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Chew on this: Davison-designed Deals Featured on Coupaw.com!

Product News

Obviously, we are still reeling with excitement from last month’s SuperZoo trade show in Las Vegas. With all of the potential for Davison-designed products in 2015, it is hard not to be pumped up!

But, why wait until next year to get excited about seeing some Davison-designed pet products on the market?

Recently, it was brought to our attention that Coupaw.com had a deal on Sticks Throwing Dog Treats, a tasty product that we designed for Hugs Pet Products!

According to their website, Coupaw is a pet-friendly, member website that offers its users limited-time deals on pet supplies in order to “tell other people about some of the best pet services and retailers [they] could find, and to arrange some great savings for all of us!”

When a user subscribes to Coupaw, deals on dog and cat products are emailed to them. For a limited time, they are able to take advantage of those deals and share them with friends and family to get credit toward future deals.

Although the Sticks deal has now expired, it had featured both the Smokey Bacon and Peanut Butter flavors of the throwing dog treats for as low as $6.95, almost half of their $11.98 suggested retail price.

What’s even better than seeing one product that we designed at Davison for sale?

While pawing around for Sticks on Coupaw.com, we spotted ANOTHER Davison-designed pet product featured on the website!

The Whack-a-Mouse Interactive Cat Toy had been offered as a deal on Coupaw, too! The Whack-a-Mouse, cousin of the whack-a-mole, is a game that will keep any cat chasing after a toy mouse for hours.

If you’ve got a pet (or even if you don’t), sign up for Coupaw.com alerts today and see some awesome Davison-designed pet products at super-great deals!

Copyright Davison 2014

Thank You for Over 9,000 Facebook ‘Likes’

Davison News

Thank you for helping us get over 9,000 ‘Likes’ on Facebook! Next stop is 10,000! If you haven’t hit the ‘Like’ button on our Facebook page yet, click here for a “Better Way” to get news about Davison and the invention world!

Copyright Davison 2014

Prototypes: Modeling your Creativity

Prototyping

Have you ever had an idea that you wanted to bring to fruition? Although there are many steps in the inventing process, there is one step in particular that brings your idea from just an idea to an actual product sample. That step is a building a prototype.

In case you are unclear of what a prototype actually is, we will make it clear for you! A prototype is a design tool that is much like a model that is used to help create a new product.

There are many varieties of prototypes; some are reminiscent of rough drafts while others are more like the final version of the product. Prototypes are usually used for testing before a manufacturing run is ordered.

It all begins with your idea; from there, you’ll most likely sketch your product on a piece of paper, so that you have a rough sketch of your idea. This sketch is one form of a prototype. But, maybe you want to take this sketch one step further by adding more detail and tweaking your original design.

Prototypes also are crucial for companies and many of them run through several different prototypes when developing a new product. As they continue to create prototypes, they begin to understand how people will use their product and how it can be improved.

The development of a prototype begins with the development of the concept of a product. Many creative minds work together on the design features and usually will produce several cardboard and paper models in order to illustrate and conceptualize how the product will look and feel. Once the development team agrees on a design, they are able to create a single working prototype, which is evaluated to determine how effective it is.

If you are thinking about turning your idea into an actual product, you will have to consider many different steps that factor into the invention process, especially creating prototypes and evaluating their importance.

Prototypes are a crucial part of your product development and that is why, at Davison, we do everything from product-related-data-and-patent research to designing, developing, and building working prototypes and product samples.

In essence, a prototype allows an inventor to see their idea come to life from a sketch on a piece of paper to a real-life working product. This design tool allows inventors to conceptualize their product.

Copyright Davison 2013

Sources:

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/construction/planning/what-is-a-prototype.htm

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-prototype.htm

Images:

http://www.123rf.com/clipart-vector/prototype.html

 

 

In Case you Missed It: The Cool Bake was on QVC!

Davison News, Product News, Uncategorized

 

Add another “W” to the win column for the Davison-design team! On Sunday, September 29, our Davison-designed ‘Cool Bake’ was featured on QVC’s “In the Kitchen with David”!

