Invention: Sellotape with a coloured tear

So, ask anyone whether Sellotape (Scotch tape to my American fan-base) is any good, and they’ll respond: you betcha!

Ask them whether they find it frustrating, and they’ll echo their first response. Why? Because they can never find the end.

Sellotape/Scotch: if you’re reading, here’s the solution. Invent a tape with three thin layers. The bottom layer is the sticky stuff; the top layer is the smooth bit; the newly introduced technologically-advanced layer sits in the middle.

This middle layer would react to air, turning a lovely magenta colour on exposure. (The colour could be a user preference; I’ve used magenta for illustrative purposes, mainly because it’s quite a nice word.)

When the user severs the tape, either with teeth or scissors, a tiny cross-section of the tape is exposed to the air, and changes colour within a few seconds. The next person who comes along wanting to wrap presents can find the end of the roll by simply finding the magenta stripe across the width of the roll.

Marvellous idea!

By Dan on 25 October, 2006 · Posted in Good ideas?

10 Comments | Post Comment

elise says:

Or maybe, just maybe, you could sell the tape on a dispenser that allows you to not only cut the tape, but keeps the end stuck in one place, thereby eliminating the need for scissors or using one’s teeth.

We’ve been these using over in ‘merica for as long as I’ve been alive…

Posted on October 25th, 2006

Dan says:

I am aware of their work, my good friend. However, I’d argue that 80%+ of households don’t own them; they’re seen as officeware.

So my idea rocks. OK?

Posted on October 25th, 2006

Shanahan says:

Bad idea or at the very least it’s half-baked. Anything you’d stick the tape on would also show the magenta bits.

Posted on October 25th, 2006

Dan says:

Only a tiny strip at either end of the piece…

Posted on October 25th, 2006

elise says:

I’m not sure I buy into the ‘80% of households’ statistic, unless you’re referring to actual research done in the UK.
I don’t know the stats in America, but I’d be willing to wager that most that do use the in-dispenser type.

The non-dispenser type rolls (your apparent standard here) are indeed officeware, used in those black dispensers that sit on your desk with the bottom weighted down nicely with sand.

But, those arguments are beside the point. The real issue is that you’re taking a relatively simple problem with an existing, simple solution and creating a far more complex solution (in terms of production & technology) that, as Mr. Shanahan (greetings, fellow ex-sape) points out, seems to be problematic.

Posted on October 25th, 2006

Andrew Samuel says:

Hang on – wouldn’t you get magenta all down the edge of the tape as well though?

As in – it obviously has 4 edges – which all have contact with air.

You couldn’t cover these edges with anything because the way they make it is on ruddy big rolls which they cut down to size.

Just a thought – great idea though!

Posted on August 31st, 2007

Dan says:

Thanks for your comment, Andrew. My idea is that the left and right sides of the tape are sealed to the elements, just for a millimetre or so either side. That way, you’d get your magenta line, but nothing down the sides.

I think it’d work…

Posted on August 31st, 2007

deborah60 says:

Hello there – I have often thought of the same idea – especially around xmas time, and I agree, not every household owns a tape dispenser. Go for it!

Posted on January 10th, 2008

gemima says:

nnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooo.i invented it…not u

Posted on July 29th, 2009

Jonathan says:

Just thought about this myself then decided to google to see if it had already been done.

My idea is slightly better (atleast it resolves all your issues and is simpler to manufacture).

Add a chemical to the glue which reacts with air so it STARTS coloured and then turns clear when it is peeled off. That way, the end would be clear and…

oh wait, you wouldn’t be able to see the clear bit on the role… :'(

Posted on December 24th, 2010