Feb
0

The CodeSutra team and Cod3fi

BY ROBERT BEAR

We use to ask for comments on InventionStories.com. The reason we stopped was due to countless spams email and hackers. Everyday we learn of a new hacker attack resulting in sensitive information being compromised. I find it frustrating and frightening but hopefully I can find some piece of mind with Cod3fi.

Cod3fi is a next-gen wireless router mesh with an enterprise grade security protection. No cloud subscription is required as we provide you with a private cloud on your router! Each router comes with 64GB of memory that runs on 1.2 GHz Quad core processor. Cod3fi’s mobile app allows you to monitor bandwidth consumption, run diagnostic tests, create a separate guest network, prioritize devices, play/pause Internet on any device and many more.

Are you worried about your baby monitors getting hacked?

Do you frequently download security apps and pay huge monthly cloud subscription fees just to protect your home gadgets?

Look no further, Cod3fi (pronounced codify) might just have a solution for you!

Cod3fi is a wireless smart router mesh that protects all your smart home gadgets with an enterprise grade security. This includes your baby monitors, your loved one’s smart phones or even your laptops and devices like smart TV, or surveillance cameras.

Out of the box Cod3fi provides dynamic firewall capability for your home. This capability assures strict URL filtering and allows only approved and secure domains to pass through. Keeping privacy in mind, all security rules and polices never leave the Cod3fi router and best of all – no cloud subscription fee. In fact we provide you with a private cloud on your own router!

Each router comes with 64GB of memory that runs on a 1.2 GHz Quad core processor. And with Cod3fi’s app one can monitor bandwidth consumption, run diagnostic tests, create a separate guest network, prioritize devices, play/pause Internet on any device and many more. Cod3fi is currently supported on Android, iOS, Windows OS 10 and macOS.

I wanted to know more so I contacted the CodeSutra team and asked them to answer the following:

What gave you the idea?

Home networks is an easy targets for attackers. It is becoming more and more evident with the recent attacks on IoT devices such as Mirai, an IoT DDoS Botnet. This is not an isolated attack, Symantec released a threat report indicating ransomware is on rise and the number of zero-day vulnerabilities discovered has doubled each year. CodeSutra team saw need for secure and smart router that protects you and your family against such vulnerabilities. So they put together a few security experts from payment, health care, and retail industries, three industries that have security and privacy as there top most agenda. And payoff of those discussions was a state of art next-gen smart router that safeguards your privacy and prevents you from security breaches against all devices, including baby monitors, IoT devices, smart TV, smart phone, laptop that are connected to Cod3fi router mesh.

How was the prototype process?

I must admit the prototype process was most difficult process. We hired a team of experts to fabricate two designs for this product. And the design that made the cut was put in the demo prototyping phase. Our demo prototype was a 3D printed case that went through a few iteration before we got to the final prototype. The prototyping process truly tests your entrepreneurial spirits, you see competitors product that are all shiny and good looking. And than you compare your’s with them. And as a startup there will be time when you want to invest more on the design compared to adding a good feature. And it becomes even more challenging when you mission is to build an affordable router mesh with best of tools to securing your entire home. So the balancing act between the design prototype and researching new feature was difficult but fun.

How was the patent process?

We believe in openness and we are actively building transparency around our wireless router mesh. Stay tuned as we build open-to-all community with the money we would raise from Indiegogo project. From a technical spec perspective, we are currently powered by Raspberry Pi and we have modified the core OS but they can still tab into existing Raspberry Pi community.

How do you plan to market it?

We believe in the power of e-commerce and wholesale marketing. As much as be want it to be our ultimate marketing strategy. We are currently starting with direct-to-consumer and crowdfunding sales. This strategy enables our core team spread the awareness about our product and it allows us to get unrestricted personal interaction with our customers.

How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

We invested in someone who is true to their work and provides us best quality product. We found the match for manufacturer from a recommendation from another startup company.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

Go for it! Unless you don’t try you will never know how far can you stretch your dream. So believe in yourself and in crowdfunding websites and sites like this one who are willing to invest in you. And community is ready to back your idea as long as you believe in it.

Click here to visit campaign page.

For more information please visit www.cod3fi.com

Feb
0

Tony Chan & Coolpeds version CarryOnE 2

BY ROBERT BEAR

Think of the next time you’re flying somewhere and need to take luggage. With fees being added to check-in baggege it makes since to bring a carry-on bag. Instead of visualizing yourself dragging your suitcase behind you, see yourself riding it. Imagine the faces of other passengers pulling their bags as you breeze by them on your journey to the plane and beyond.

Tony Chan has created the Coolpeds version CarryOnE 2 and I think it’s brilliant. Travel is what comes to mind but this invention can be used anywhere and for any reason.

Tony Chan, founder, serial tech entrepuerneurl, graduated from UCLA and worked at Microsoft, Seattle, as a software engineer. He left Microsoft many years to start his product design and manufacturing company and successfully supplied various cool products to Sears, Walgreens, Lowe’s, and many other global companies. In addition, the Coolpeds team has won many international awards for campaigns in improving the environment and society. I contacted Tony and asked him to answer the following questions:

What is the COOLPEDS USA CarryOnE?

Based on the highly successful Coolpeds briefcase electric scooter 1.0, CarryOnE is the coolest carryon that doubles as the world’s lightest electric transporter!

Our patented design packs a powerful 200 watt compact brushless hub motor that moves you at speed up to 12 mph.

It is the perfect last mile connector. It is virtually a “mini Tesla” at your service all the time!

Better yet, it meets most airlines’ requirements as a standard carryon! Just fold it up and pull it along like a normal suitcase. With the USB charging port, you can juice up your phone and iPad on the go, all while cutting back pollution and congestion in the city!

How was the prototype process?

It was a long and definitely fun process; we constantly refined and updated the prototypes to achieve a balance of lightweight, sturdiness, and functions.

How was the patent process?

It was a relatively smooth process actually with the help of a professional patent firm.

How do you plan to market it?

We exhibited at various international trade shows such as the CES and fortunately got covered by CBS, Cnet, etc. We will work hard on social marketing and Indiegogo marketing continually. We hope also to have opinion leaders and celebrities use our products.