The Mrs. Fields Bakeware Innovation did not disappoint while on the show. Let it be known that the ‘Cool Bake’ isn’t just limited to cooling cookies. QVC host David Venable demonstrated just how useful the ‘Cool Bake’ really is!

During the segment, David showed viewers the versatility of our Davison-designed product! He showed delicious cookies, nachos, pizza, croissants, pigs in a blanket, French fries, cinnamon rolls, chicken tenders and other mouth-watering treats can be made with the ‘Cook Bake’.

Venable even went on to say that “not a one of these are going to stick and break your heart..” and we couldn’t agree more!

If that wasn’t enough, long-time QVC kitchen product specialist, Marie Louise Ludwig, joined in on the conversation and had nothing but great things to say about the Davison-designed product, too.

“It’s the best out there right now..” says Ludwig, as she pointed out the Cool Bake’s 600 tiny holes and the “little feet” that allow it to easily become a cooling rack.

If you missed the Cool Bake’s appearance on QVC last Sunday, click on the video tab here to see it now!

Copyright Davison 2013

Sources:

http://www.qvc.com/Mrs.-Fields-Cool-Bake-All-in-One-Baking-Sheet-Search-Results.product.K39695.html?sc=K39695-SRCH&cm_sp=VIEWPOSITION-_-1-_-K39695&catentryImage=http://images-p.qvc.com/is/image/k/95/k39695.001?$uslarge$


 

Invention Spotlight: The Pen & Pencil

Innovative Inventions, Inventions

Writing and drawing tools are considered some of mankind’s greatest inventions. They have allowed the recording and conveying of thoughts, feelings, ideas – and grocery lists – for thousands of years. They are the very reason we know the history of us. Pencils and pens have given everyone in this world quick, easy and affordable access to put on paper what lives in their minds.

Writers, artists and draftsmen are just some of the creative types whose lives and careers have been transformed by these ingenious tools. Celebrated novelist John Steinbeck used 300 pencils to write East of Eden. Trail-blazing animator and entrepreneur Walt Disney first sketched Mickey Mouse’s ears with a pencil and the rest is history.

The origins of the pencil and pen are actually just as fascinating as the words and pictures they have recorded throughout time. The earliest means of writing with pen and paper as we know it was developed by the Greeks, and perfected by the Romans.

The writing instrument that dominated for the longest period in history – over 1,000 years — was the quill pen. Introduced in Europe around 700 A.D. and made from a bird feather, quill pens lasted for only a week before it was necessary to replace them. Lewis Waterman of New York patented the first practical fountain pen in 1884 and in 1931, Hungarian Laszlo Biro invented the ballpoint pen — the writing implement of choice for most people today because of their neatness and reliability.

(A sketch of Saturn by Galileo)

The idea for the pencil came much later in human history and quite by accident. Some time prior to about 1560, graphite was discovered near Borrowdale, England, supposedly when a large tree was uprooted in a storm, exposing a black substance beneath its roots.

Because graphite is soft, it requires some form of encasement.  Graphite sticks were initially wrapped in string or sheepskin for stability. Shortly after, a superior technique was discovered: two wooden halves were carved, a graphite stick inserted, and the halves then glued together—essentially the same method in use to this day.

Because graphite is soft, it requires some form of encasement.  Graphite sticks were initially wrapped in string or sheepskin for stability. Shortly after, a superior technique was discovered: two wooden halves were carved, a graphite stick inserted, and the halves then glued together—essentially the same method in use to this day.

Although the pencil was first officially documented in 1565 by Conrad Gesner, and its invention is sometimes attributed to him, it wasn’t until the late 1700s that manufacturing techniques similar to those practiced today were developed.

The method of making pencils was painstakingly slow, so Joseph Dixon, an inventor and entrepreneur, developed a means to mass-produce pencils. By 1870, The Joseph Dixon Crucible Company was the world’s largest dealer and consumer of graphite and later became the contemporary Dixon Ticonderoga pencil and art supplies company.

