FreeKey, the press-to-open keyring...

I was just saying how much I love purely mechanical innovations, and along comes another one to make my day!  FreeKey one-ups the normal spiral metal keyring by simply adding a small bump in the metal.  The result is a pressable (yes!) spot on the ring that will flex it right open - no painful prying required.  Clever, functional, and I'd say ready for the market!
[via Gizmodo]

Pinch Hanger - Save your necks!

Being a mechanical engineer myself, I'm a sucker for innovations that are entirely mechanical - they prove that we haven't ceded everything to the digital world just yet!  So my thanks goes out to design student Jaineel Shah and his Pinch Hanger, which rethinks the interaction between shirts and hangers.  The right geometry and material allow the hangar to squeeze together, making it small enough to not stretch the necks of your shirts.  It hits all the sweet spots: it's simple, intuitive, and functional in an obvious way.  It even passes the "why didn't I think of that?" test.  Well done, Jaineel - let's see this on the market soon!
[via Core77 - and thanks for the heads-up, Jonathan Jackson!]

Foosball with Adjustable Goals

Sometimes when you play a game, you find that you're horribly mismatched against the your opponent - and the whole thing becomes no fun.  (I'm looking at you, Josh Whitten, air-hockey ringer.)  Well it turns out that a simple design feature can easily adjust each player's handicap.  Perhaps the first good idea ever from the pages of Hammacher Schlemmer, The Handicapping Foosball Table has goals that can independently made wider or narrower.  The same concept could be applied, with varying degrees of mechanical complexity, to almost any goal-based game or sport: billiards, basketball, mini golf - and of course, air hockey.  Bring it on, Josh!
[via Gizmodo]