How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

Fortunately, we have been in the manufacturing industry for over 15 years, so we have our own plant and work with great partners for our current projects and future ones.

Is seems like truly useful product for travelers. What are the obstacles that you need to overcome to make it universal?

Thanks! We need to overcome the weight concern and meet airline battery requirements; therefore, we designed the scooter and battery to meet most airlines’ requirements worldwide. Our battery is 94 watt hours which is under the 100 watt hour limit for carryon regulations.

Why did you make this version of the Coolpeds?

This version CarryOnE 2.0 is much lighter and features a detachable suitcase, which epitomize versatility of a super lightweight electric transporter and travel gear.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

Keep the retail price affordable, work with reliable suppliers and factories, file patents early, think crazy, get lots of exposure quickly.

Click here to visit campaign page.

For more information please visit www.coolpeds.us

Feb
0

Jack Cui and 3Deep : The Sonic Toothbrush

BY ROBERT BEAR

I’m always looking for a present for my wife. Each year for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, birthday and anniversary I’ve got to find something she will like. I look at these pictures and am positive she will love the Sonic Toothbrush.

Introducing the world’s best 3D Sonic Toothbrush with added beauty care functionality! You not only get the amazing oscillating technology toothbrush, you also receive a facial scrub and a massage head in one product that’s lightyears ahead of its time!

3Deep was voted the most effective toothbrush in the world by its users who compared it with other high-end products! With its innovative oscillating, rotating, sonic technology and its 2 speed settings, 3Deep not only gets the job done better, it leaves you and your entire family with that bright, clean, beautiful Hollywood smile we all desire!

Jack Cui is the inventor of the 3Deep toothbrush and has posted the following on their campaign page: Let me echo what a wise man once said, “If you do not put all of your effort to create innovation, it is not a real innovation.” Even if you have as much as 20 years experience in product design and manufacturing like I do. Six years ago, my child got a toothache. The dentist advised us to use a better toothbrush, so I searched the electric toothbrush market. After trying a few high-end products, I still felt none of them were good enough for my child. It took 5 years of dental research, user studies, and product designing until I finally invented a more effective oscillating-rotating technology for our sonic toothbrush. Our users loved it! Soon after, my wife asked, “This is an amazing product you’ve created for our child with so much love! Now, how about you create something that innovative for me?” Suddenly, it hit me; I could add two more options for women’s facial care that will make my wife and many women out there extremely happy! I immediately started up our own business with a dedicated team of professionals under the name,3Deep Inc. in Saratoga, CA and our website (3deepcare.com) was booming! I also strongly believe in the words of Steve Jobs when he said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.” The 3D-SONIC TOOTHBRUSH uses sonic, circular vibrations to thoroughly clean and buff your teeth. It’s far more effective at removing plaque by forcing toothpaste between your teeth than any other toothbrush on the market. In a world where the majority of cavities are caused by poor brushing, you need this kind of precision in a toothbrush! And as a bonus, the two additional heads for the 3D-Sonic are great for facial cleansing and massage. This multifaceted tool is the perfect gift for the whole family. And there is no need for batteries! You can recharge it over and over. Now, of course, 3D-Sonic can’t happen without your support. We need you to back our campaign today so we can produce the first run of this amazing product and spread the gift of beautiful smiles all over the world! So take control of your oral and facial health and pre-order your 3D-Sonic Toothbrush today!

I have a small bathroom and believe in products that allow us to throw out extra stuff. I wanted to know more about the story behind the Sonic Toothbrush so I contacted Jack Cui and asked him the following questions:

How was the prototype process?

The prototype process was so successful. We were quite skilled in our engineering capabilities. The prototype had already done in 3 months. One of our cofounders has big manufacturing company, so 3Deep Lnc. are capable for launching the excellent products to global markets.

3Deep inc.’s high-quality manufacturing has prepared for materials of 10 thousand products.

How was the patent process?

3Deep’s core patent techniques:

1).Magnetic suspension toothbrush patent(ZL 2010 2 0625426.3)

2). 3D-Sonic patent(PCT/CN2014/085842;PCT)

3). Substitutable toothbrush heads patent(201420466999.4)

4). Toothbrush handle waterproof design patent(201420466994.4)

5). Multifunctional sense charger design patent(201420466838.5)

6). Magnetic charger patent

How do you plan to market it?

3Deep are making high-end products of the industry by research and development, which can provide consumers the best quality and user experiences in facial care. Based on the direction of social media, 3Deep are developing branding strategy and marketing channels of distribution. 3Deep highlights the quality and value for money on high-end products. The cooperative model to entering retail market will meet needs of two parties to achieve win-win. At the same time we will build global E-Business include: B2C networks:Ebay、Amazon、Aliexpress、JD.COM、TMALL.COM etc.

B2B networks:Global Sources、CXT.1688.COM、INNOCLAN.COM、Authorized retailers etc.

How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

3Deep Inc. is headquarter which locates in CA of USA. The Group has two branch offices- 3DEEP LIMITD in Hongkong and 3Deep IT LIMITD in Mainland of China. As I said, one of our cofounders owned a big manufacture which is producing high-end E-toothbrush. So 3Deep Inc. are capable of pursuit of excellence and high quality for customs.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

The more you invest in human behavior research in the future, the more idea you will get in inventing.

Click here to visit the campaign page

Jan
0

HAMBOARDS®… Ride The Pave Update

BY DON SANDUSKY AND THE HAMBOARD TEAM

Click here To buy the Hamboard at www.hamboards.com
Click here to buy the Hamboard at www.amazon.com

The flow and feeling of surfing is only a Hamboard® away…

Hamboards® is a street-ready skateboard that captures the essence of surfing – the skateboards that really feel like surfing. Their motto is “Ride the Pave.”

Each Hamboard model is known for its high quality, handcrafted style and a surfboard-like feel and look. In the surfing community they are known as the closest thing to surfing on land.

Hamboards was founded in 2003 and is operated by the Hamborg family in Huntington Beach, Calif. Pete, 52, the patriarch of this surfing family, is helped by his five lifeguard sons: Gus, Anders, Chapman, Jachin, and Moses. Their mother, Kathy, keeps everyone in line and surfs as well. Holding true to a family style business, cousin Don Sandusky manages the business from the East Coast office, while family friend Basil Krikelis keeps them all legal. Whenever possible, the East Coast team sneaks out to the West Coast for a surfer’s version of a “board meeting.”