Here is a look at how pencils are made today:

 

In 1858, Hymen Lipman did us all a great favor when he received the first patent for attaching an eraser to the end of a pencil. As we continue to use the pencil to help sketch the future, we can also rely on the eraser to make a few revisions along the way.

 

Copyright Davison 2013

 

Images:

http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/the-earliest-known-drawings-of-mickey-mouse-1928-photo-walt-disney-family-foundation.jpg

http://s3.hubimg.com/u/6837618_f520.jpg

Sources:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JqJXD0RoRI

 

 

 

Future Friday: Bike LEDs

Future Friday, Inventions

Make your bike wheels look like Tron.

Gone are the analog days of getting noticed on your bike. Today’s riders know that getting noticed on your bike takes more than putting baseball cards between the spokes. That’s why a variety of companies have created LED light systems for your bike wheels.

Companies like Nite Ize, MonkeyLectric and Revolights market LED lights that turn your bike wheels into glowing images of your choice.

Wired explained how Revolights work:

The white-and-red lighting setup comprises a ring of LEDs that you install around the entire edge of each of your bike rims. Using a pair of clever devices, only the forward-facing lights (or backwards, in the case of the rear wheel) illuminate when the wheel spins. The result is beautiful arcs of light that make you visible from all angles, an effect that Revolights’ co-founder and CFO Adam Pettler says came by accident.

Check out how bike LEDs work in this video.

So what is the future of LED bike wheel utility? Certainly advertising agencies have seen the eye-catching value of promoting a product on a glowing bike.  Anvil.com, for example offers LEDs featuring Pepsi and Coke logos.

Most wheel LEDs only turn on at night, are easily installed and are waterproof. Here’s how a company called Mathmos describes their lights:

Easily screw directly onto your bike wheel valves and create circles of light when you cycle. The lights use high quality LEDs with light/motion sensors, which mean they will only come on at night when you’re on the move. They are great fun lights but also aid visibility and therefore safety. They should only be used in conjunction with standard bicycle lights and not on their own.

If you love the idea but aren’t interested in paying for LEDs for your bike wheels, Gizmodo shows you how to create your own here.

 

Copyright Davison 2013

 

Image:

http://mashable.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Monkey-Light-Pro.jpg

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2013/05/27/monkey-light-pro-bike-wheel-leds/

http://www.wired.com/design/2013/05/led-bike-wheel-revolights/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL_xcswZx0c

http://www.anvii.com/store/CoolStyle_wheel_AD/blue/index.php

http://gizmodo.com/159380/do+it+yourself-led-bike-wheels

 

History Tuesday: The Swimming Pool

History Tuesday

You might think that the swimming pool wasn’t really invented; that long ago there was a hole in the ground that filled with rain water and one of our caveman ancestors jumped in on a hot day and said, “Man that feels good,” and you’d probably be correct.  But the purposeful construction of a large container designed to hold water for the expressed purpose of refreshment, relaxation, and recreation; now that took some inventing. So with this being the start of the hot summer season, we thought we’d take a look at the history of the swimming pool.

Swimming as an activity goes back as far as 3500 B.C. in ancient Egypt and later in ancient Greece, Rome, and Assyria.  The first swimming pool is credited by historians as the ‘Great Bath’ at the site of Mohenjo-Daro in modern-day Pakistan. Created during the 3rd millennium BC, it was a pool that measured 12 by 7 meters and was lined with bricks and covered with a tar-based sealant. There is also evidence that the first heated swimming pool was built by Gaius Maecenas of Rome in the first century BC. It turns out that Gaius was a close friend to the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, so we can imagine that Rome may have been the birth place of the wild ‘pool party’ as well.

