Patent lawyer Jeff Steck keeps an eye on new patents. This one he spotted, issued on September 3, is quite intriguing. It's a decoy keyboard, with warmth, light, sound, and vibrations that are activated by the pressure of a cat on top.
Pet owners, and owners of cats in particular, know that upon sitting down at a computer their pet frequently desires to lay directly on the computer keyboard. While pet owners frequently attribute this behavior to a desire for affection, or conversely to a desire to annoy the pet owner, more likely the draw of the keyboard has more to do with warmth and proximity to interesting activity.
Since people with pets sitting at a computer keyboard typically need to use the keyboard, there is a need for a device that simulates a keyboard but provides for greater warmth and for interesting sound, light and tactile effects to divert their pet. When positioned close to an actual computer keyboard, such a needed device would draw the pet away therefrom and would provide for many hours of warmth, comfort and entertainment of the pet away from the owner's actual computer activities. Such a device would be relatively simple to manufacture and use, and would be safe for use around both pets and children. The present invention accomplishes these objectives.
I know what you're thinking: why didn't I think of that? There's a second version that resembles a laptop included in the patent. -via Boing Boing