Not So Great Inventions #3Trivia brain teasers have some element of trivia in them, but they are not just pure trivia questions.
Inspired by the internationally popular Global Positioning System (GPS), the Person Positioning System (PPS) is a device that tells a person his or her orientation. The PPS is powered by a 120v / 220V AC source for easy plug in. The unit is strapped onto the person's torso. With the CRT screen set on an angle against the chest, the person needs only to look down to see the information output by the PPS, i.e., the person's position. A "slightly modified" version of the PPS has an altimeter and a speedometer to tell the person's altitude and speed. The problem with this unit seemed so obvious to me but to the inventor and hundreds of people who bought the unit not so obvious. What was the problem with the unit?
AnswerUnless you happen to have a portable 120/220v Ac power supply in you pocket (which is quite impractical), or a 20 km extension cord the device could only be used as a paper weight or cup holder if you didn't happen to have a power outlet next to you.
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