Hugo Gernsback was a veritable fountain of bad ideas. And yet…

Gernsback Isolator 1

So here we are folks, proof positive that there is hope yet for even the stupidest of inventions. When I first saw this particular Gernsbackian brainchild years ago I mentally labelled it as one of the least practical inventions I’d seen from a man who seemed to specialise in unworkable ideas.

However, given the current state of affairs I’m beginning to warm to the idea of fitting out those office workers who can’t perform their duties from home with Isolators. Given each one of them an Isolator and enough bottles of Gernsback’s special oxygen mix and away they go!

Gernsback Isolator 2

Admittedly these suits might not prove popular with the average office worker but that merely demonstrates how little imagination most people possess. The observant among us will quickly realise that once in the Isolator it will be very difficult for the outside world to tell just what an individual is up to. With a little effort there should be enough space in the Isolator to make smoking or drinking possible if the imbiber is willing to make a few adjustments (a bottle with a straw for example). Alternatively, it will be obvious to the canny office worker that once the Isolator is donned it’s very difficult to tell who’s in it. Thus if an individual wanted the day off all they need do is pay a student in need of a little extra cash to go into the office wearing their Isolator and who would notice the impostor?

Yes my friends, the Isolator is the way of the future. If we can’t have jetpacks then why not something equally stupid bit of weird technology? Be the first on your block to build and market your own version. I dare you.

4 thoughts on “Hoodwinked”

  1. This looks like an underwater diving helmet made by minions. Paint it yellow and the resemblance would be uncanny.


  2. Strange days indeed. Seriously, I never did like the prevalence of the open plan office: always a nasty hotbed of infection, interruption, distraction and noise. Nothing one can control. Real one or two people offices, with a window (that opens) and a door (that shuts), please. (Cubicle farms being the worst of both worlds, even worse than open plan.) Maybe now the small office will come back into fashion?


    1. I know exactly how you feel. Many years ago I worked for a time in what was essentially am open-plan cafe inside of a large shopping centre. So of course once the flu/head colds arrived it was impossible to get rid of them as a combination of the air conditioning and the general public ensured a constant miasma of disease. Never again I decided after I left that job and I’ve never worked in a shopping centre since.


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