Hamboards were initially designed around the Hamborg’s kitchen table and inside their garage. And truth be told, for a long time it was just an overgrown hobby until early 2012 when the transition to being a true business started to occur (surfers take note: this transition stuff is not a totally “stokable” process).

Currently this little family-run company that grew out of a garage down near the beach is selling Hamboards worldwide. The Hamborgs have stayed true to their roots and Hamboards are a fresh and authentic surf/skate brand.

Never designing a “product” but always making a board that they wanted to ride themselves, the Hamboard clan refused to compromise on quality and craftsmanship in every detail. Not realizing “you shouldn’t” design a skateboard the way they have…they went ahead and did it anyway…and came up with something ground breaking.

The result? No matter where you are – the flow and feeling of surfing is only a Hamboard away. There is a little bit of surfer in almost all of us, and everyone has a “California Dream” of one sort or another. When you ride a Hamboard suddenly your body takes your mind to that place in your imagination where you are cruising down the face of a glassy peeling sun-kissed wave in front of a white sand beach thick with palm trees. We know of nothing else that has this magic. Hamboards has the “lightning in a bottle” when it comes to capturing the surfing experience.

To get the biggest selection of Hamboards for purchase you can go to www.hamboards.com. You can also visit upscale surf lifestyle retailers like Huntington Surf and Sport, Ron Jons, Maui and Sons, Aqua East, East of Maui, PB Boys Club, Trident Surf, Maui Nix, and Surf Station – they all carry Hamboards.

For Hamboards rental opportunities check out Jacks on the Beach in Huntington Beach, and Sailing Crazy in New Caney, Texas.

Hamboard riders are already planning something new. With the new Hamboard designed land-paddle, called the Streetsweeper®, the connection with Stand Up Paddleboarding is locked in tight. Suddenly the flow and feel of Stand Up Paddleboarding, plus the excellent workout and fitness challenge, is now as accessible and convenient as grabbing your Hamboard and Streetweeper and hopping on.

The original HAMBOARDS®… Ride The Pave was posted on InventionsStories.com back in November, 2013. We contacted Don Sandusky, Principle at Hamboards and asked him to answer the following questions:

If you had the idea for Hamboards today, what would you have done different?

“For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”, Alexander Pope, 1711. So many layers to that great quote… Hamboards started as a garage hobby about 10 years ago, but the Hamboards company just turned 5. Since we decided to be a company, my single biggest regret is wasting so much time admiring our own beautiful navels and expecting our popularity to motivate the institutional USA retail sales channels to breath our business to life! Yes, we hit the Shark Tank jackpot and we continue to enjoy an outsized, active and engaged social media platform, but being authentic and popular is only a part of business success. If I could roll back the clock to 2012, we could have saved a lot of blood sweat and tears with an immediate and relentless focus deriving a viable/scalable supply chain, engaging a reliable fulfillment center and building a viable direct to consumer “e-commerce machine”. I wouldn’t have wasted nearly so much time, talents and treasure trying to force small-scale manufacturing and pursuing the institutionalized USA Sports Retail sales channel… But then again, we didn’t know what we didn’t know back then.

In what stores and websites can they be found in and how did you make it happen?

In the USA, our primary direct sales channel is our online marketplace, www.hamboards.com and our own Amazon marketplace. Direct sales require intensive focus on product quality, customer service, inventory management and in order to manage it all… a fully synchronized information Technology is critical here. Pioneering through direct sales ain’t easy, but at least we have an opportunity for direct dialog with our own enthusiasts. Our retail shop in Huntington Beach has been great for sinking local roots, but everything in Southern California is administratively cumbersome and very expensive, so the HamShop is far from a financial success. As for the wholesale route, the USA Sports Retail marketplace has been a train-wreck for ~3 years running and the USA Distribution and Specialty Shop approach have been similarly dubious… From our perspective, there’s only consolidation and more pain ahead.

Outside the USA, our primary sales have been through pioneering… what we call Official Brand Importers, who represent our brand online and sell direct to consumers via web and through their own retail shops. We are starting to find success with a handful of traditional territory distributors as well. Our best markets have been Iberia, UK, Scandinavia, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Australia. Outside the USA, we sell EXW, which is great business if you can get it. We’ll be at ISPO Munich February 4-8, 2017. Come see us at B6.424 in the surf skate longboard embassy.! (https://www.facebook.com/LongboardEmbassy/)

What is the most challenging obstacle you face today and what is your approach to overcoming it?

No revelation in the fact that the top handful board sports equipment distributors command the majority of revenue and profits, so long as their institutions are aligned and disciplined. In that steady-state, start-up’s, like Hamboards, are worthy of investment because strategic partnerships are reasonably common and additive… But when the industry Commanders fail, the pioneers suffer even worse.

The traditional USA Retail sales channel has been in absolute shambles while it restructures and reacts to e-commerce. The little guys get hurt the worst… and here’s how… The small brands are often consigned at these large retailers. Bankrupt retailers are liquidating consigned sporting goods in their shops (e.g., 50%-40% discount) and the Courts are agreeing to Terms of Settlement such that the Retailer pays the manufacturers 60% of the proceeds… So: 50% of retail price * 60% = 30%, which probably is below the innovative manufacturers costs of goods sold. The small branded innovators can’t even claw-back their own consigned inventory to sell themselves. (http://www.kccllc.net/sportsauthority/document/1610527160401000000000029, pages 5 to 8). These innovators are at the end of the line and hardly stand a chance. That math inverts most of the small and innovative equipment manufacturers that relied upon these Retailers. The board sports industry, by its very design, is thriving with innovation, competition and freshness. Leadership has failed the industry when innovation is ignored and pioneers are discouraged.

