verb in·vent \in-ˈvent\
: to produce (as something useful) for the first time through the use of the imagination or of creative thinking and experiment
Mater artium necessitas – Necessity is the mother of invention.
The ToneCap (TM) is a simple product I created in order to temporarily change the sound of any hand drum. I was preparing for a performance for which I wished my djembe drum had a more mellow sound. There was a towel nearby, so I put it over my djembe to see what kind of a difference it would make. I discovered that not only was the volume reduced, but the bright timbre was changed to a more warm, tonal sound. By experimenting with different materials such as leather, vinyl, cloth, and rubber, and found that the type of material and its thickness each changed the sound in a different way. I started carrying a piece of leather in my djembe case and using it whenever I wanted that different sound in a performance. It was like having two drums in one! I knew I was onto something original yet simple, and with wide appeal for drummers, so I decided to patent the idea. The ToneCap is currently in manufacturing development.
The Stroller Roller (TM) is a patented improvement upon an existing product which allows a child to ride on a rolling platform attached to the back of a stroller. When we lived in England during graduate school our second child was born, leaving us with a decision to upgrade to a double-stroller, to have the older child walk, or to or carry the newborn. Without a vehicle we were on foot or bike literally everyday, so this was kind of a big deal for our little family. Thankfully we found a more affordable and convenient (and fun) solution – the BuggyBoard – an attachment which allows the older child to ride behind the stroller while the younger one sits in the stroller. Genius! While pushing my son for many hours behind the stroller, I noticed some design flaws and naturally reflected on how it could be modified for improvement. My ideas turned out to be original, and with the help of some engineers, the Stoller Roller was invented. It is currently in manufacturing development.