10 Awesome New Inventions You'll Never Hear About

License Plate Flipper
The Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond in the film "Goldfinger"
The Aston Martin DB5 driven by James Bond in the film "Goldfinger"
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Remember James Bond's tricked-out Aston Martin in the 1964 movie "Goldfinger" -- the one equipped with hidden machine guns, pop-out razor rims to slice pursuer's tires and an ejector seat? Wouldn't you love to outfit your Toyota Yaris with some of that stuff?

The high-powered weaponry, alas, probably is a bit impractical, not to mention dangerous. But there is a company that offers an electronic license-plate flipper of the sort that Bond used to conceal his identity from prying eyes. The $79.00 Vehicle Plate Flipper doesn't allow you to impersonate a Swiss or French driver, but it does flip down at a 90 degree angle at the press of a button to display a message on an underlying plate for the driver behind you. There's also a special $74.99 version for motorcycles.

We're not sure that this gadget will ever become widely popular, though, in part because some of the device's conceivable uses -- hiding your identity from red light cameras and police, or provoking tailgaters with taunting messages -- could get drivers in a lot of trouble. Indeed, the company that sells the device attaches a disclaimer to its Web site, warning that the gadgets are "STRICTLY intended for off-road use only" and informing potential customers that they take responsibility "for all liabilities associated with the use or misuse of our product" [source: Plateflipper.com].

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