When it comes to simple, yet patentable ideas, it’s not easy to find a better example than US Patent 7096526B1 granted in 2006 to inventor Laura E Ogan – entitled ‘Beach Blanket’.
“People go to the beach for relaxation. One of the usual objects that is brought to the beach for comfort is a towel. It can be a big towel that is spread on the sand and where people sit or lie on. The ordinary towel comes in many sizes and shapes. It is square, rectangular or round. The beach umbrella is almost always round. When the heat becomes uncomfortable, a beach umbrella is brought out to provide shade.
Ordinarily, comfort given by the towel and the umbrella is limited to one side and is not maximized. With a round, rectangular or square towel that has one hole in the middle and one hole in any of the edges or perimeter where the handle of the umbrella is planted in any of the two holes, shade is maximized and comfort enjoyed by whoever is seated, lying down or standing on the towel.
This kind of beach towel may be used not only in beaches but also in front and back yards, parks, playgrounds, camps, picnic areas or any place where relaxation and comfort benefit users who prefer lying down or sitting on towels rather than sitting on chairs.”
Note that, as the patent document points out :
● The hole does not have to be in the centre
● There can be more than one hole
● The blanket does not have to be rectangular
Research research by Martin Gardiner