Unexpectedly Intriguing!
06 April 2018

Sometimes, you just have to see something on TV to believe that it exists. The Sock Slider is just such an invention:

And yes, you can buy this contraption today. But before you do, we know what you're probably thinking: "That's the invention I've been waiting for, but does it really work?"

Fortunately, we live the online video age, where if you have a question that any geek ever wondered about, you can probably find a video online that answers it. (Warning - the following video features nearly 11 minutes of realistic sock-sliding "action"!)

Normally, we would just stop there, but we wondered if we could find what might perhaps be a better invention for people seeking technological assistance for donning their socks. We may have found it in U.S. Patent Number 8,919,620, which details inventors Kevin Darrell Taylor and Michael Phillip Taylor's 2014 invention of a one-piece apparatus for donning socks! The following illustrations from the patent take you through the process from getting it ready:

U.S. Patent Number 8,919,620 - Figure 3: Get Ready...

To setting the sock in place....

U.S. Patent Number 8,919,620 - Figure 4: Get Set...

And finally to successfully putting the sock on with the one-piece device.

U.S. Patent Number 8,919,620 - Figure 5: Success!

The nice thing about this newer invention is that it only involves one piece of hardware to have to mess with while donning your socks. And, as a bonus, it can also be used as a shoehorn, which presumably, anyone with a physical condition that would make this kind of invention a necessity would also require.

U.S. Patent Number 8,919,620 - Figure 8: Bonus Shoehorn!

The difference between the two inventions is that the Taylors' invention doesn't appear to yet be available on the market. But with the Sock Slider paving the way and demonstrating that there is such a market, that's likely only a matter of time!

Special thanks to Core77's Rain Noe, who presented the Sock Slider as an entry point into a thought-provoking discussion for when designers should consider the potential benefits of making an activity more difficult to accomplish.


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