Were you naughty or nice this year? Not sure? If this invention ever made it to market, you’d be able to know of Santa is on his way or not.
Thomas Cane’s 1996 patent for a Santa Claus Detector doesn’t actually sense for the presence of the jolly old chap, but it’s designed to light up when an object is placed inside the stocking. Actually, it doesn’t even really do that. There’s ribbon tied to the toe of the stocking that Santa would presumably pull when he delivers your prezzies.
Of course, the biggest flaw in the design is that it can’t detect if there’s a lump of coal inside, in lieu of a real present.
I’m not really sure what’s going on in Figure 5 from the patent diagrams, but it made me laugh, so I nabbed a copy of it: