The editors here at Design News are busily covering the latest technologies in their beats all year round. But we especially like the month of May.
The sun is shining. The birds are singing. The air is warm. Well, maybe not here in New England where Spring doesn't actually arrive until June if it arrives at all, but we're pretty happy nonetheless.
That's because this month marks the time when we start reviewing the entries for the Design News Golden Mousetrap Awards. Entering into its fourth year now, this annual new products contest recognizes the coolest and most significant technologies launched in the preceding 12 months.
The Golden Mousetrap contest is open to companies that make products used and applied by design engineers and that fall into five categories — electronics, hardware/software, materials, motion control/automation and rapid prototyping tools.
We've had a lot of great entries and winners over the years — you can read about them on our website at www.designnews.com. Scroll down on the left-hand navigation bar and click on “Golden Mousetrap Winners.”
One of the more memorable entries in recent years was an actual mousetrap (in fact a case of them showed up at our offices along with the entry form). Though this particular “better mousetrap” didn't actually qualify for our contest, I completely understand the thought process that led to it getting entered into our competition.
Once we've gathered together all the entries, our editors scrutinize each one, evaluating the functions and features that make the product a standout and why it is significant to design engineers. In particular, we're looking for those new products that help make your jobs easier and designs better without incurring some ugly trade-off in the process!
Based on our investigations, usually involving several phone calls and lively discussions among ourselves, we then pick the winners in each category. Next, we interview the engineers behind the winning designs for an article we'll publish in our September issue and on our website.
In addition to their Andy Warhol moment in Design News, the winning engineers will receive a plaque complete with tiny mouse catcher.
If your company has introduced a product you think would be a great candidate for a Golden Mousetrap Award, it's not too late to enter this year's contest as the deadline is May 15, 2009. You can find the contest rules and entry form at www.designnews.com/mousetrap.
And if you're a few days late, we encourage you to check the link anyway — we usually have a grace period of a few weeks for late entries. The concept of a “real” deadline, as opposed to a published deadline, is something we in the publishing business are quite familiar with. And believe me, it's come in handy quite a bit over the years!!
Have You Built a Better Mousetrap?
Enter our Golden Mousetrap contest and get your Andy Warhol moment in Design News! Contest rules and entry form are available at www.designnews.com/mousetrap. Deadline is May 15, 2009 (with a minor grace period for late entries).