American Inventor reality TV show

From the website, "American Inventor](http://abc.go.com/primetime/americaninventor/index.html) is an exciting new primetime reality show for ABC from Simon Cowell and the producers of American Idol.

Set to premiere in early 2006, the show will undertake the biggest search ever for America’s best new invention. An embodiment of the ultimate American dream, the show will uncover the hottest new product and make some struggling inventor’s dream come true. The show will celebrate the best in homespun American ingenuity and will turn one person’s idea into the next big thing."

Finally - a reality television show worth watching. :wink:

Edit: All we need now is an American Robot show to get on television. :cool:

Oh that sounds good!

Whenever I get a good idea for an invention I forget it :(. I need to carry around a notebook with me.

This isn’t really an inventor struggling to bring his product to market, but awesome anyways. http://www.zigbee.org/en/index.asp

Web site doesn’t show much, but the idea is this: Put a little thingy in your wall, wire it into outlets, and you know have wireless control of appliances (through the outlets). I want to be able to call a box in my kitchen and turn on the pot roast, or computer, or coffee maker, or belgian waffle iron:D . Maybe its the geek factor (look at the remote control!), but it sounds pretty flippin’ awesome to me!

Speaking of American Robot, does anyone have a copy of those laying around? I seem to have lost mine at some point or another. :mad: Or a link to a live download?

On subject, I might watch it. Depends on how they put a marketing spin on it.

They’ve had that for a while, it’s called X11 and it’s fairly cheap.

Yes… Search for the original threads on CD for the link, and if they are broken, PM me… I have them all… (re: 2 (or 3?) episodes)

I might watch the show but question its validity. On Howard Stern the other day he was talking about how Simon Cowell had this new show but here’s the kick, by going on the show you lose ownership of the invention. I forgot whether the new owner was Cowell or more likely ABC.

Yes, I do believe this to be true even if it was from Howard Stern. Stern does not lie about things. He may misinformed, but he doesn’t lie.

It spells out the whole thing on the website… i think it will be fun to see what kinds of inventions are brought forward!

The show will be entertaining, but I think it falls into the trap of thinking that lone inventors are some sort of american icon

very few ‘inventors’ make any money off their ideas. The wealth of knowledge and technology advances we have seen in the last 100+ years has mostly come from people who got a formal education and worked together with a team of other people, very often under the wing of a corporation or university.

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Coming up with a way to implement those ideas, finding the capitol and production volume to turn them into a marketable product, then seeing it through production, marketing, sales, tech support… thats not something you are going to get from a TV network.

For examples: do you know the name of the man who invented television? He was a lone inventor: P.T. Farnsworth. He died broke.

The man who created the operating system that B.Gates purchased for a song, made a few tweaks to and called it MSDOS? I forget his name, he died several years ago, also broke.

Even simple things, like the guy who came up with the idea for intermittant windshield wipers. The car manufacturers ignored his patents for years, and he spent 20 years in the courts fighting them before he got a single dime.

The idea of the great american inventor is a myth. Even Edison had a corporation with hundreds of scientists and technicans working for him.

Another example: when I was a teenager in the early '70s my father told me he had this idea for an electric car, that would have a small bank of batteries, and a small gas engine (like a lawn mower engine) to keep the batteries charged while you were driving. I laughed and told him he was crazy.

In the late 70’s some people did convert small cars to this configuration on their own, and they were getting 70mpg.

and its taken another 25 years for these hybrid-electric cars to finally hit mass production.

having the idea is not enough. You also must have:

  • the educational background to know whether you idea is feasible
  • the ability to explain your idea to people with the resources to take it to the next step
  • credibility: an engineering degree is good, a tinfoil hat collection is bad :^)
  • the knowledge and training to make the system work
  • the business savy to turn a new system into a marketable product

having done a fair bit of intellectual property research recently this is only partially true. If an inventor goes with an idea which he has patented or is patent pending on then ABC has no rights to the idea, the same thing goes for a provisional patent. If someone goes and just tells the idea to ABC then it would be possible for ABC to “steal” the idea but with proper documentation since the US uses a “first to invent” process it would be unlikely that ABC could just steal the idea. I have not read ABC’s contract so i don’t know for sure. But lets face it the patent isn’t what makes the money the licensing is, and with the amount of money ABC is going to make on advertising from this show i doubt they would go through the trouble of steeling peoples ideas.

on a side note there is another show just like this that holds a bit more validity in my mind. http://www.invent.org/challenge/

Bah… We aren’t talking about rocket science here. We are talking about simple ideas that are realitively unique and useful. In fact I was reading about lone inventors in The Boston Globe and how they are being utilized in supporting research and development of major companies. Companies go around and find inventors whose ideas are worth sending to corporations. Also, this concept is quite old in terms of invention competitions. Hammacher Schlemmer has had an invention competition since 1994. Oddly enough they didn’t have one this year.

do you know one of the items for which there is the greatest number of patents in the US patent office?

devices to squeeze the last bit of toothpaste from its tube!

How many of you have spent any money on one of these, because there are literally hundreds of patents on various versions of tooth paste squeezers, and hundreds more are submitted each year.

How many people are going to tune in to watch someone invent a new clothes pin, or new paper clip?

the major innovations in science and technology have not come from lone inventors. They simply dont have the education, resources, support teams, facilities or funding to do anything significant.

All the easy stuff has been done. The engineering and research (thats what professionals call it, research) that remains requires dedication, education, funding, and a lot of hard work :^)

Believe it or not I would. I remember watching hammacher and schlemer’s invention competition on the history channel and it was actually quite entertaining. It was amazing how many of these gadgets which were quite simple and useful were never developed before.