thank you everyone for playing and providing ideas that vacillated from highly inventive to downright amusing.


21 Responses to “Game #3: What was the inventor thinking?”

  1. Kathleen says:

    This is a pacifier that dispenses a flavor or something to enhance sucking.

    July 11th, 2008 at 6:39 am

  2. Claire says:

    Well its a pacifier ( dummy for uk folk), its special job is one of 2 things.

    It is either a menthol ( inhaler) dispensing pacifier to help decongest a stuffy baby.
    ( put some de-congestant onto a piece of cotton wool inside the screw on bit ( 18 on diagram) behind the teat, so that the Baby inhales the decongestant when sucking on the teat and experiences relief from nasal congestion.

    Or its a pacifier for easy ( and mess free) dispensing of medicine, as baby sucks it gradually gets the pre measured dose of what ever medicine they need from the little reservoir through the teat.

    July 11th, 2008 at 7:01 am

  3. Brad says:

    Looks like a pacifier, but the stand thing has got me thinking. Does it hook onto something? Let’s say that it hooks onto the crib so that tot can use it at will, but not have it all the time, so it’s for weaning your baby from the pacifier!! Maybe I’m only thinking this since we’re trying to do this with our 20 month old right now.

    July 11th, 2008 at 7:09 am

  4. Brad says:

    Wait–it just hit me – it’s a pacifier shaped light fixture!

    July 11th, 2008 at 7:10 am

  5. Chief Family Officer says:

    It is clearly a pacifier . . . it’s the “handle” and “vents” (18 & 19) that are giving me pause, however. Since I have friends who are trying to get their preschoolers to give up their pacis, I’m going to guess it’s designed for that somehow.

    July 11th, 2008 at 7:23 am

  6. Audra says:

    It’s a pacifier with an internal air filter to remove pollutants and allergens as your baby sucks on it.

    July 11th, 2008 at 11:28 am

  7. STL Mom says:

    It’s a pacifier that whistles when kids suck on it. You can find your child by following the annoying sound.
    Or better yet, it’s a baby harmonica for your mini John Popper.

    July 11th, 2008 at 12:18 pm

  8. Marketing Mommy says:

    My answer is similar to STL Mom’s, but I don’t think it is designed to whistle. I think it amplifies baby’s suck-suck-suck sound so that paranoid parents can be confident their baby’s alive–even over the baby monitor.

    July 11th, 2008 at 12:29 pm

  9. Honu-girl says:

    The attachment bit is a flashing light, so baby (or parent) can find it in the dark.

    July 11th, 2008 at 1:36 pm

  10. Honu-girl says:

    This is the new iPaci – there’s a speaker so that baby can have both the comfort of sucking, and the comfort of white noise, all in one handy unit.

    July 11th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

  11. Jessica G. says:

    I was thinking it was some new RJ Reynolds cigarette filter — marketing is so targeted these days! Gotta get that young audience hooked before they are out of diapers!

    July 11th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

  12. Kara says:

    I’m thinking that #15 is pointing to a bunch of tiny holes in the nipple that allows the baby to breathe while sucking on this paccifier. It is intended to be used when the child has a snuffy nose and will no longer put up with you and that torture device called a bulb suringe.

    July 12th, 2008 at 2:15 am

  13. ericafromamerica says:

    definetly a whistling pacifier.

    July 12th, 2008 at 1:15 pm

  14. Joyce says:

    This is a pacifier kazoo in my opinion. Introduce the child to the world of music and at the same time let parents know that the child is safely sucking on his paci.

    July 14th, 2008 at 8:04 am

  15. Mary says:

    I agree with Honu-girl that there might be lights on it to help locate it in the dark; however, I think the vented part looks like it could house a mini receiving system – kind of like those devices that help you locate your lost keys. If there was a second item with this pacifier, maybe you could activate it and the pacifier would start blinking or beeping. It wouldn’t make sense to have the pacifier always blinking (from a baby’s perspective – they’d be seeing flashing lights all the time). Seems like a neat idea, I don’t know how many pacifiers I lost with my son and we even used one of those clips to attach it to his clothes.

    July 14th, 2008 at 12:12 pm

  16. racquel says:

    I say it’s a paci with a built in air-purifier. Fantastic for travelling – keeps them quiet while filtering out the germs. Brilliant!

    July 15th, 2008 at 10:35 am

  17. Nancy says:

    I don’t think it’s a pacifier at all, but some kind of light bulb, maybe a night light? But I can’t figure out what the vents would be for.

    July 15th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

  18. brett says:

    At first I thought it was a pacifier, but there is something about handle (16) that gives me pause. The handle makes me wonder if it is an electronic device of some sort. It’s almost looks like a vacuum tube /fuse device.

    July 16th, 2008 at 6:41 am

  19. Honu-girl says:

    After thinking about this some more, I think this is definitely a pacifier locator system, essentially a combination of my previous two answers. The dots (24) are LEDs (easy to see at night), while the vented bit (18/19) can produce a sound (easier to locate in lots of light situations). There’s got to be separate transmitter bit to activate it, I would think, so it wouldn’t be flashing/sounding off all the time.

    July 16th, 2008 at 8:54 am

  20. pableaux says:

    Clearly, this is a pacifier. The stand allows it to be placed securely on a kitchen counter. The slats are for grating cheese, carrots, salmonella-free tomatoes, or anything else your kid loves to eat. The grated product is collected within the semi-porous silicone or latex bulb. Stick it in your kid’s maw & Voila!! Watch him/her suck away AND get vital nutrients at the same time! No more empty, wasted sucking!

    MRS = Meals Ready to Suck

    July 17th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

  21. anne K says:

    It is a pacifier with ventilation holes in the nipple, which work with a diaphragm and holes in the mouth shield, creating alterations in the pitch of the resulting sound. The thought is probably that an infant’s sucking changes based on need, allowing this to be a non-verbal cue to prepare the next meal (for hunger related sucking), etc. Perhaps the unusual shape of the handle enables “tuning” it.

    July 22nd, 2008 at 9:38 am

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