The other day I ran across this glass globe doorknob, which allows you to see into the next room before you enter. Pretty cool design, but not without its challenges, especially if it’s not available with 1-way viewing. I could use it to spy on my kids to see if they’re playing video games when they’re supposed to be sleeping, but I don’t want them to be able to check to see if the coast is clear before leaving their bedroom to make a run to the cookie jar.
Another interesting idea – the Knob Light which incorporates a night-light into a working latchset:
via Yanko Design
In 1909, Walter Schlage received his first patent – for a doorknob that turned lights on and off. Since then, Schlage has secured many patents, but maybe the next big doorknob idea is still out there. Patents have been awarded for a doorknob cushion which slips over the knob and replaces the door stop, a doorknob with a bottle opener, a pistol-grip doorknob which releases the latch when you pull the trigger, a solar-powered illuminated doorknob, a thermal knob insulator, and a talking doorknob (I need that for the kids’ rooms – “GO TO BED!”). I found other “doorknob inventions” online…a foam cover to prevent children from lever-related head injuries, lots of ways to avoid germs – like the Healthy Fingers pivoting door opener (would you consider this code-compliant?), and a push/pull design called the Baser Door Handle.