Robert McMath
Author and Columnist for Brand Marketing and Demographics Magazines
Ithaca, NY



To: Stephen Paul Gnass

Nowhere is it possible to better demonstrate man's ingenuity than at one of the Invention Conventions held annually in Pasadena over the past decade. This year's Spring venue was the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA - staged for the first time as the first of two shows in 1998. The three deck exibit hall amid-ships on the permanently beached historic ship were reasonably well packed with some excellent, some good and some quirky new inventions. Inventors flew from Australia and New Zealand to bring their newest ideas to the attention of convention goers.

Professional invention shoppers seeking potential ideas and products for informercials were very evident throughout the three day show. TV, radio and newspaper reporters, correspondents and camera men also kept roaming the halls, bringing more evening, night and morning news publicity the first two days of the show than is usual for even the biggest housewares, food trade and healthy products shows held annually in larger U.S. markets.

Envious would-be inventors were in attendence, together with sightseers from all over California and neighboring states. And most of the inventors had a blast, showing off their ideas, prototypes and commercially viable and available products. All seemed to enjoy he amenities the ship offers, and what the show's management under Stephen Gnass had scheduled for seminars during the day, and partying each of the three evenings in social get-togethers.

A father and son team, Jeff and Matt Hayes showcased a potential blockbuster they call the Cuff Link. A simple inexpensive, disposable golf accessory, it allows the golfer to preserve his trousers. It fastens to the cuff or pants, allowing the golfer to wipe the club faces on it rather than on the cuff material. The pants no longer are exposed to grass and dirt stains. The adhesive back felt material is easily affixed and removed. In addition to its utility value to the golfer, it offers a potential goldmine as a new advertising/sponsorship "billboard" for highly televised golf matches.

Another disposable product was Bernard & Ladson's Stick-On Bib. This sticks on rather than ties on. Made from non-toxic disposable material, it won't let water or liquids penetrate and it can be thrown away without harm to the environment.

Inventor Gregg Brazzel introduced a simple improvement to the normal beach towel. Instead of moving the towel as the sun moves during the day, Brazzel's Artfulson Beach Towel is one huge round towel. You just move around the towel facing the sun as it moves. The towel lends itself to really elaborate art designs.

George Margolin from Rent-An-Inventor showed a small syringe contained in a safe container. It carries a one time dose and the needle extends at the time of use and then retracts for safe disposal. It remains sealed and sterile until the time of use. The flat surface of the case allows printing of information and braille-like finger touch markings. It is absolutely safe to carry in pocket or purse.

Water Tag(tm) is a game using water guns and vests which collect water. This is specially designed for fairs and carnivals, but is perfect for the back yard. A low maze held up by a constant air flow acts as a "fort" with walls to hide behind and let you sneak up on your opponents. The game is played like lazer tag and water from your opponents shots is collected in pockets on the vest. The one with the lowest amount of water in the compartments, wins. Invented and shown by Greg Sanders, it comes complete with the fan to keep the maze inflated, guns, vests, goggles to protect the eyes, the air-formed maze, and a refillable water barrel to use to hold the water.

The Polymatic 3000 Process from inventor Ardie Forbes injects partially hydrated polymers, fertilizers, or other chemicals into existing lawn, under trees, etc., under 3000 pounds of pressure. The application process also aerates the plant life without pulling plugs and without damasing the turf. Polymers are little crystals whcih absorb and retain four hundred times their weight in water. When placed at the root level, they release up to 95% of the water as required. An additional feature is a 30 to 70 percent reduction in the amount of water previously used.

In the cosmetic category, Chris Wilson introduced Lip Ink. This is a new lip color to replace lipstick. It is virtually impossible to smear. It's staying power is 50% greater than any lipstick, lasting through even a greasy meal. The inventor indicates it is formulated from 93% renewable, natural herbs and botanical sources.

Attracting a great deal of attention was the Jetbiker(tm) from Aquajet. A new design for a personal watercraft, it acts more like a motorcycle on the water than a standard jet boat. Themed"The world's only motorcycle for the water", it has a proprietary dual steering system which allows the boat to be steered even with the engine off. It has a low center of gravity for exceptional stability and will run somewhat over $6,000 when released this summer through a network of dealers around the U.S.

A little more esoteric is the Advanced Flying Automobile, shown by Gunnan Clausen. It is a user friendly flying car, to be used by commuters from local airports. Propeller, wings, and the assembly retract at the push of a button and are stored in the vehicle within 30 seconds. Normal 4 person sedan then can drive on the road. The aircraft is capable of reaching 170 mph in the air. Indications are that NASA has been investing in this project, which is near fruition according to the inventor. Retail is predicted to be around $120,000.

And one giant of a man, Joseph Resnick showed several of his inventions, including the Paparazzi Stopper. This responds to a camera flash with its own flash, blanking out the picture the photographer is trying to take. The Stopper can be fastened to a cap viser, or is, itself, a pin on the lapel of your jacket. And the Thug Zapper was also demonstrated. This dispenses 160,000-volts to any carjacker who grabs your door handle. That should stop any would be car thief before he can even get into the car.
Robert McMath


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