But it’s really in the last couple of hundred years that swimming pools began to evolve. Swimming clubs started to become popular in Britain in the early 1800s. The oldest surviving Swimming Club in Britain, the Maidstone Swimming Club, was said to have built its first swimming pool in response to club member drowning in the River Medway. By 1837, six indoor pools with diving boards could be found in London.

In the US, municipal pools really took hold around 1862 as part of an effort to combat disease. Cholera was thought to be associated with poor human hygiene, so cities opened ‘river baths’ in hopes of preventing cholera outbreaks. The baths were enclosed structures housing large wooden tank-like pools that were submerged into the local river. The pool design allowed river water to be circulated naturally between the wooden boards. Soon in-ground concrete or tile swimming pools were being built all over the country.

After the modern Olympic Games which began in 1896, with swimming races, among the original events, the popularity of swimming pools began to spread as newspapers wrote stories and showed photographs of the events. This led to acceleration of municipal pool construction and the introduction of swimming pool chlorination as public officials aggressively publicized pool sanitation measures to alleviate long-standing fears of waterborne illnesses. Hollywood helped the swimming pool boom by glamorizing swimming with movie stars like Esther Williams and Olympic swimming star Johnny Weissmuller (a.k.a. Tarzan).

After World War II, when returning GIs got their GI loans and moved to the suburbs, a backyard swimming pool became a status symbol for all to see.  But since a traditional in-ground pool was very expensive, cheaper above-ground pools became an attractive option. They didn’t require the expensive earthworks required for an in-ground pool, they were much easier to maintain and could be taken apart in the winter.

Today we have many options for pools and their dramatic price reduction has enabled many more families to own their own pool. Today, many in-ground pools are constructed of fiberglass pre-formed shells that are a lot less expensive than the traditional poured concrete in-ground pool.  Above-ground pools are cheaper and stronger than ever before.

Many pools are switching from chlorine to common table salt to sanitize the water. Chlorine generators produce natural chlorine from salt by separating salt molecules into their component parts: chloride and sodium. These salt pools account for nearly 75% of new pool installations.  And state-of-the-art water purification technology is eliminating the need for chlorinated pool water altogether because it is able to filter the water so perfectly that it’s actually drinkable.

Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy: Stay cool and “stay classy.”

So there you have it, a brief history of the swimming pool. With an estimated 10,000,000 swimming pools in the US alone, they have clearly become a part of our communities and our own homes; and for many of us, a dip in a cool pool on a hot day is what summer is all about.

 

 

Images:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_2wFXD5YOElA/TJ1ZhHa9ydI/AAAAAAAAelE/4bmxbjx-kgs/s1600/caveman3.jpg

http://www.ci.arcadia.ca.us/images/swimming_pool-county_park.jpg

http://dlt.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Spanish_Fly_Cannonball.jpg

 

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swimming_pool

http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blswimmingpools.htm

http://visual.ly/history-swimming-pools

http://lissie.hubpages.com/hub/Swimming-Pools

 

 

Future Friday: The Bitcoin

Future Friday

Is Bitcoin the future of international currency?

Ever since Diners Club International became the first independent credit card company in 1950, banks have continued to dream of different ways of paying for goods and services. But maybe the future of transactions isn’t in the hands of the banks. Maybe it’s in the hands of software engineers.

“Bitcoin is an experimental, decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority: managing transactions and issuing money are carried out collectively by the network.

“The original Bitcoin software by Satoshi Nakamoto was released under the MIT license. Most client software, derived or ‘from scratch,’ also use open source licensing.

“Bitcoin is one of the first implementations of a concept called crypto-currency which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list. Building upon the notion that money is any object, or any sort of record, accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given country or socio-economic context, Bitcoin is designed around the idea of using cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money, rather than relying on central authorities.”

But having trusted and relied on our banks, credit cards and cash for generations upon generations, can Bitcoin ever become relevant?

According to Gigaom.com: “Technically speaking, Bitcoin is very smart indeed, as it’s the first currency that removes the need for a trusted third party – usually a bank – in financial transactions.

