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Geneva welcomes masters of invention

A folding alphorn was one of the more curious inventions at the fair in past years

(Keystone Archive)

More than 600 inventors from around the world will be unveiling their creations at the 29th International Exhibition of Inventions from April 4 to 8. The exhibition organisers claim it's the most important event of its kind.

The organisers boast that about 1,000 inventions will be presented to the public for the first time at the Geneva fair. Most of the exhibitors are members of research departments of high-tech companies, institutes or state organisations.

Based on previous years' experience, about half of the inventions will find a buyer willing to market them.

The new products are broken down into various categories, from machinery to teaching methods. And in keeping with global trends, ways of improving telecommunications in the age of the Internet and mobile phone are expected to be well represented.

But space at the fair is still being reserved for the independent - some would say mad - inventor.

Last year saw a Korean company trying to find buyers for a necktie with lights that blinked red, yellow and green. A firm from Taiwan unveiled an umbrella with a built-in "raindrop catcher". And a man from Slovenia presented a button made from natural materials that could be stitched onto a shirt or a coat to concentrate positive energy.

Admission to the exhibition at Geneva's Palexpo costs SFr12 ($7). It's open from 10am to 7pm (10am to 6pm on Sunday).

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