The San Diego Inventor's Forum held its 9th annual invention contest on Saturday, August 15th at Coleman College's Kearny Mesa campus to see which product would come out on top as the best technology or consumer product invention of 2015. San Diego is no stranger to innovation. In 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ranked San Diego as the second most innovative city in the world and the most innovative in America. This contest kept the innovation momentum rolling.
Adrian Pelkus, President of the San Diego Inventors Forum, said "Over two dozen patented or pending inventors entered the contest this year. Further proof how inventive San Diego is! All the inventors that exhibited were super creative and ready for market. Thanks to all that entered and congratulations to the winners. I wish all of you the best on your ventures, and we look forward to seeing your product on the store shelves soon!" Ten finalists were selected to compete for best consumer product and five finalists were selected for the technology category.
[Reposted from the blog of Michele Nash-Hoff | Michele Nash-Hoff | August 26, 2015]
The event was lively this year after the second inventor, Shane Cox, demonstrated that questions posed to the inventors by members of the 150-person audience could be broadcast over the PA system as the QBall was tossed from person to person. Cash prizes were awarded to the first and second place winners in each category. There was a tie for second place in the consumer product category. The winners were:
- Consumer Product: REMEDI™ - a new antibiotic that Dissolves Airborne Diseases
Technology: Blue Marble, Inc. - Individually app-controlled solar sprinkler heads, drip valves, and sensors (don't need batteries)
QBall: a throw-able ball containing a wireless microphone designed to encourage audience participation by voice amplification
IR SkullCap - a high performance, smart-foam insert for hats or beanies to reduce impact to the head
Technology: Intruder IDTM Camera System - a solar-powered, easily-installed, self-contained wireless system including a motion sensor, noise maker, and camera to deter and catch intruders bent on burglary, property damage, or graffiti "tagging."
The Solamatic® Solar Technology in Window Treatments came in as a close third in the Technology category. The Solamatic ® automatically opens and closes blinds with sensors that detect daylight and weather. Inventor Marin Caspa, President and CEO of VSI Technologies Inc., demonstrated how the technology works by darkening the auditorium while simulating the rising sun with a spotlight. As the "sun" rose and set, the device opened and closed window blinds in sync with the cycles of day and night. For further information, contact Martin Caspar at email@example.com.
David Horrigan of Horrigan Labs is celebrating his fourth win at San Diego Inventors Forum annual contest for his REMEDI™. Mr. Horrigan discovered this formula when he was developing biocides for nail fungus as part of his CoolToes™ treatment for onychomycosis. Another formula made the cut for that treatment, but this product was very effective for other things. "The patent pending formula is made from two natural oils extracted from food. The vapors from this formula dissolve the wall of fungus, mold, bacteria and viruses. Because it is the vapors that do the work, the antibiotic can attack pathogens in places where other antibiotics can't go like the sinus cavities and lungs. A client was looking for a fungicide suitable for removing mold on fruit," stated Mr. Horrigan. "I tried it on strawberries and grapes, and it proved effective at controlling those molds. I then tried it on numerous other pathogens, and surprise, it controls the microbes that cause eight of the 12 diseases on the president's list of Fast Track diseases, or diseases that are out of control or cause great financial hardship to the country ─ diseases like howlie rot, ringworm, tuberculosis, influenza, and antibiotic resistant or flesh-eating diseases."
REMEDI™ will be going to market as a consumer home fungicide available through direct response and through dealers. Horrigan Labs is seeking licensors for distribution for the consumer medical applications under the name Neomycosin™. These products will be manufactured in the USA. For further information, contact Horrigan Labs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The big winner for 2015's technology invention was Blue Marble, Inc., with its intelligent irrigation system. Founder of Blue Marble, Paul F. Sabadin, showed off the system of app and weather-connected individual sprinkler heads, drip valves, and soil sensors. California's drought accentuates the value of this impressive technology, which works directly with existing irrigation systems to enable precise control, turning on only individual heads and valves that indicate a need while leaving other heads and valves off, conserving water, saving money, and lessening irrigation's environmental impact. The devices are solar-powered and were touted as being 100% battery-free and therefore expected to last for decades on agricultural farms or in residential gardens. "We envision a day where Blue Marble will deliver the perfect drink to every plant on every farm, every apple in every orchard, and every blade of grass on every lawn," said Sabadin. The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the technology at Kickstarter.com.
Mr. Sabadin had referred to his product as an "Internet of Things" startup and when I asked why, he said, the "Internet of Things" is perceived by many to be the next social/industrial movement with respect to the integration of the Internet into the fabric of global society. As differentiated from the social Internet, or "Internet of People" where peoples' data, communications, affairs, and accounts have been subsumed into the global Internet, the "Internet of Things" does the same for physical devices, essentially making devices first class citizens of this global network, having implicit identity, voice, and interacting with other physical "things," in addition to being controlled by and exchanging data with the Internet of people. For me, being an "Internet of Things" developer means that my systems and devices leverage connections to the Internet to optimize benefit for the end users of our products ... to use the internet to manage the physical world to optimal benefit. For example, I use both wireless and wired connections to retrieve Internet weather to optimize irrigation and water savings while, at the same time, I enable system users (people, of course) to monitor and control their systems over the Internet. It is an extremely exciting field and capability that I have imagined and wanted to work in all my life. Technologies, society, and economies have reached a nexus where implementations of this interconnected world are being quickly realized. Blue Marble is smack-dab in the middle of this movement."