“That said, however, it’s crazily volatile at the moment. At the start of 2013, one Bitcoin was worth around $13. Things went nuts with the Cyprus crisis in March, and right now the price is bumping up and down around the $137 mark. It certainly looks like a bubble at this point, although the huge amount of interest Bitcoin is getting at the moment could lead to an uptick in use, which would in turn legitimize it as a viable currency. Either way, the current volatility will probably dissuade people from spending their Bitcoins right now, and make life hard for vendors setting prices in Bitcoin.

“Then, despite the supposed inviolability of the Bitcoin itself, there are multiple security issues. Before we even consider nefarious activities such as hacking, an interesting wrinkle in the Bitcoin methodology is that, if you lose your Bitcoin wallet, the money is lost forever, to everyone. If you lose your bankcard, it doesn’t wipe out the money in your account, and your bank will issue you a new one. There is no such mechanism in place here; losing Bitcoins is effectively like burning banknotes.

“Similarly, if someone steals your Bitcoin wallet by hacking into your computer, there is no heavily-insured bank to absorb the loss. You’re on your own. This happened to a user named “allinvain” back in 2011, costing him 25,000 Bitcoins. You can even get Bitcoin wallets for smartphones these days, but then you’re running a big risk if you lose your phone. As for cloud-based wallets, well, Instawallet has just suspended operations after being hacked.”

So, the question isn’t whether Bitcoin is the future, as that future is here. The question is whether citizens will accept the Bitcoin as viable currency.

 

Images:

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/455992/20130411/bitcoin-bubble-bursts-mt-gox-gold-rush.htm

http://bostinno.streetwise.co/2013/05/13/these-new-hampshire-entrepreneurs-are-building-a-bitcoin-atm/

Sources:

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Main_Page

http://gigaom.com/2013/04/04/yes-you-should-care-about-bitcoin-and-heres-why

 

 

Travel Wednesday: New York, NY

Travel Wednesday

Stitch together good times in New York City!

Where would America be without the sewing machine and New York City’s marketing machine? It’s hard to imagine our industrial progress in textiles without envisioning black and white film footage of well-coifed women seated in rows upon rows turning out well-crafted clothing behind sewing machines. Such images allude to an America buzzing with city commerce. Isaac Singer was the perfect marriage of textile ingenuity and big-city commercialization.

Although many other sewing machines existed in the late 1890s, Singer was the most successful at marketing his, due to his machines practicality for home use and its installment basis payment plan. Celebrate the man and city that gave America the sewing machine by taking a trip to New York City.

There’s a lot to do and see in New York, but the best thing to do is eat. New York is a city of homemade fast food. Stop by almost any deli or pizzeria and you will be treated to some of the best bagels and pizza in the country. The worst bagel in New York is still better than the best bagel anywhere else, so a good one is not hard to find. There’s not one specific place to get bagels and pizza, but they’re available on almost every block. Some notable locations for pizza include Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn and Lombardi’s in Lower Manhattan. Another popular eatery is Shake Shack, which serves delicious burgers, fries and shakes at a handful of locations around the city — Madison Square Park and The Upper West and East sides.

After you’ve carbed up, it’s time to see some of the finest museums in the world. Start at the Museum of Modern art in midtown, which you can get through relatively quickly as compared to the Metropolitan Museum of art, the Whitney and the Guggenheim. Make sure to make a stop by the American Museum of Natural History.

No trip to New York would be complete without seeing the tourist destinations. The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Central Park are all exciting locations, no matter how many times you’ve seen them. Unless you are hell bent on standing on Liberty island, you can save yourself the price of The Statue of Liberty tour ticket by getting on the Staten Island Ferry for free. The views are just as good. The Empire State building offers trips to the top for about 15 dollars, but the waiting line can be long and the visibility from the top varies, so pick your times carefully. You can’t miss with any locations in Central Park, but the best place to start is the southeast corner. From there you have access to the Plaza Hotel, FAO Schwarz and the picturesque Central Park pond.