It’s still problematic. Now,.. the primary board sports manufacturers and distributors have full warehouses, so they’re cramming inventory down through all manner of discounted sales channels. The current cadre of industry leaders seem to be desperately groping between each other for bigger slices of a shrinking pie. I think of it like they stuck big straw inside a blueberry pie and sucked half the insides out and now they’re fighting over the slices. None of this is because of a lack of innovation or consumer demand… but because that’s how the industry has been managed. Distributors are competing against Retailers while Manufacturers are attempting to go direct in effort to end-run the entire mess. Amazing… These circumstances are debilitating the start-ups and sports equipment innovators. Specialty retailers who operate with limited cash flow anyway, are flooded with copy-cat product lines and liquidation promotions… All of this may seem necessary to CFO’s and bankers but, but these tactics are damaging to the entire industry. Over the last two years there have been myriad restructuring (bankruptcies) of sports equipment retailers, and some of the admirable few of the better managed retailers, like Big 5 (https://sgbonline.com/big-5-sees-q4-earnings-reaching-high-end-of-guidance/) have captured value.

Hamboards approach to avoiding the herd mentality has been what I call the “prairie dog approach”… We keep working on authentic innovation and direct sales. We pop-up opportunistically when it’s clear and keep our heads down otherwise. We actually have a working company so Hamboards continues to focus on innovative product and communication with our enthusiasts. We are fortunate to connect with an admittedly small group of enthusiastic customers, but they are worldwide and we benefit by a highly relevant and engaged direct dialog. It’s way more work, and much smaller-scale than we would like, but at least we’re not charging off a financial cliff.

Final Thoughts…

If your readers know of or have a niche surf/skate/board sports product, and a brand that fits with the HAMBOARDS lifestyle… and you would like to explore a fit with us to reach direct to consumer marketplaces, please contact us at media@hamboards.com. We think that an authentic, niche business doesn’t necessarily need to be limited to location, but you must face facts: the USA Retail channel is in shambles and AMAZON has already established the consumer expectation standard for direct to consumer e-sales. So, if you’re going to step-up to running a worldwide, direct to consumer niche marketplace, you better 1) have a scalable and reliable supply solution, 2) have a reliable fulfilment and customer service solution, 3) master synchronized information technology and 4) embrace the fact that the world is truly flat! At Hamboards, purely by necessity, we’ve mastered this approach (in a very small but scalable way) and we’re looking forward to adding more innovative niche brands to our rapidly expanding marketplaces.

For more information: www.hamboards.com

Jan
0

Shaun Masavage and Fret Zeppelin

BY ROBERT BEAR

Pushing the gas pedal on learning guitar. Many want to learn to play, but don’t ever get there due to time constraints, cost of lessons, and struggling to learn proper technique on their own. Fret Zeppelin replaces frustration with fun, giving players a digital training tool right on the neck of their guitar. This is the vision of Shaun Masavage and Fret Zeppelin and I think it’s a great one.

Fret Zeppelin is a state-of-the-art LED addition to your guitar. It fits just above the frets and shows you exactly where to put your fingers to play anything you can imagine! Now you can play songs intuitively, not just one note or chord at a time. Fret Zeppelin helps you play through the entire song on the FIRST try! After you play a note, the app detects the sound and lights up where you put your fingers next.

I play a little guitar myself and could of used the Fret Zepplin when I started. I have poor technique and never became the guitarist I wanted to become. I understand why people want to learn to play and why so many give up. Until your fingers are calloused, they hurt each time you practice and it takes playing to get better. I remember the first time I recorded my playing and thought it sounded good. When I played the recording and learned how horrible it sounded I wanted to quit. It took a long time before I could actually play.

The Fret Zeppelin make sense to me. It helps you get through the hardest part in the beginning so you can learn play immediately and sound better quickly. Whether you have a guitar sitting in the corner of your bedroom collecting dust or picking the guitar for the first time do yourself a favor and pick up the Fret Zepplin. I found the Fret Zeppelin Kickstarter campaign and contacted Shaun Masavage and asked him to answer the following questions:

How was the prototype process?

Intense. You simply cannot release a product until you are 100% positive things will work properly in mass production. In theory, making a prototype is easy, but making something that can be mass produced is a much different story. So many more details need to be perfected. We went through many different stages. If you visit our website (www.fretzeppelin.com) and scroll down to “Research & Development”, you can see images of all the prototype stages! We already have a contract manufacturer set up that we’ve visited in person- another critical step to the process.

How was the patent process?

We patent our brands for defensive purposes. Everything we design is completely from scratch and novel, so we simply don’t want anyone trolling us and claiming nonsense. It took us a while to find a reasonably-priced and honest patent attorney. We were able to reduce a lot of cost by creating most of the drawings, details, and claims ourselves. The attorney essentially just “legalized” the language and processed the submission. We’re a company of engineers, so the process was easier than what it would be for a company that doesn’t have such a technical-heavy background.

How do you plan to market it?

We usually are very heavy on wholesale purchases, but with Fret Zeppelin we’re investing more into advertising for direct-to-consumer sales. Even if it involves a personal interaction with the customer, it’s worth the time because Fret Zeppelin is a higher-priced product.

How did you did decide on a manufacturer?

Recommendations. We’ve had a manufacturing relationship since 2014, but we found them through the recommendations of acquaintances at other companies. You should never choose a manufacturer without getting references. You want someone who will truly work with you to maintain quality.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

Kickstarter! Honestly, crowdfunding was the only reason we were able to start making brands and products. It allows you to validate your market with a production-ready prototype instead of risking a great deal of money on manufacturing before-hand. The crowdfunding community also tells you what they, your customers, want most so you can tailor your products to best meed their needs.

Click here to visit campaign.

For more information please visit www.fretzeppelin.com

Jan
0

LISA CRITES and the SHOWER SHIRT™ Update

BY ROBERT BEAR

Click here To buy the Shower Shirt at www.theshowershirt.com

Click here to buy the Shower Shirt at www.amazon.com

Click here to buy the Shower Shirt at www.curediva.com

Click here to buy the Shower Shirt at www.unbeatablesales.com

Click here to buy the Shower Shirt at www.wholesalepoint.com

Click here to buy the Shower Shirt at www.walmart.com

The SHOWER SHIRT™, a Class 1 Medical Device is a post-surgical, water-resistant, garment designed to prevent post-surgical drain or catheter sites from coming into contact with water while showering. The clinical purpose is to reduce post-surgical infections, more commonly known as Surgical Site Infections. Many surgical procedures involve the placement of surgical drains, tubes, ports and catheters which penetrate the skin. This medical paraphernalia can act as a portal for bacteria to enter the wound site. Tap water contains bacteria. Thus exposure to water significantly increases the risk of post-surgical infections. Patients are routinely instructed by their physicians not to shower until drains are removed, which may span up to three weeks for mastectomy patients, and many months for dialysis and other surgery patients. I contacted Lisa and asked her to answer the following questions:

How did the idea come to you?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and had undergone a bi-lateral mastectomy. My physicians were adamant I not shower until my post-surgical drains (4 – which were sutured into my armpits and hung below my knees) were removed, normally a two-to three week timeframe. I began looking for a water-resistant product to protect myself while showering, nothing existed. Essentially, I showered with a kitchen trash bag and wrapped it around my body for protection. It was a difficult and awkward process, more importantly – it was insulting to have to shower in a trash bag after amputation of the breasts.

