Quirky.com has been around for a couple of years, but seems to be getting some attention at the moment.
The crowdsourced inventing site invites anyone to submit their idea for a new product, to be judged by the Quirky community of people around the world. The top ideas each week are then made into real products, with the use of Quirky’s facilities and experts and sold via the Quirky website.
The inventor gets royalties, but so do the members of the community who voted for it and helped to shape it.
This video explains how it works:
And here are a couple of my favourite Quirky outputs, – each started as an idea in someone’s head and ended up being solution to a common problem in the form of a finished product available to buy.
Mini pins which allow you to use touchscreen gadgets whilst still wearing gloves. (I bought fingerless gloves for this reason, but this is a warmer option.)
An extendable ice scraper. Simples.