Magic Bullet

I think one of my best purchases in the last few years has to have been my Magic Bullet blender. Ok, so I admit, I bought it in a moment of weakness. The (annoying) advert had been playing back-to-back during an 8 hour overnight WWII session, and I was brainwashed. But I happen to like milkshakes, and I needed a blender. So, for $99? Why not?

I’ve not been particularly adventurous with it; but I’ve used it fairly regularly to make shakes-in-the-cup, salsa and queso. It’s worked superbly, and my favorite aspect is that when you’re done, you drop in 1/4 cup of water, a dash of washing up liquid, put it on the blender again for 5s and you’ve washed up.

It seems to be a great batchelor kitchen utensil, unfortunately most of the recipies that came with it are aimed at parties and families – maybe they’re expecting to sell it mostly to bored housewives?

My kitchen here is a little pokey, and I’ve still not gotten used to the American variants of various staple foods – bread, baked beans, even milk, are all subtly different. (So I still order the occasional care package from England with Heinz Baked Beans with hotdogs, Angel Delight etc).

Any of you got/used one of these? Any cool ideas for things to do with it?

I’ve started contemplating moving to a different apartment complex and maybe upgrading to a 2 bed; the complex that Gophur lives in is pretty nice, and it even has the advantage of being a little closer to work ;) Mostly because the kitchen here is *so* pokey. Forget swinging a cat in it, the cat wouldn’t fit, never mind yourself.

But in the meantime, the Magic Bullet and Bowflex ads on TV recently have started being replaced with kitchen utensil ads. One that caught my eye is the NuWave infrared, counter-top oven. Just listening to the ad in the background, as they explained the system, I had an idea that I thought would radically improve this system.

I’m curious if any of you have tried either of these products, but I’m also curious how I would go about doing something about my idea? It’s not as simple as “make it blue” or something along those lines, it’s a concept for a complete system, I guess. I could call them up and suggest it to them, out of the goodness of my heart, but I actually think there might be some money in this idea, and I wouldn’t mind seeing some of it.

I also think it has applications beyond this particular oven, possibly microwaves too. Do I need to try and patent it before giving the idea to someone else? How the heck do you go about doing that?

12 Comments

Don’t have either of those products. I remember back in I think 2001 one of the Rats was rhapsodizing about his new George Foreman grill. Then a coworker bought one and couldn’t stop talking about it. Then I caught an ad on TV that kept playing over and over. Being a bachelor, I bought one and ate very well for about a month, all sorts of grilled foods that I could toss on after work and have ready to eat by the time I got out of the shower (anything I could turn into a meat on a stick I tried, more or less, those supermarket pre-made shish kebobs, oh yes, my precious). One day I noted that the heating element was no longer working and the meat I’d tossed in there before going on a quick run to Charleville was, two hours later a petri dish. (Usually the very loud hissing would remind me I have fat on the fire.)

So now I own a double press grill from Hamilton beach that does the same thing, but is still going strong after several years and is well made.

My working assumption now is that any great idea gadget I see on TV is a cheap version of something likely already made by a more reputable company (i.e., has a warranty longer than 30 days) admittedly for more money. You can find very good on-table convection ovens that will pretty much do the same thing, maybe with a larger counter footprint, from companies like Delonghi. Amazon is typically where I go to look at the thing and read some reviews.

Waiting for extreme badness to happen at work; blog surfing does help the time pass quickly!

I asked a similar question (regarding patenting) on OT the other week. Got some feedback from people who seemed know a bit about it. Link:

http://forums.battlegroundeurope.com/showthread.php?t=125866

My college roommate was a patent lawyer until he went to work for a corporation. Forgot to cut and paste these links into my post above.

An early and important step is to keep a journal and document how you started thinking about it and what your thoughts were, and how you developed the idea.

Simplistic flow chart of the process: http://www.colitz.com/site/flow.htm

http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html

You left off making margaritas. I only rate blenders on how slushy the blender turns the drink and the size of the ice chunks. The smaller the ice chunks the better.

My recipe is easy to remember 2/2/2 + ice, salt on the rim.

Of course if a blender can make a good margarita it makes a good milkshake.

Most of my late night TV watching is now done using my DVR. I no longer watch commercials. TV and computers are in different rooms so they are mutually exclusive.

Thanks, h0g, interesting link.

I’m not sure if my idea is patent material. It’s really a technology blending and enhancement idea. Since I don’t know squat about making ovens, I’m doomed if I have to make a prototype.

It’s a really *dumb* idea, I can’t believe nobody else has thought of it though I couldn’t find any kind of similar patent. But once you know it, it’s like HOLY SHIT SELL ME ONE NOW. I’d be pretty surprized if you didn’t see it on at least 1/10th of microwave ovens sold in 4-6 years time.

I have lots of ideas, but this one didn’t turn out to be a sheep fart the instant I thought about it next morning. Infact, it’s continually rattled my cage every day for the last 4 weeks :)

What’s the idea?

[no boobies for whomever was going to post that]

I work in product development…medical devices, but to some extent hardware is hardware. I’ve worked for eight companies so far, not counting my own startups.

I have several patents and current applications, on both product designs and production equipment.

I’ve never yet run into a company of any substance and ethics that was structured to do anything useful with an independent inventor’s idea, unless that idea was already patented and the inventor had pretty substantial credentials as a means of indicating that the idea was valid technically and marketing-wise. Certainly that’s my current employer’s approach. We’re approached by dozens of inventors yearly. Most get a polite brush-off or no response, for legal reasons. The doctors with inventions in their field of expertise, sometimes we at least listen to.

The companies that claim to take your invention and market it, and advertise on TV and the like, are ripoffs. All of them. An acquaintance of mine, quite a big shot in the independent inventor community, has as his hobby being a gadfly about exposing such companys’ unethical behavior. He publicizes them, they sue him, he countersues…it’s a strange hobby, but then he’s a strange guy. Anyway, such companies make their money from what inventors pay them…not from products, licensing or production deals. Stay away.

Most of the time an idea by a non-expert in a given field won’t be patentable. It’s exceedingly easy and common to think of something that already was thought of, and acted on. Or, to think of something that will be rejected as obvious. Or, to think of something that amounts to a combination of existing knowledge. I do it all the time.

If you want to pursue your idea in the way that a serious inventor would, get a patent lawyer and spend some money on a patentability search.

Thanks, JW :) I’m gonna do that.

Unless it’s software. Then the most obvious, trivial, or historically well-known invention appears to be extremely patentable. :(

Yes, my cynicism is showing.

It’s just a milkshake, but with alleged magical properties.

One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a
banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the
stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted
blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates
your system.

Happens to be amongst one of my favorite shakes, although I didn’t know about that application ;)

I’m a patent agent. You can file a provisional patent application for $100 – then there is something on file at the USPTO before you talk to anyone. You can’t just keep records in a book – you need someone else that you trust (sign a non-disclosure agreement and patent assignment with them anyway) to witness your notes and sign the pages. Most inventions are novel combinations of things that are already known. You can search at http://www.uspto.gov to see if anyone else has done anything like your idea – and, of course, search on the web too. Good luck!

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