Inspired by AboutIdeasNow, here are a bunch of ideas I would love to make if some rich person gave me a billion dollars to invest:

Portable induction cook top with physical buttons

I still can’t believe this doesn’t exist. Dear manufacturers: Just put a knob on it! Microwaves and air fryers have knobs now, and they’re great. Just do that! Knobs are harder to clean, but are they that much harder?

For extra credit, make the display visible in direct light and at multiple angles.

I had a knob microwave and loved it. Imagine – if you can – an induction cookstop with a knob for time and heat control instead of fiddly capacative buttons. Maybe the power switch can even be a real, flippable switch. A man can dream.
There’s not even that many buttons!

A USB-C KVM that works

Like almost everyone who works from home, I have multiple computers and at least one monitor on the same desk. Why is it so difficult to share peripherals between them? Some devices work just fine, but others, like my microphone and speakers, refuse to work with a KVM. Synergy is a software solution that mostly works for keyboard/mouse, but has some annoying limitations. There is one KVM that gets pretty close, thought I haven’t purchased it.

A 32in 4k/144hzmonitor that has DDC/CI and an ambient brightness sensor

I want a high-res, gorgeous screen with a high refresh rate. Many manufacturers are starting to provide these as of this year. None of them will say whether the monitor has DDC/CI, a decades-old protocol to control critical monitor settings, or any other way of controlling settings from your computer like brightness. On the brightness front, every manufacturer of expensive high-res displays still refuses to include and ambient light sensor, despite this being standard in laptops for years.

Lunar for macOS has a great database of displays and their supported features for software control.

Good iPhone keyboards

I moved from Android to iPhone two years ago and still miss Gboard. Gboard on iOS hasn’t been updated in a year, and is noticeably worse than the Android version. Despite this, it still out-performed the iOS keyboard for me. I would pay a frankly ludicrous amount of money for a truly great iPhone soft keyboard.

I would also love a physical keyboard, but a more modular one in landscape orientation. Clicks looks great, but is portrait only and tied to your specific iPhone version – if you upgrade every two years, that gets expensive.

Creator gear for the smart home

I was looking at continuous lighting for videography recently, and it struck me how similar some prosumer equipment is getting to normal smart lighting. The SmallRig 60B runs on a USB-C PD power supply and has a phone app for Bluetooth control. I’ve had Aperture lights in the past that also supported Bluetooth and lighting-industry-specific wireless protocols. Most lights can run on power indefinitely without damaging the battery. Given how big the creator economy and smart home space is getting, I would love to see double-duty lighting equipment that can handle both uses.

Imagine a fashionable floor-lamp casing for the 60B with a built-in heat sink and power supply. The base looks like a standard lamp base with the 60B at the top. When you have company over, you put a normal-looking lamp shade on it, and the light source recognizes it’s in “smart home” mode – dimming and allowing smart home control. When you want to shoot some content, replace the head with any standard Bowens mount gear and grab your control app to harness its full power.

After that, how much more expensive is it to support a single standard smart home protocol like matter? I imagine that hasn’t been done because the market would be tiny, but seeing the explosion of “prosumer” gear like the Fuji X100VI, I think there’s a market for it.