What made you act?

I kept thinking, women have been going through mastectomies in this country for nearly 70 years. Why was there not a product to protect a breast cancer patient like me? I began doing research with physicians, as well as other patients who had gone through breast cancer diagnosis and mastectomy surgery. The story was always the same, the breast cancer patient tried plastic wrap and/or trash bags for protection, but their drains got wet anyway.

What ultimately convinced me to ‘act’ on creating this product for breast cancer patients was this: if mastectomy patients could shower with ease, with a product designed to protect them while showering, they would feel better physically, psychologically and emotionally — something gravely needed during the post-surgery healing process. I felt it was my responsibility to create a product to help support future surgery patients.

How was the prototype process?

We went through five prototypes before the final product was manufactured. We had initially tried to create a one size fits most which was absolutely impossible. We finalized two separate products, but four product SKU’s – in two colors. We are looking to bring a Plus size on the market this summer.

How was the patent process?

It took us from 3.5 years to attain our patent. We were rejected twice and re-applied. It ultimately became a $30k dollar investment. The SHOWER SHIRT is now recognized as US Patent #8,516,613 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The product is the only patented shower shirt garment for mastectomy patients on the US market.

How have you marketed it?

We have primarily marketed the product to the medical industry. The American Cancer Society, The National Kidney Foundation, and Essentially Women, a group purchasing organization focused on the breast cancer/mastectomy industry. We have attended several national conferences and purchased vendor tables to market to those niched companies and hospitals that would be looking to add products like ours to their medical device lines. The product is now being used for the following patient populations, as well as breast cancer/mastectomy patients:

• Patients with Catheters (niagra, new tunnel and tesio)
• Savi Catheter patients – for radiation (mammosite procedures)
• Patients having lumpectomies with sentinel-node dissection
• Abdominal Hernia patients with drains
• Patients needing wound vacs, infusion pumps and external catheters
• Patients with central lines
• Lung surgery & cardio-thoracic patients
• Rotator Cuff surgery patients
• Bariatric surgery patients
• External defibrillator patients
• Tummy-tuck patients
• Pacemaker patients (post changing of battery)

– See more at The Shower Shirt Blog

What were some of the obstacles along the way, and how did you overcome them?

From a personal standpoint, I had many health problems while trying to bring the water-resistant garment to market. Within the first year while building prototype, I had 7 surgeries, two hospital-acquired infections and four months of hyperbaric treatments which delayed the entire process. Once we were on the market, our product has been essentially welcomed. We continue to gain rave reviews from ‘retail’ customers. Those customers normally find us online, do their research and purchase direct. Testimonials below:

• “I love this product! When worn as directed, staying dry is easy. I was able to shower, wash my hair and get on with my day. I will recommend this shirt to others. Thanks for your great customer service and kind concern.” J Miller, Breast Cancer Patient

• “The Shower Shirt has been a Godsend for me. Being a dialysis patient with a neck catheter, my husband found it online and it has worked perfectly! My catheter can’t get wet and the Shower Shirt has kept it dry for almost 3 months and counting… I love it!” L Thom, Dialysis Patient

We are now in 70 mastectomy boutiques across the United States, selling in Canada, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Israel and Japan. We are also included in the Walmart.com product line.

The largest hurdle our company still faces today is attaining Medicare coverage for breast cancer patients. Although the government recognizes penile implants as medical necessities and reimbursed for men, somehow The SHOWER SHIRT™ product is viewed still as a mere “convenience” item for mastectomy patients and not reimbursed, despite decreasing the chance of infection and contributing to the wellbeing of breast cancer patients after surgery. Moreover, the government now reimburses shower coverings for end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis, but not for breast cancer patients.

What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

While going through this process, I began reading a book titled “Unstoppable,” by Cynthia Kersey. The book detailed multiple entrepreneurial ventures throughout history. The stories were powerful based on notable organizations such as Domino’s Pizza, Bill Gates and Microsoft, Walt Disney, and of course Sam Walton. However, the most powerful message which stuck in my mind was not about the hardships of these extremely successful companies. The simple message that resonated with me was, “It’s harder to bring an individual product to market that has never existed, versus a product which already exists, but is changed or upgraded slightly and remarketed.”

This message still resonates with me. My product never existed before, therefore, the unknown is more difficult to adapt to consumers. I believe this message is extremely important for inventors. Inventors essentially create products which have never existed before, and why they are termed inventors.

In closing, through-out this process, I have continued to lean on my faith as I was taught all things happen for a reason. When diagnosed with breast cancer, my faith became a form of blind faith as I had to believe all would be OK. I have absolutely come to believe blind faith placed me in a vehicle to create The SHOWER SHIRT™ product, but it was a power much higher than I who actually drove this long complicated process. Even though the Shower Shirt feels like my child, it was not created for me. It was created for friends, family members, and the hundreds of thousands of future breast cancer patients.

I believe it’s important to think about these issues before starting the process of inventing and bringing a product to market. Think about how the new product could ultimately make a difference in the lives of future customers.

If you had the idea for the Shower Shirt today, what would you have done differently?

For the most part, I would have created the product the same way. We have a great, quality product which works and stands the ‘test of time’ for our multiple patient populations. Though in hindsight, there are several ‘action items’ surrounding The SHOWER SHIRT® I would have done differently. Two of those were the website and initial brochure. Knowing what I know now, I would have done a better job researching our initial website designer and printer as we heavily overpaid for both of those much needed marketing initiatives. I guess that’s trial and error by a lot of start-up companies. We were so focused on creating the perfect product, we fell short researching the appropriate vendors for the marketing needs surrounding that perfect product.

