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New and Notable Product Design

New and Notable Product Design

CRANK CALLING

Innovative Solutions and Technologies SideWinder(R) Cell Phone Charger. Now it's possible to recharge a cell phone anywhere, even without a source of electricity. The hitch is you have to work for your airtime by cranking this patented pocket-size charger-two minutes of charging gets you six minutes of talking. Engineers used a bridge rectifier circuit to allow cranking in either direction by both righties and lefties. A Zener diode maintains output at 6.2V, 500 mA, sufficient to charge most phones. There is even a built-in LED flashlight to provide five minutes of light after 30 seconds of cranking, which charges a 0.33F super capacitor. CEO:Brett Heidkamp, [email protected] (www.sidewindercharger.com) Enter 686

LIL' MOUSE

KidzMouse(R). Merely making a half-size computer mouse for children two years of age and up wouldn't do, says inventor and CEO Susan Giles. Her KidzMouse is designed to work the way small hands do. Its rounded-profile, patented buttons move downward and inward in the natural "squeezing" action of a child's hand, as opposed to conventional, rigid buttons activated by tapping. "The challenge was making it durable for use by children in a learning center environment," notes Giles. Tough proprietary plastic and a thicker-gauge cord with a long, beefy strain relief at the end let the KidzMouse pass the "tug-of-war test," she adds. CEO:Susan Giles, [email protected] (http://kidzmouse.com) Enter 687

WEATHER BEATER

Nielsen-Kellerman Kestrel(R) 4000 Pocket Weather Tracker. You don't need a weatherman, or the Weather Channel, to know which way the wind blows-or its speed, temperature, pressure, and humidity. But to access the information provided by this hand-held weather station, VP Paul Nielsen says you do need the custom-developed "small dot-matrix" black-and-white LCD that enables detailed menus, graphs, and data plots to be clearly viewed in a small area. In addition, a patented, removable impeller determines wind speed within 3% accuracy. This sapphire-bearing turbine can be replaced without tools. VP:Paul Nielsen, [email protected] (www.nkhome.com) Enter 688

USB ADAPTER

Dallas Semiconductor Maxim DS9490B USB to iButton(R) Adapter. The iButton ICs in 16-mm diameter stainless steel cans have been around for some time, providing functions such as memory, temperature recording, security cryptographics, and even postage metering. This polycarbonate adapter allows access to the buttons via a USB port. Senior Packaging Engineer Patrick Strittmatter notes the "hatch" with a keyring through-hole had to be quick and easy to disconnect, but not open if accidentally dropped. Latch geometries were modeled in Pro/E and then SLA prototyped for drop testing. When the hatch is opened, an interference connector fit on the iButton retains the can in the adapter, which can be released using a paper clip if needed. Senior Packaging Engineer:Patrick Strittmatter, [email protected] (www.ibutton.com) Enter 689

BONE-DOME HOME

Speed Rack Helmet Locker. Expensive motorcycle or snowmobile helmets won't get dinged or scratched from rolling around in a trailer or garage when kept in this breathable Lycra and stainless-steel-frame locker. The Lycra not only protects and cushions the helmet but allows accumulated moisture to escape. The flexible locker collapses against the wall when not in use, providing extra room for a helmeted rider to enter or exit a drive-off trailer on a snowmobile or bike. Mechanical Designer Jim Cooney notes he used Pro/E software to design a mounting bracket that ensures the hinges on the wire frame remain lined up along the same axis for smooth action. Mechanical Designer:Jim Cooney, [email protected] (www.speedrack.biz) Enter 690

HOT HANDS

180stm Gloves Exhale Heating System(TM). In cold weather, people often will remove their gloves and blow on their hands to try and warm them. No need to remove these patent-pending gloves, thanks to a port and air chamber that directs warm breath right to the finger-tips. Product Manager Nancy Riess notes, that with the emphasis on producing a quality glove for winter sports, the addition of the air chamber could not detract from comfort, flexibility, and fit. The solution was to form the air chamber from a polyurethane film that maintains its flexibility at low temperatures. Bypassing hook-and-loop or a snap, designers chose a "clean and simple" magnetically latched flap to protect the port when not in use. Product Manager:Nancy Riess, [email protected] (www.180s.com) Enter 691

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