Quirky and The Cone Of Silence
My family is tired of hearing me talk about "The Cone Of Silence". This is an electronics product I'd love to have. I am not sure if it can be built with the current state of noise canceling technology, but here is how it would work.
The Cone Of Silence is a small electronics product that you can bring to a restaurant in your pocket, place on the table, and create a "noise cancelled zone" around the table you and your friends are sitting at.
I've talked to a number of people about this idea in the past year. My dad is a former engineering professor. He thinks it would be hard to develop successfully. My father in law is a former engineering professor and also spent years working with the US Navy on underwater submarine detection (and evasion). He thinks it is not possible to build in the compact way I want it to work. I've gotten similar reactions to this product idea from a number of other people who know a thing or two about sound waves and physics.
But I am not giving up. Last week I was introduced to Quirky, a community of product enthusiasts where people submit product ideas and the community develops them together. Each week one product is selected to build and launch in a pre-sale to the community. If enough of the product is sold to break even on the production costs, it is built and sold and then launched commercially.
Quirky has been doing this for about six months now and they've developed 30 products together and launched about six commercially. You can see the products that have launched commercially on the front page of the Quirky website. Some of these products are also available in offline retail.
So as you might expect, I submitted The Cone Of Silence idea to Quirky last weekend and it is one of 27 candidates to be selected to be "product 0031". The idea has generated some comments and, like my dad and father in law, a few people think its not possible to build the way I want it to work. We will see if any good ideas emerge.
Even if the Quirky community doesn't figure out how to build The Cone Of Silence, I am not giving up on the idea. I'm not giving up on teleportation either.
And I think the idea behind Quirky is great. We've seen communities like Threadless, Etsy, Kickstarter, and others do amazing things. There's certainly room for a community to build people powered products. Check out Quirky (and The Cone Of Silence) and let me know what you think.
UPDATE: For your viewing pleasure, courtesy of "Maxwell" in the comments