In what stores and websites can it be found in and how did you make it happen?

Enclosed is the distribution page on The SHOWER SHIRT website. Most of our distributors contacted us wanting to carry the product. However, we have strong drop-ship contracts with CureDiva, Wholesale Point and Unbeatable Sales, all of which are e-commerce. Our product is still strong on Walmart.com, with AMAZON picking up The SHOWER SHIRT® in 2015. Amazon also contacted us. We’ve been on Walmart.com since 2011.

What is the most challenging obstacle you face today and what is your approach to overcoming it?

Attaining Medicare coverage for The SHOWER SHIRT®. Congressman Bill Posey and Congressman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz filed the ‘Post Mastectomy Infection Reduction Act’ to help attain Medicare coverage for shower coverings for breast cancer patients.

For more information, please visit www.theshowershirt.com
For more insights to Lisa’s story, go to www.theshowershirt.com/blog

Jan
0

Alan Kaufman and Nubrella

BY TEAM NUBRELLA

Nubrella is a hands-free, non-invertible umbrella/weather protector, conveniently worn backpack-style. Open front for perfect vision and non-interfered communication. Plus, extended frontal coverage protecting you and your smart devices. Comfortably worn with shoulder straps and secures with waist strap for complete hands-free capability. When not needed with the simple press of a button canopy secures down users back (like a hood) — eliminating the need to carry anything!

The Company Behind Nubrella
Headquartered in New York, New York Nubrella Inc. is the holder of a new revolutionary “patented” weather protection devise or umbrella. Launched in late 2008 Nubrella has customers in over 53 countries and all 50 states. People around the world are agreeing Nubrella is a far superior weather protector for more severe and extreme weather conditions. Nubrella takes over where the traditional umbrella stops!

The Story

Back in 2002, Alan Kaufman, Nubrella’s Founder and Creator, was living in Manhattan. In mid December on a very windy rainy day while standing in one of his wireless stores, Alan began to take notice of how everyone was struggling with their umbrella. At that moment an image appeared in his mind and he ran over to his desk and drew it.
When later asked; what was the flash of genius?

nubrella-back2-product-shot[1]

Alan responded; “I just realized that the umbrella is not designed for wind and it should be aerodynamic in shape. I also said wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a hands free umbrella?”

“I never planned on inventing a product, I just noticed a problem and came up with a solution.” —Alan Kaufman

Alan then began the long task of making his dream a reality. Over the next several years Alan worked with some of the leading product design and engineering firms in the US. The result is an eye catching aerodynamic canopy with no pole in the middle that simply rests on your shoulders and securely fastens for complete hands free capability.

“Millions of people are required to work outdoors no matter what the conditions are and simply can not hold an umbrella and perform their tasks”. Alan states; “the umbrella was long overdue for some innovation, now people can ride their bikes and work outdoors completely hands free while staying protected.”

Alan’s Bio
Numbrella[1]

Alan is originally from the Boston area. Alan attended Purdue University majoring in Marketing and received a 4 year scholarship for his tennis credentials. After a brief professional tennis career Alan founded Harvard Cellular Communications. HCC was one of Cingular Wireless’ leading authorized dealers throughout the greater Boston metropolitan area. In early 2002 HCC expanded into New York and became Cingular’s largest store operator in Manhattan. When not working Alan can be found on the links as a very avid golfer and lover of the game. Alan also has aspirations of beginning a charitable organization he calls “the real no child left behind” once he gets nubrella off the ground.

For more info visit our website at www.nubrella.com

Jan
0

Steven McDowell and Water Fence

By Steven McDowell

Steven’s Story

Like many of the great ideas of our time, the Water Fence was the brainchild of a young man with a vision.

Here’s what the creator, Steven McDowell, had to say about his journey to create the Water Fence.

Rain water harvesting is not new; it has been done for thousands of years. What is new is my concept for storing it. The Water Fence System.

Fresh clean water is California’s most precious resource and it seems that we never have enough to go around. As we all know we are now living in one of the most severe droughts in California’s recorded history. With climate change affecting our rain patterns we must now plan for the possibility of living with far less annual rainfall, so saving every drop could be essential.

Every year my school has a science fair competition in which every student picks a subject and creates an experiment and or project and researches it. Some work in teams, I chose to work alone.

This last year was my first year involved in the science fair and I decided to use California’s drought as my subject and how to help solve it as my project, using roof runoff as my source for the water.

I wanted to concentrate on each person doing their share and preserving and storing as much water as possible.

Working alongside my father, I visited Friedman brothers, Home Depot and Lowes Home improvement stores to see what they had available for water storage, and the options were all extremely limited (your only choice being a 50 gallon barrel, which not enough storage to effectively curb water usage).

I went home and did research for additional water storage options and I did find large water tanks for storage, but all of the tanks with applicable storage capacity were huge with many being up to 18 feet tall and over 12 feet around.

These were too big, hard to move around, impossible to fill and really ugly to look at, so all in all they were not very practical.

I knew then that I would have to come up with a completely different solution. I walked around my neighborhood looking for ideas and what every house had in common so that everyone could participate in storing their water effectively, then it hit me, everyone had a fence around their yard and for the most part they all were made of the same thing…wood. I had an idea; what if the fence around my yard could be used to collect runoff rainwater!

I searched the internet for a product like this and found nothing like it at all.

I wanted to know how much water I could store in a fence the size of one around my residence, which is 80 feet by 70 feet by 80 feet. By making my fence pieces the same size as my fence, six feet high by seven feet long and only slightly wider, 12 inches, each fence section held approximately 320 gallons.

By using the standard math formula, 2000 square feet of roof (surface area) times 1 inch of rain, times the conversion factor, it equaled around twelve hundred gallons of water runoff. Also anytime it rains my fence added water to each storage unit.

I realized that I could hold almost 13 thousand gallons of fresh pure rain water.

I started designing my project to look like a fence and decided on clear plastic so I could show how water seeks its own level and would fill each fence section at the same rate. I connected each piece together and drilled holes near the bottom to allow water to flow between them.

