Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Staple empty indicator

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The stapler always catches me out when it's empty.
I've never seen any of the following (but maybe I've led a sheltered life):
1. A see through top at the right place, for easy examination
2. Put some paint (or a centre line crease) on the last few staples, so that when you see a marked staple coming out, then you know it's time for a refill.
Ling, Oct 12 2004

Transparent Staplers http://www.business...astic-staplers.html
[calum, Oct 12 2004]


       charming idea [Ling] - both would be fairly trivial (although with (2) you'd have to remember to put them in the right way round).
neilp, Oct 12 2004

       The little windows on the side of the staple chamber (on all of my staplers anyway) do a fine job of confirming that the stapler's empty, but I generally only look there after banging on the thing a hundred and eleven times with nary a staple dispensed.   

       I'm in favor of the see-through top concept, but shouldn't we be talking about staplers?   

       I'd like the top mounted viewing window approach even more if a finish that contrasted with the staples was applied in the area under the staples such that it showed in the window as the staple supply diminished.   

       Alternatively, the spring loaded feed mechanism should be able to somehow drive a colored ribbon thingy to act as a bar graph/progress indicator turning a window progressively red as the staples run out.   

       Maybe the feed mechanism could be attached to a "fuel gauge" style needle displaying Full/Empty.   

       Given the ridiculously low cost of digital calipers these days, I can see that technology being applied to a stapler to accurately measure the length of the remaining row of staples and thus provide an exact "staples remaining" count via an LCD display.   

       Optional to the precision measuring method would be a wireless internet connection and integrated web server which would enable the stapler to report its condition every few minutes to avoid any poorly timed staple outages when a big stapling job comes across your desk. This would aslo allow you to check staple count even if the stapler is tucked away in a drawer.
half, Oct 12 2004

       [half] what about a usb or bluetooth interface, so it can notify someone (me) and get them to fill it up ?
neilp, Oct 12 2004

       Yes [neilp] There could be a mobile device attached to the stapler, notifying a service company that there were only ten staples left. Embedded GPS device also passes data through the mobile link so that the service company could exactly locate the soon-to-be-exhausted stapler. A 2.5G+ mobile device would also allow a visual check of the stapular status, as it would be a terribly inefficient exercise for a service call to be performed only to find that there were in fact still twenty or so staples left.   

       Perhaps the service company guy could carry a variety of staple sizes to the job, unless you can think of some way that the exact size specification could also be transmitted.
ConsulFlaminicus, Oct 12 2004

       [consul] how about if the mouth of the stapler had an RFID reader built in and the 10th to last staple of the strip had a built in RFID chip.   

       As the 10th to last staple was dispensed, the stapler would recognise that stocks were low and due to the uniqueness of the RFID, also understand which type of staple it needed.   

       Via the built in GPS system, the location of the stapler is known and restocking can be commenced direct to the owner.
jonthegeologist, Oct 12 2004

       HB at it's best? Link. (2012 edit: diagram lost from geocities, showing stapler with wifi etc.)
Ling, Oct 12 2004

       [ling] have to agree! Nice diagram
jonthegeologist, Oct 12 2004

       some kind of elaborate aerial required then, to pick up signals then?
jonthegeologist, Oct 12 2004


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