He stated, "Winning the SDIF contest is a great honor. For tech startups it is a great challenge to garner visibility in a crowded world and this honor both validates and adds welcome momentum to our work. While I sat in the audience watching the other contestants demonstrating their creations, I thought, "Wow, that device is clever. I could use one of those." When I was announced as the winner, I was both surprised and flattered. And then I thought, "Wow, this audience and the other creative inventors were thinking the same thing, 'Wow! Blue Marble! I could really use one of those!' For a product developer and inventor there really is no better feeling!"
Second place winner in the consumer product category, Shane Cox, founder of PEEQ and inventor of the Qball, said "We were so excited to participate in this competition. We are even more excited that we won second place in the consumer product category!" The Qball, is a throw-able wireless microphone designed to encourage audience participation. Originally designed for the classroom as a fun way to get students to engage and interact, we quickly realized the need for this type of system in everything from Q&A at events, to Skype calls in the boardroom, and even Karaoke. At only $150 everyone can be a part of it. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign. You know you want one!" For further information, contact Mr. Cox at email@example.com
The other second place winner George Flint, founder of Impact Reduction Technologies and inventor of the IR SkullCap, said "We developed the technology to reduce impact for people across all walks of life. Using high performance, smart foam technology, we are developing products that help reduce impact to the head and body when added to apparel. The first retail ready product is the IR SkullCap, which can be inserted in any type of hat or beanie. Initial testing has shown that it reduces impact to the head by 60%. "For further information, contact Mr. Flint at firstname.lastname@example.org
Second place winner in the technology category, John Baranek, inventor of the Intruder Id, said "Winning second place was a big boast to our team efforts to develop an easy to install, affordable intruder system using the latest advances in solar power and wireless technology. We've done proof of concept, but now need to make a working prototype system to do a beta test in conjunction with a local law enforcement agency. In these days of budget cuts for law enforcement, it will be a great aid for law enforcement to have a picture of the intruder to make it easier to catch repeat offenders. We want to make the system so easy to install and affordable that a "grandmother" can do it herself." For further information, contact John Baranek at email@example.com.
Other consumer product contestants were:
Rodolpho Brasolin for his collapsible, portable rack for all types of boards, such as surfboards, snow boards, kite boards. It is easily attached or removed from a wall when changing residences. A standing rack not requiring attachment to a wall is in development for athletes who travel.
Joe Buttici for his Pand-A-Choo stuffed doll with a movable right arm and sound to train children to cough or sneeze into their elbow.
Michael Kadie for his Pocket Rocket - a dual USB port that can charge two devices at the same time, featuring a car adapter, Lithium battery, and LED flashlight.
Dean McBain for his wall outlet and light switch gaskets to help prevent the following: Bed bug infestation, Toddler electrocution & choking, saves on heating and cooling costs, makes the wall outlets vanish, helps prevents home and office fires, prevent exposure of toxic gas, cigarette smoke exposure and toxic mold exposure through the wall outlet.
Houman Nikmanesh for his Bixpy Aqua Booster - a portable water jet with modular capabilities to act as a hand-held diver propulsion device, a paddleboard or kayak motor, and even a water pump with available attachment.
Anna Vasquez for her patented spotlight built into the front of a portable iron.
The other technology category contestants were:
Michael Kadie for his Simple Solutions Inclusive Lithium-ion master battery management system with a wide variety of potential applications for the safety and longevity of battery packs.
Dean McBain for his patented Alive Biometric Authentication Identification Security System Solutions, which combines one or more biometric signature sensing identification sensor(s) to authenticate the operator, coupled with physiological sensing sensors to verify the individual is "Alive". The system then analyzes their physiological condition. If the individual's condition is within their set parameters, then operation/access is granted through the device or system to the individual.
This was the sixth invention contest that I have attended, and the products and technology presented by the contestants were the most technically developed and market-ready of any previous contest. The availability of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding mechanisms is providing the opportunity for inventors to get their products into the marketplace faster than ever. It was exciting to see the progress of so many of our San Diego Inventors Forum members. Our meetings are held at the conference facilities of AMN Healthcare in the Carmel Valley area of San Diego the second Thursday of every month at 6:30 PM. Our meetings cover topics such as harnessing creativity, patents, trademarks & copyrights, licensing, how to select the right processes and sources for manufacturing (which I give), video and internet marketing for inventors, finding funding, and planning and giving presentations. Meeting presentations are recorded and can be viewed on YouTube.