I completed an original design for the Water Fence and tested it; I knew it worked and entered it into my High Schools Science fair competition – I won first place!

My engineering teacher stated it was the best original idea he had seen in 14 years of science fairs and my science professor told me to patent the idea right away, which I did. Three of the judges approached me as well and asked me to install it in their homes immediately. I knew I must be on to something.

I entered my project in the Sonoma County Science Fair – I won first place!

I then entered it in the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair – I won first place!

Also at SF Science Fair a small group of projects were invited to a prestigious science fair called The Amgen Bay Area BioGENEius Challenge. At San Francisco Science Fair I won the U.S Stockholm Junior Water Prize Regional Award and the American Meteorological Society’s “Certificate of Outstanding Achievement”.

All of these science fairs were judged by accredited scientist, not parents of entrants, and after much acclaim I realized that this product needed to become a distributable reality, fast.

The journey to design, prototype and build the Water Fence has been quite a love of labor, but I am finally proud to announce that the incredible Water Fence system will soon be available for purchase. I’d like to thank everyone involved along the way, and continue to stress the importance of creating sustainable options for water conservation. In time I hope the Water Fence will become the industry standard, leading to reduced emissions and fresh water abundance wherever your home is.

How it works

Genuinely efficient. Incredibly effective.

The Water Fence is a truly inspiring housing product designed to allow you to save money and protect our nation’s valuable water supply through effective conservation.

As the general population continues to grow we consume more and more of our fresh water supply, and currently, California’s fresh water resources are strained beyond their capabilities. The Water Fence aims to fix this.

Innovative, new fresh water storage system that utilizes roof rain runoff into an interconnected fence system that can store thousands of gallons of water giving you the possibility of water sustainability, even in severe drought situations. We can’t do anything about when it will rain but we do know it will rain again, and it is up to each individual to do their share in preparing and saving every drop. Every time it rains you add water to your system.

The patented Water Fence System works very simply, as the water runs off the roof and drains into the fence, it continues to fill any number of fence sections you may have.

To calculate your water savings, take the square feet of your roof x each inch of rain x the conversion factor of .632 to get how many gallons of runoff you get for every inch of rain. In example, a 2,000 square foot roof x 1 inch of rain x .632 = 1,264 gallons of fresh water.

This fence takes the place of your existing wood fence and should last almost forever. It is 100% recyclable, made of (HDPE) Polyethylene. No more trees ever again have to be cut down for the building of fences, allowing them to do what they do best, absorbing Co2 out of our atmosphere combating Global Warming.

Water naturally seeks its own level and fills each section evenly, and each section holds 320 gallons and when connected together, the fence can hold thousands of gallons of fresh pure rainwater.

To distribute the water, just connect a hose to your fence via the already installed spigots. The fence has been professionally engineered to easily withstand the weight of water in it and also has been engineered to withstand most seismic events.

WaterFence is also a terrific fire barrier! The HDPE fencing will not burn forming a fire resistant wall around your home. With the addition of a small water pump (with a battery backup) and a water delivery system to your roof, you have a fire suppression system that gives your home a recirculating water supply which is a way of giving your home a fighting chance against floating embers that land on your roof, even when water and power have been shut off.

The design on the fence can be individualized into any design/color that you would like and be made to look like a Rockwall, or a Stone wall just about any design you prefer.

Home builders or developers can simply send a rendering of a desired fence look of their development and it can be reproduced exactly to what they want.

For more information, please visit www.waterfence.com

Dec
0

Spencer Trotter and the Anywhere Fridge Part 2

BY ROBERT BEAR

It’s time to update this story. I Love the Anywhere Fridge and contacted Spencer Trotter to ask some additional questions:

How do you plan to stay ahead of your competition?

I believe that the Anywhere Fridge is more than just another product but rather a necessity for a better lifestyle; While there are small portable refrigerators on the market currently, they are not very portable and cannot be taken anywhere as they are bound to a wall outlet for power. With the Anywhere Fridge you can charge and power it anywhere. As the inventor I wanted to go above and beyond with what we decided to implement in the AF, The AF offers built-in slide out solar panels with a smart ion polymer battery that last up to 12-hours for all night use along with UV lights to kill 99.9% of germs with AC/DC/USB charging outlets for your phone or laptop and collapses for true portability which other small portable refrigerators do not offer any of these Luxuries. The Anywhere Fridge can even be charged via AC or DC outlets.

How did you decide on a manufacturer?

Finding a manufacture turned out to be quite a cumbersome endeavor; The very first mechanical engineering firm that I ended up choosing to help design and fabricate my production Prototype turned out to be a disaster! After waiting six months when I was promised a two-months turnaround time frame from them and paying a pretty hefty down payment for them to send me my initial CAD designs for the Anywhere Fridge Prototype; they ended up sending me CAD drawings that were nothing near what I envisioned for my invention to look like or function as. I was very frustrated to say the least. After wasting precious time and money with them, I then began to research multiple engineering firms across the country and finally found one that can do the job after ensuring they understood the complexity of my project. After working very closely with my new mechanical and electrical engineers for a little over a year, we were finally able to test and produce a working prototype. It was fairly hard getting an engineer to understand the Anywhere Fridge as it had never been done before.

How will you market the Anywhere Fridge?

We plan on marketing the Anywhere Fridge via social media outlets such as Kickstarter Facebook Twitter YouTube, Amazon/Alibaba and our website and eventually getting into major retail stores.

We had written about you being on Shark Tank…(why you decided not to go on it?)

Shark Tank had contacted us a little over two years ago; I was ready to go on the show!! At that time I had asked some of my family members to help me with my project/invention, when Shark Tank contacted us I did not know about it until after one of my family members decided a month later to tell me that they had called and offered me a chance to be on the show and had made a decision on my behalf and told Shark Tank that I wasn’t ready to go on the show, which I didn’t know about. When I tried to contact them back it was to late as they had already started filming with other projects/selections for the show.

This is a prime example of how business and family sometimes unfortunately just do not mix very well. As the individual in my family felt I wasn’t quite ready because of my current sells of the Anywhere Fridge etc. but that simply wasn’t true according to Shark Tank producers.

At this point I’m just hoping they contact me again because I am more than ready even more so than before.

