Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Razor Odometer

know when to hold 'em
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All right, I realize that none of the audience will admit to the stack of disposable razors - used - that they have on the shelf in the shower. A few of them may, however, complain about how they get a new razor, and the next morning find that their beloved has used it and put it back, leaving an edge suitable to an artefact of the Punic wars.

The challenge is to be able to tell how much usage the blade has endured. The determination of this factor is much easier than you might imagine.

Epoxied to one end of the blade is a microcircuit and a piezoelectric transducer. The razor blade makes a nice "pop" sound each time you cut through a hair. The transducer converts this vibration to an electrical pulse, which is counted by the microcircuit.

The display part is an LCD film. It looks much like the battery testers which come as part of the packaging on many batteries, or in some cases, on the battery itself. But rather than a continuous band, it is cut into 5 to 8 discrete segments. Since the razor does not have a self-contained power supply, the display will only be active when you hold the antenna (the metal blade) in a varying magnetic field (near a fluorescent light, next to a "wall wart" transformer, an electric motor, etc.). The microcircuit directs the captured electricity to the appropriate segment, and lets you know how close to trash-time it is for the blade.

It could also be built as a resettable unit for a razor with changeable blades, but where's the money in that?

lurch, Jul 27 2006

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       //punic// snigger.
po, Jul 27 2006
  

       why not a little wheel that rolls on your (presumably?) face? It could tally distance traveled in whatever units you like.
GutPunchLullabies, Jul 27 2006
  

       I tend to go by gel strip usage. No gel left on strip? New razor. I suppose this would be more accurate, plus I like the sound effect part... poppity, pop, pop, pop.
Zuzu, Jul 27 2006
  

       I do NOT have a stack of used razors lying around. So that whole "my beloved used my razor and put it back in the pile and now I can't tell if it is still ok to use" situation, does NOT happen to me.   

       <looks left and right and over shoulder, gives quoissant>
zeno, Jul 28 2006
  

       An audible pop for each hair cut? I'd go deaf.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 28 2006
  

       Oops, no, description error. What I meant was that if you take a regular razor, and drag it across your bewhiskered anterior aspect, and don't have the vent fan on, nor the radio, you can hear the litttle pops made as each hair is cut. That tiny sound, from the point of view of a tiny microphone attached solidly to the blade itself, is pretty dramatic and carries enough energy to drive the flip-flop cascade counter.
lurch, Jul 28 2006
  

       And on my face it would sound like a dump truck full of popcorn overturning on a Texas freeway in July.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jul 28 2006
  
      
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