You can’t do any wrong in New York City. Every inch of it offers a piece of American history that can be stitched into a great trip without having to use one of Singer’s machines.

 

 

Images:

http://gotoes.org/sales/SingerSewingMachineManuals/index.pl

 

 

 

 

Future Friday: Google Glass

Future Friday, Innovation, Inventions

Google Glass looks toward the future – for better or worse

Like the interactive glass from Tom Cruise’s blockbuster “Minority Report,” the newest product from Google – Google Glass – offers customers information presented right before their eyes on a pair of glasses.

The future is here. Or is it? Google Glass could be as successful as something like the iPhone or as big of a bomb as the Segway. Only time will tell, but pundits are already weighing in. Currently only a chosen few have been allowed to buy Glass:

The Huffington Post notes:

In February, Google launched a contest inviting U.S. residents to submit applications detailing how they’d use Glass for a chance to join Google’s Explorer Program. Glass Explorers would be able to buy an early version of Glass for $1,500, months before the product’s forthcoming release to the public at large. General sales for Glass are expected to start in late 2013 or early 2014.

So how does Glass work? According to The Verge:

Glass’ basic paradigm is one of a ‘timeline’ full of ‘cards.’ Each card, when tapped, can reveal more cards, or present actions like ‘reply’ or ‘delete.’ Some cards can be ‘pinned,’ which places them to the left of the home screen. Otherwise, cards are sorted chronologically to the right of the home screen.

While Glass’ best known interaction method is the verbal “Okay, Glass” prompt, most of the UI can only be operated by swipes and taps. Outside of the homescreen, the only time you’ll be speaking is when you’re composing a text reply to a card in your timeline (like an email message, or a tweet). While voice might seem like a gimmick, it’s actually preferable to the hypersensitive touchpad at times — we’ve accidentally tapped to share a photo with the wrong Google+ contact a dozen times, simply because Glass registers a tap instead of a swipe. At least when you’re talking you get a chance to cancel the action if you’re misheard.

Glass’ very simplicity means there’s actually a steep learning curve: You have to use Glass how Google wants you to use Glass, or it just doesn’t work. Also, you have to be really good at swiping and tapping.

Sounds interesting, but not everybody is a fan. A recent Forbes article expounded on what Google needs to do better if Glass is ever going to take off, including:

The Glass camera lacks basic camera functionality. People are used to cameras on smartphone constantly improving. Glass bucks this trend. There are no settings of any kind and no live preview, so each shot is composed blindly. “After using Glass for the past few days now and taking hundreds of photos, I’ve gotten used to it,” writes Chris Chavez of Phandroid. “The camera shoots at a downward angle meaning you point your nose at what you want in the center (if that makes sense).” It does, but only if you are particular kind of gadget-loving masochist.

Given Glass’s limitations it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Google either releases a radically improved version of the product, or the hype plays itself out and Glass becomes a victim of its marketing success. Will Glass go down in history as one of the decade’s most innovative products or one of its biggest marketing flops? Today, either outcome seems equally possible.

As with most inventions in the tech world, the early versions tend to be the roughest around the edges.  As research is done and feedback from the industry starts to come in, changes are made and the product usually improves.  If you take a moment and look at the first version of the iPod and how ancient it may seem now, that same advancement that Apple has made could also be the road Google takes with Glass.  Color choices, partnering with titans of the glasses industry (Ray Ban, Oakley and others) and improving battery life are not too far away.

Google Glass might have early limitations but the idea is there and that should make anyone excited about what the future might hold.

 

 

Images:

http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=13&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=(20130221.PD.%20AND%20Google.AS.)&OS=PD/20130221%20AND%20AN/Google&RS=(PD/20130221%20AND%20AN/Google)

http://gadget-tech.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/google-glass.png

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/eliseackerman/2013/05/22/google-glass-whats-not-to-like-quite-a-lot-actually/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/google-glass-winners_n_3321325.html

http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/20/4339446/google-glass-apps-everything-you-can-do-right-now

 

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