What have you been working on since we first posted your story?

Since then I have been working tirelessly and very closely with my new electrical/design/mechanical engineering team as well as overseas sourcing and tooling manufactures for mass production of the Anywhere Fridge and are now ready to bring it into mass production and on the market as I was hoping to do two years ago but did not anticipate the complications and up hill battles that I would encounter as an entrepreneur.

Specifications

The Anywhere Fridge comes with a fully miniature hermetic compressor with integrated control electronic voltage protection and adjustable for consumer or starter battery by means of slide switch Electronic fuse/automatic reverses pole protection.

· Full-Range Thermostat: The full range digital thermostat that is adjustable from -4° to 50° F

· Fast Freeze Function: This fridge/freezer’s compartment freezes down to -4° Fahrenheit in a matter of minutes

· Dual Purpose: This portable refrigerator freezer allows you to chill or freeze or keep your goods warm while traveling.

· AC and DC Adapter Included and solar powered: The Anywhere Fridge may be powered via AC or DC power and or by the solar cells that charges the ion-lithium smart battery and comes with cables for both applications.

. Built-in UV light that automatically illuminate at night and destroy 99.9% of germs so it’s always sanitized.

· Insulated reinforced PVC walls: Insulated PVC walls keep your goods cold long after electrical power is gone

. The Anywhere Fridge resistance factor for the installation in the walls is as follows: 7- ( R ) better than the standard witch is ( 6 )- R

. The compressor unit automatically shuts off when collapsed while still being able to plug your phone or laptop into the Anywhere Fridge to charge

· Solar power portable collapsible freezer-refrigerator

· 85 quarts storage capacity

· Easy-to-read digital LED temperature control panel

· AC and DC power adapters included for household or vehicle use

· Compressor-based cooling for fast freezing function

· Insulated lid with integrated solar / slide out panals

· Retractable handle with wheels for easy transport

· Rounded edges for added safety

· Durable, rugged sleek design

· Built-in slide out solar cells that charges the ion-lithium smart battery for night usage

. High-efficiency solar panels provide 135-watts to run and charge the 104-watt refrigeration unit all day and charge it for night usage

. Built-in smart battery that last all night for up to 12hr

· Fast freeze function rapidly cools unit to -4° F

· Temperature range: -4° F to 50° F

· AC power lead with 8′ detachable power cord included

· DC power lead with 8′ detachable power cord included

. 2 Built-in USB and 1-AC charging ports with a input for car or house usege

· Input voltage:220V AC / 12/24 V DC / 60Hz

· Power: 60 W / 1 A

· Weight: from 38 lbs

For more information please visit www.anywherefridge.com

Dec
0

Spencer Trotter and the Anywhere Fridge

By Robert Bear

We posted the following story on InventionStories.com on July 4th, 2014.

The Anywhere Fridge ushers in a revolution of quality, portable, and sustainable refrigeration. It is solar powered to charge the built-in battery during the day to last all night, while remaining fully functional during the day. The device is able to sustain functionality on one complete charge for a full night. It can be used indoors and outdoors it has a standard plugin and can act as a household and work place refrigerator. I spoke with inventor and founder of the Anywhere Fridge, Spencer Trotter and asked him the following questions:

What gave you the idea?

I come from a big family that didn’t have much money and wanted to help out with bills. When I was thirteen I was too young to get a regular job so I sold candy door to door. On the warm days the chocolate would melt from the heat. So I purchased an ice chest and filled it with ice but as it melted it became messy. Each time I opened the lid, it would lose its cooling effect and that is what gave me the idea. The idea is that if it had some kind of solar powered refrigeration it wouldn’t need to be plugged in and would be self-sufficient. The collapsible part I thought of because after I sold all my candy for the day, I wouldn’t have to bicycle back to my house with this big, bulky item. Making it collapsible would make it more portable and ultimately more user-friendly. I really saw the need for it, especially in developing countries, rural areas, anywhere where there is no electrical power.

What made you act?

At 18 and feeling unsatisfied working in a corporate job, I started thinking of other options. I decided to make the transition to being an entrepreneur and an inventor. Once the Anywhere Fridge was a viable idea, I started the patent process because I was told the first thing I needed to obtain was proprietary protection.

How was the patent process?

I began the patent process by going to the patent library because at the time I didn’t have the funds to acquire a patent. I did a lot of research on how to fill out the patent application myself, which turned out to be quite cumbersome to say the least. I ultimately decided to pay to get the patent process completed. Overall it took quite some time, but through trial and error we got it done. We are patent pending on my utility patent. I thought it would take awhile and it has. The patent process hasn’t cost as much as I thought, although I have spent a considerable sum to have the prototype made and to get it initialized.

How was the prototype process?

I fabricated and put together two prototypes by myself. One was a demo prototype and the other actually worked. It took quite some time to buy and put the mechanical parts together. Then I hired a team to get it professionally prototyped for me in order to get the food and drug administration certification and the underwriters laboratories (UL) listed certifications cleared. This project has taught me so much about being an inventor and entrepreneur. I’ve spent a lot of blood, sweat, and tears working on prototypes, especially making it myself from my own drawings. There were a lot of things I couldn’t foresee, lots to adjust to in order to make it actually work.

What were some of the obstacles along the way and how did you overcome them?

There were a lot of obstacles. I heard the word “No” a lot by many corporations when I tried to get a licensing agreement and by various manufacturers when I asked for help making a prototype. I was rejected by the production assistants that screen for the Shark Tank a year ago after standing in line for two days with thousands of other hopeful inventors. This was tough to overcome because I felt at the time like it was my last and best opportunity at it. I wanted to quit at that point, but something told me to give it one more year. So here I am a year later with funding raised through an indiegogo.com effort. Now I have my prototype and Sony Video has called to recruit me to go on Shark Tank next year.



What advice would you give to those interested in inventing?

Never give up despite the number of times you hear the word NO. Ignore the negatives, the cynics out there saying it can’t be done. A lot of people told Nikola Tesla that AC power wouldn’t work. If he listened to his critics, we wouldn’t have computers, cell phones, or many other things we have today.

For more information, please visit our website at www.anywherefridge.com

Coming Soon: Spencer Trotter and the Anywhere Fridge Update